For the Chia Jam
- 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (low sugar works great)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
For the bars
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed), divided
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 medium-size ripe bananas, mashed (about one cup)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Jam:
- Add the blueberries and maple syrup to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until the berries begin to release their liquid, about 5 – 15 minutes depending on whether or not they were thawed first.
- Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to reduce and thicken, about 5 -10 minutes. Use your spoon to break them apart further if desired.
- Stir in the chia seeds, continuing to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the jam to cool. It will continue to thicken the longer it sits, by the time I made the bars it was ready to go!
For the bars:
- Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and prepare an 8×7 baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
- Place oats in a large mixing bowl and add the baking powder, mixing well. I like to do this before the next step to be sure it gets evenly dispersed.
- Add the mashed bananas, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and mix until everything is well combined and a dough is formed. If you want your bars to be less dense you could put the mixture in a blender or use a hand blender to smooth out the dough. I did not do this in my batch, but it is an option.
- Transfer 2/3 of the dough into your prepared baking pan, using a spatula to ensure that it is spread evenly. Spoon the chia jam over the surface, and use a spatula or knife to spread it evenly, making sure to only go within 1/4 inch of the edge to prevent the jam from burning. Spoon the remaining oat mixture on top, using your spatula to spread it around.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the center, has set and the bars begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a sharp knife to cut them into individual bars and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
This made 15 delightful sized bars that came in at 80 calories a square!