Travel Week: Blueberry Spelt Oat Bars

Travel Week: Blueberry Spelt Oat Bars

Scarlett and I travel a lot. We’re on a plane once a month and we’ve been doing that amount of travel since she was a baby. It’s just the way it is when nana and grandpa live so far away. As a result, Scarlett is the most amazing little traveler – nothing like myself. I’m a nervous flyer, but I’d never let her know.  I had to leave my fears and the larazpan behind when she was born – I would never want to transfer my anxiety to her. She just loves the whole process – pulling her little bag, ordering her beverage (Juice, pleeze) and coloring the whole flight. I try to make an event around eating because it kills time. I pack lots of snacks that could easily sit in a bag without any refrigeration. (I can’t tell you how many cold packs airports have confiscated from me.) The obvious things like bananas, carrot sticks and apples always rate, but  I also can’t resist a home baked treat. I usually take enough for myself as well. If you’re heading out-of-town for March break, here’s a healthy snack. Larazpan not included.


photo Maya Visnyei

I was relieved when I went to bake these bars that have been adapted from a Whole Foods recipe and Scarlett jumped right in because she had formally quit the blog the week before. Since she had the flu, I was pretty sure it was the fever talking. Regardless, I was a little worried. I keep waiting for the moment when she realizes cooking isn’t a game. Well, it’s fun, but it’s not Candyland people. I’m sure the lovely and brilliant photographer Maya Visnyei had something to do with Scarlett’s keener attitude. In our home to capture the process, Scarlett loves to show her cooking prowess. Luckily, Maya didn’t mind Scarlett’s interest in her photography equipment or her inappropriate line of questioning. No one wants to explain to a preschooler why they don’t have kids yet while they’re working.

Blueberry Spelt Oat Bars

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup spelt flour
1/3 cup packed natural brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup sunflower oil
5 tablespoons orange juice, divided
1/2 cup blueberry fruit preserve


Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 8×8 in. baking pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and blueberries. Add oil and 3 tablespoons of the orange juice. Mix well. Save a 1/2 cup of the mixture and press the rest of the oats into the prepared baking pan. In a bowl, mix the blueberry preserves with the last two tablespoons of orange juice. Spread preserve mixture over the oats then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of oats. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

photo Maya Visnyei

Thank goodness Scarlett didn’t quit. I really didn’t enjoy baking and cooking without her while she was sick. Plus, I like being her assistant – just prepping and cleaning. Poor Maya had a hard time keeping up with Scarlett since she likes to push through recipes. I think she just wants to be able to eat them.

I cut the sugar in this recipe from Whole Foods because I knew the dried berries would lend their own natural sweetness. I’ve got to admit, these bars are super crumbly. However, I don’t mind because they tasted delicious broken up over yogurt.

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  1. Alex F. Fayle
    February 28, 13:25 Reply
    Yum! I love blueberries! There's not so easy to get here, but I could probably do them with blackberries or mulberries which are much more common. I've also started using maple syrup instead of sugar, so they might not be so crumbly with the extra liquid.
  2. Alex F. Fayle
    February 28, 13:25 Reply
    Yum! I love blueberries! There're not so easy to get here, but I could probably do them with blackberries or mulberries which are much more common. I've also started using maple syrup instead of sugar, so they might not be so crumbly with the extra liquid.
    • Laura Keogh
      February 28, 23:10 Reply
      We used dried blueberries that we found at Whole Foods. However, a lot of grocery stores have packaged dried fruit. Look for brands that don't add sugar. However, I bet blackberries would be yummy too. If you give them a try, let us know how it comes out. We'd love to hear. Thank you for reading SPC!
  3. Jing
    March 01, 11:24 Reply
    Yummy! I hope your daughter's fully recovered from the flu now. By the sounds of it, she must've been highly energetic during the entire baking process!
  4. Mary Jaglowitz
    April 20, 10:11 Reply
    I have just started eating and baking better. I wondered what I would make with the spelt flour I bought. I am diabetic so I will probably cut the sugar and try replacing the oil with applesauce. This looks like an excellent healthy snack
    • Laura Keogh
      April 21, 20:35 Reply
      Hi, I love your idea to further cut the sugar. Let us know how it turns out...we'd love to know. Thank you for reading SPC.
  5. diane morewood
    April 21, 09:35 Reply
    Would like to see more healthy snacks. We all should watch our sugar intake (for sure) everything is so refinded today. We must eat healthy. Thanks!!! for your Great Recipes. When we eat Healthy we sure feel a lot better.
  6. diane morewood
    April 21, 09:40 Reply
    We need to see more healthy recipes. We need to get over using so much sugar in our recipes. If we eat healthy snacks like these recipes, we will surely feel better and have more energy. Get our children away from junk foods and eat great treats like these ones. Thanks!! I will be copying more of your recipes for my Family.
    • Laura Keogh
      April 21, 20:32 Reply
      We couldn't agree with you more, Diane. Thank you for your note. Let us know how it goes if you make this recipe. Thank you for reading SPC.
  7. Sarah
    April 21, 13:11 Reply
    I don't use sugar or oil in my cooking - but these sound fantastic so I am going to try making them with sugar free applesauce instead. And frozen, no sugar blueberries instead of dried blueberries and blueberry preserves (I can't seem to find sugar free dried fruit anywhere near where I live)
    • Laura Keogh
      April 21, 20:30 Reply
      I have the same sugar dilhemma. Hard to find dried varieties as well as spreads or preserves without them. If you try the recipe with frozen blueberries sprinkle some spelt flour on them before adding to the recipe. And be sure to let us know how it comes out. Thank you for reading.
  8. Sarah
    April 25, 22:54 Reply
    So I made them and they were a huge hit. I made a lot of substitutions - no baking soda or salt to cut down on the sodium content, frozen no-sugar added blueberries (to replace the dried and the preserves), sugar-free applesauce (to replace the oil), and splenda (to replace the brown sugar). Also no cinnamon because I just don't like it. They came out very moist and chewy. I made two batches - one with fresh squeezed OJ - but then I was out of oranges so I tried using blackberry juice for the second batch and I liked them even better!!
  9. 2011 watches
    August 24, 04:54 Reply
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  10. Kristylee
    April 21, 10:22 Reply
    Great recipe, I used apple butter with just an inch of sunflower oil instead, also used frozen unsweetened organic blueberries throughout, and a raspberry perserve. Plus some fresh orange rind, VERY delicious. Thanks
  11. Grape Salsa | Cityline
    March 04, 16:25 Reply
    [...] Blueberry Spelt Oat Bars — Kids will love these crumbly bars, you’ll love the antioxidant-rich blueberries. [...]
  12. nicole
    March 06, 16:51 Reply
    Can't wait to try these. Should I use quick-cooking oats or regular? Thanks!
    • Laura Keogh
      March 06, 23:17 Reply
      Hi Nicole. Thank you for your note. Quick cooking oats are fine. Let me know how they turn out.
  13. Onita
    April 19, 08:37 Reply
    I really like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and exposure! Keep up the very good works guys I've you guys to blogroll.

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