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  • The Chopping Blog

Easy Breezy Breakfast Bars

Posted by Maren on Aug 28, 2015

This summer has seen an abundance of juicy and tart blueberries in the city. My mom reminds me that blueberries were the one food that she ate excessively when she was pregnant with me and rightfully so.


For a few summers before I moved to Chicago, driving an hour out of town to pick these plump pieces of dirt candy by the pounds felt more of a chore in the process before I learned to enjoy it. My family and I would lug home between twenty to forty pounds not counting the handfuls of snacking while plucking. These batches were turned into pies, toppings for ice cream, smoothies, and frozen for winter usage. This summer, although I can't get to blueberry farms as easy without a car, there are plenty of farmer's markets in the city lasting well into the fall who bring the harvest to you!

Below is a take on The Kitchn's to-go breakfast (or really, anytime) bars. I used lavender from my potted garden to compliment the lemon and blueberry pairing.

Blueberry Breakfast Bars

Morning Notes: If you can’t find rye flakes, feel free to use more rolled oats instead.

Blueberry filling:
3 cups fresh blueberries or 1 (12 oz.) package frozen blueberries, unthawed
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (I used a little less and flavored to taste.)
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup of fresh lavender, plucked from the stem whole and given a quick chop

Whole-grain crust:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup rye flakes (or rolled oats)
3/4 cup sliced raw almonds (You could substitute walnut, pecan, or cashew.)
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds (I substituted ground flax seed.)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (I substituted light for dark brown sugar.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes, plus more for greasing the pan *it is very important your butter is cold as possible out of the fridge, this helps with the crumble texture of the topping
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square pan.
  • To prepare the filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, flour, *lavender, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Continue stirring until berries just begin to break down and the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.


  • To prepare the crust: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse together the rolled oats, rye flakes, almonds, and sesame seeds just until they form a chunky, mealy texture, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and pulse a time or two to combine. Add the egg and butter. Add ice water slowly and pulse until mixture just begins to clump together.


  • To assemble and bake the bars: Press approximately half of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Pour the berry filling onto the crust and spread evenly. Scatter the remaining crust mixture across the top as you would for a fruit crisp or crumble—messy and haphazard, but evenly dispersed. Don’t worry about pressing down; it will bake into the bars beautifully.


  • Bake until the top crumble is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Slice into bars. If wrapped and kept at room temperature, the bars will keep for 3 days.


Enjoy more end of summer fruit in a healthy way (including breakfast ideas) in The Chopping Block's upcoming Clean in '15 cooking class series with Chef Alia Dalal. This clean eating series starts on Wednesday, September 16 at our Merchandise Mart with a Healthy Digestion class featuring dishes like Homemade Coconut Yogurt and Berry Crunch Bowl.

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