Kenny was out of town this weekend, leaving me to my own devices. The past couple weeks have swallowed me whole; I’ve slipped into poor-er eating habits and convenience foods, and allowed stress to affect me more than usual. With the house quiet and an extra day off to encourage me, I took the past couple days to take a step back. I cleared my schedule and focused on me, on relaxing, on getting my house back in order, on getting centered again.
I found this wonderful meditation exercise, a guided body scan exercise by Job Kabat-Zinn. Taking the time for some extra mediation this weekend has left me feeling clean and bright, approaching my work again with a positive, kind attitude.
“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” – George Bernard Shaw
I also took the time to do some baking. I’m thrilled fall is here and I can use my oven again without feeling guilty! I decided to try something new with my newfound positive energy… a plant based dessert. What seemed like an impossibility (or a probably unsatisfactory one) actually turned out pretty darn delicious.
A healthy plant based dessert? Really?
Healthy plant based dessert – It’s a real thing. I always try to make desserts healthier, like this Nuts & Berries Pie or this Dark Chocolate Beet Cake or this amazing Pineapple Foster with a Coconut Ginger Crisp… but they are still very high in sugar and wheat. Not healthy, not really. For the first time I’ve ventured into the realm of truly plant based desserts, stepping out of my comfort zone to find it’s pretty neat over here. Don’t you love that feeling?
These bars dong stick together super well – don’t expect to pick one up with your fingers and eat it. It’s more of a eat-with-a-fork-or-maybe-with-your-fingers-if-you-forgot-one-in-the-lounge-and-are-too-lazy-too-walk-back-there kind of dessert. Either way, I loved the dessert fresh and even 5 days later and 30 seconds in the microwave. A comforting treat so full of fruit and fiber you feel good about indulging!
If you’re not a cardamom fan (or don’t stock it) cinnamon would be a great replacement.
Wishing everyone a relaxing day. Spread a little kindness and compassion today!
Blueberry Cardamom Oat BarsPrint Recipe
- 1 pint (about 2 cups) blueberries
- ¼ cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 ½ tsp cardamom
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (GF for GF eaters)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles.
Add blueberries, honey or maple syrup, and corn starch to a medium bowl and toss until coated.
In a separate bowl, add the almond flour, oats, honey or maple syrup, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the coconut oil and work into the mixture with your fingers until coarse crumbs form. The mixture should hold together when pressed.
Reserve scant (slightly underfilled) 1 cup of the crumbs for the topping and pour the remaining crumbs into the prepared pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan. Pour the blueberries over the crust, reserving any juices back in the bowl.
Add the chopped pecans to the remaining crumble and sprinkle evenly over the top of the berries. Press lightly.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is lightly brown. Let cool completely before slicing into bars.
Frozen blueberries might be a more economical option and work just fine in this delicious dessert. Also, cinnamon can be substituted for cardamom in a pinch.