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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

the blueberry + oat square

Prep time: 20 minutes Bake time: 45-50 minutes


Life has felt busy lately. In the best way possible. Work is moving fast, keeping me on my toes and I truly love every moment of it, sometimes I get sucked into a work-hole and wake up hours later confused as to how so much time has passed. I'm grateful to feel that way. But at the end of the day, my personal creative juices feel dull. Normally, I have an idea or two floating around of something I want to bake, usually thinking of chocolate will do the trick. But the last few weeks have felt like those ideas jumped off the boat and swam completely out of sight. Wonderful.

This is certainly not the first time that's happened. In years past, well, more like last year, I used to get pretty worked up about it. Frustrated at myself for not creating anything or feeling like I don't have the ability to come up with something mildly creative... it's an interesting world we live in - feeling like everything in the food space has already been created, baked, and then baked 10x over again with one tiny variation to make it one's own. But I've reached a point where I can't let that stop me from creating, from doing something that I enjoy. Nowadays (after a lot of positive self-talk), if I don't have an idea of something to make, or don't feel like seeking out inspiration, then I just don't, and that's okay.


Why does this matter, anyways? Because this doesn't just apply to baking. Sometimes, letting things develop in their own time, instead of forcing it, is best. Now, I'm not saying let everything go by the wayside and say "The universe will take care of it" (though if that's your thing, no shame). What I'm saying is that sometimes when we hound on something over and over, especially when we're feeling weighed down by it, taking a step back and pausing may save time in the long run. And it just might lead to something far greater than you could have imagined. Which in my opinion, often results in something more meaningful. So, if there is an area in your life that you've been forcing and feel bogged down by, maybe learning a new skill, seeking out a new relationship, or baking for that matter, consider pausing. Reorganize your next steps and take note of what happens. You might be surprised by what you find.


Okay, thought-provoking conversation over. Now to the real reason you came here...


C O N S I D E R A T I O N S


1. If gluten is a concern, ensure the oats you're buying are labeled as gluten-free.


2. For an added "wow" flavor, add 1 tsp of cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ginger to the oat mixture.


3. Feel free to use any alternative milk you have (or dairy if that's your preference), it doesn't have to be coconut.


4. If you don't have brown rice flour, play around with coconut, sorghum, or almond, but keep in mind these are a bit more dense than brown rice flour. You may need more liquid.


I N G R E D I E N T S


Oat mixture:

1c brown rice flour

1c oat flour or 1c rolled oats blended

1/3c maple syrup

1/4c coconut sugar

100g (just under 1/2c) room-temp coconut oil

2-3 Tbsp coconut milk (if needed)

1/2 Tbsp vanilla

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2c rolled oats (reserve for later)


Filling:

3c frozen blueberries

3 Tbsp coconut sugar

3-4 Tbsp tapioca starch

1/2 Tbsp vanilla

zest of 1/2 lemon

dash of sea salt


S T E P S

Preheat oven to 375F and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.


Mix both flours, sea salt, and coconut sugar in a medium bowl (if you don't have oat flour, blend 1c of rolled oats in a high-speed blender or food processor).


Add the maple syrup, vanilla, and mix. Next, steadily add the room-temp coconut oil to the mixture, a few Tbsp's at a time until all of it is well incorporated. The mixture should be crumbly but still hold its shape when pressed together, if it doesn't, add the coconut milk until it holds together.


Place about 3 quarters of the dough in the pan and firmly press down. Place the pan in the fridge for a few minutes. After about 5 minutes, pop it in the oven for 15 minutes.


Add the 1/2c rolled oats to the remaining mixture and set aside for the final layer.


While the bottom layer is baking, prepare the blueberry filling. In a small saucepan over low heat, add the blueberries and coconut sugar. Continuously mix to avoid burning. After the berries begin to thaw, add the vanilla. Continue mixing until you have a layer of juice in the pan (about 5 minutes). The goal is not to make a jam or mush the blueberries completely, instead, you're aiming for softened berries with a few mashed here and there.


After about 5 minutes, remove from heat and add about 2 Tbsp of tapioca flour to help thicken the mixture. It's okay if the mixture is slightly runny but it shouldn't look watery. If it's needed, add another 1-2 Tbsp of tapioca flour. Finally, add the lemon zest.


After the bottom has baked, remove from the oven and pour the blueberry mixture on top. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture on top for the final layer - it shouldn't completely cover the top and should feel a bit crumbly.


Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.


Remove from heat and let it cool completely before slicing. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Consider adding a scoop of ice cream if you serve it warm, I don't think you'll regret it...


kenn :)




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