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Eat Well Jul. 24. 2018
Desserts

Blueberry Chocolate Bars

Jul. 24. 2018
Desserts
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder

If you love antioxidant-rich blueberries, chocolate, and dessert, then you’re going to love these Blueberry Chocolate Bars.

Sweet, bright, summery, tart, crunchy and a little gooey goodness.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Blueberries?

Blueberries have been shown to help with cardiovascular health, cognitive benefits, eye health, overall antioxidant support, insulin resistance, and anti-cancer benefits. Because blueberries contain a great amount of fiber and they’re lower in sugar than some other fruits, they have a low glycemic index which means better blood sugar regulation and steady energy.

Blueberries antioxidant content has also shown to help improve cognitive function, overall immune support, brain health and nervous system health. That’s why these little blue gems are the star ingredient in these Blueberry Chocolate Bars.

The Magic That Is This Crust

Regardless if you’re eating gluten-free foods or not, this crust is gluten-free and dairy-free friendly and is mostly made with coconut, nuts, and seeds.

I often get asked by you guys about nut/seed allergies in recipes on Nutrition Stripped and what to do. Well, it’s simple! Most of the time, even in recipes like this, if you see a nut or seed that you’re allergic to, just find another nut or seed that has a similar texture and flavor.

For the most part, the flavor is an easy thing to replace because most nuts and seeds have similar “nutty” flavor profiles, it’s the texture and use that’ll require some brainstorming. Also, when in doubt, always leave a comment here on the site so the team and I can help you troubleshoot a specific ingredient for you!

History — i.e. the real story of this recipe

Okay, so let me tell you the real story behind this recipe. First up, it involves one of Nutrition Stripped’s most popular recipe, Turmeric Milk, and the desire to innovate new recipes from this one — in short, it failed.

I was inspired to make a summery pie using the base of turmeric milk, slightly sweet, a little savory, and completely photogenic bright yellow. I attempted to make the recipe 9 times…for me, that’s a lot especially when it comes to baking! Not to brag, but I normally hit a recipe on the spot within 2 tries, but this one just wasn’t working out…except the crust.

The crust during all my tests remained delicious, crunchy, and super easy to make so I was determined to use it in some fashion. Enter in, a trip to the farmers market where I picked up some delicious blueberries, combined it with chocolate, and voila, we have these crazy good blueberry chocolate bars.

How to use this crust in many ways!

Don’t like blueberries or don’t have them handy and you’re jonesing to make this recipe? No worries, like I said this crust has been tested so many times with different flavors that it’s a winner — so add whatever berry you love.

I’ve even made the crust solo, topped it with almond butter or jam, and called it a quick dessert. I’ve also made the crust, crumbled it up on purpose and used it as a topping for coconut yogurt, banana ice cream, or in a bowl with homemade almond milk for a “sweet” cereal.

All that to say, play around with this crust and have your own experiment in the kitchen with this recipe, it’s fun to fail!

 

Stripped

Mineral-rich

Almonds contain an array of B vitamins, vitamin E, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, molybdenum, monounsaturated fats, fiber, and protein.

I recommend purchasing almonds raw to give you more variety with culinary use and decrease the chances of the fatty acids going rancid.

As with other nuts and seeds, almonds can help combat heart disease in multiple ways, and the skins in almonds contain a natural prebiotic, the food that feeds the good bacteria in our gut, win-win!

Antioxidants

Chocolate has many health-related benefits, most of them coming from an active compound in cacao (a.k.a. chocolate), called theobromine.

Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid which acts as a natural vasodilator (a.k.a. dilates your blood vessels to allow more blood flow and oxygen), a diuretic (a.k.a. increasing urination to rid the body of excess fluids), and a heart stimulant.

You can see how these benefits just mentioned can have a positive effect on reducing high blood pressureheart healthcholesterol-lowering benefits, PMS, and possible mental focus/acuity.

Mood-Boosting

Chocolate is perfect for not only replenishing our bodies with magnesium but also improving our mood as chocolate contains bioflavonoids such as phenylethylamine (PEA a dopamine copycat), anandamide (“chemical bliss”), and serotonin among other brain chemicals which act to increase the both dopamine (a hormone that helps control our brains reward/pleasure centers) and serotonin (a hormone that stabilizes mood, regulates appetite, and gives focus/energy), which help control our cravings and improve moods.

The Recipe

Serves 10

Print

For the crust:

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

½ cup sliced raw almonds

¼ cup rolled oats

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 large egg white

1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the topping:

4 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together just until it looks crumbly, not a fine flour. You still want some chunks of coconut in there.

In a greased or lined with parchment paper casserole dish (7×9 inches) or a square dish, pour the crust and flatten with your hands to make the crust compact.

Bake crust until evenly browned, about 20 minutes.

Step 2

In the meantime, make a quick blueberry compote by adding the blueberries and lemon juice with maple syrup in a small saucepan on medium heat, let it cook for about 10 minutes or until the blueberries are soft.

Take the crust out of the oven and put the blueberry compote on the top, add the chocolate.

Continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until the topping is gooey and soft.

Step 3

Set aside and let cool, ideally in the fridge for at least one hour before cutting into bars.

Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight glass container for up to 1 week or freeze leftovers for one month.

Have Leftovers? Here’s What To Do With Them:

As always, store in an airtight glass container that we recommend from the NS Shop for up to 5 days. Enjoy for a sweet dessert to share with friends and family.

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home!

Can’t wait to see how you make these and share your meal with me! Tag us on Instagram @nutritionstripped #nutritionstripped

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