~ These addictively delicious no-bake oatmeal bars feature crunchy almonds, sweet-tart blueberries and creamy white chocolate. All wrapped up in a nutrient-rich little package that’s super quick and easy to make! They’re satisfyingly decadent enough for dessert, yet nutritious enough for a snack! ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Freezable • Make Ahead • Vegetarian • Gluten Free •
Don’t blink, or this recipe will disappear before your startled little eyes. (Not off your computer screen, of course … but right off the pretty platter where you lovingly piled these yummy oatmeal bars.)
Happens in my house all the time.
Oh – you think it’s all my fault, don’t you? That I’m gobbling these up, hand-over-fist, before my kids even know I made them.
Harummph … you’re kinda right.
If you hang around THK much, then you know I’m a leeeeeetle bit obsessed with almonds and coconut. You might be remembering our Almond Joy Oatmeal or our Almond Joy Snack Bites. (Honestly, I think Gretchen lives in fear of the day I create a recipe for Almond Joy Pork Chops or Slow Cooker Almond Joy Chicken Tacos.) So ok – point taken. I do have a “thing” for almonds and coconut.
Oh, right. And then there’s my “thing” for blueberries and white chocolate. (When it comes to food, I have a lot of “things” – guilty as charged!) Remember our too-good-to-be-true Blueberry-White Chocolate Muffins?
And now, I’ve outdone myself. These amazing oatmeal bars have the almonds … and the coconut … plus the blueberries … and the white chocolate! Brings a tear to my eye. That good.
So, I can see how you’d think I’m the only cookie monster in my house gobbling down these blueberry-almond bars.
But honestly – it’s not just me! My whole family loves these! When I set out a plateful, I have to be careful that I don’t lose a finger in the ensuing craziness as everyone grabs for more.
There’s only one tiny dilemma (besides the potential loss of a limb … but that seems so unlikely that it’s totally worth the risk). It’s really impossible to categorize these oatmeal bars.
Dessert? Or Snack???
As oatmeal bars, it seems automatic to call them a dessert. A cookie bar. They’re rich, sweet and satisfyingly decadent. Chewy and crunchy all at the same time. So, so good. Plus, there’s that naughty white chocolate, nudging them over the edge into the dessert category.
But then …
Well, you may have noticed that I used one of my favorite healthification tricks in creating these beauties. Just like with those Blueberry-White Chocolate Muffins, I surrounded the yummy bits of white chocolate with so many nutritious ingredients that you just can’t feel too guilty noshing on them! These oatmeal bars are loaded up with all the healthy goodies you’d want in a virtuous snack-time granola bar.
Yup – I tore a page right out of our Snack Bite playbook: heart-healthy nuts, whole grain oats, and omega-rich flax. Plus antioxidant-rich blueberries … no guilt there! (Psssssst, Snack Bite lovers! These bars are for you!)
So are these truly a dessert cookie bar, good enough to satisfy even a raging sweet tooth? Or are they more like crazy-good granola bars – a nutrient-loaded snack that’ll fuel you up and keep you going strong?
Lucky you! That’s an easy question … a test you simply cannot fail! (Because there’s not wrong answer here!) They’re both!
And no matter what you call these, or when you serve them, they’ll disappear in a flash!
Good thing they’re so darn easy. You’d better make a double batch!
- 1 cup dried wild blueberries (about 6 ounces) (see note)
- 3/4 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup blanched, unsalted, slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 3/4 cup salted almond butter (see note)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, oats, coconut, white chocolate, almonds, and flax. Stir well to combine thoroughly.
- Add almond butter and honey, mixing a little to partially combine.
- Drizzle almond extract evenly over top and continue mixing until very thoroughly combined.
- Press mixture into an ungreased 8"x8" baking pan. Immediately cut into squares (before refrigerating).
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving.
Wild blueberries: Dried wild blueberries are typically smaller than regular dried blueberries, which is better for this recipe, since too many large pieces of fruit and nuts can make the bars more crumbly. If you can't find wild, though, feel free to substitute regular dried blueberries, and if they seem too large, just give them a quick chop before adding them.
Almond butter: We tested this recipe with several brands and varieties of almond butter, and found that there's a surprisingly large difference in flavors, textures, and even ingredients among various brands. Depending on what brand is available in your store, we have a few suggestions to help you make appropriate adjustments. First, we found that, by far, our favorite purchased almond butter to use for this recipe was Trader Joe's salted almond butter (which, surprisingly does include a small amount of cashews in its formulation). Unsalted varieties that we tried were just never as good, even when we added additional salt to the recipe to make up for it. However, if all you can find is unsalted, try adding about ⅛ teaspoon sea salt in with the other dry ingredients. Taste the bars before pressing them into the pan to see if you'd like to add another pinch more. Also, note that there are some significant differences in the thickness and viscosity of different almond butters (refer to the photo in our post above). If yours is very, very thick, you may need to decrease the amount of flax or even the oats slightly, just so that your bars aren't too crumbly. Note that, if you choose to make your own homemade almond butter by whirring almonds in a food processor, then your almond butter will probably be on the very thick side. (We did this in our recipes for No-Bake Almond Joy Snack Bites and Tropical Snack Bites – you can refer to those posts for more details on making your own almond butter if you'd like to try that). Lastly, we strongly urge you to read the labels on the various brands of almond butter that are available to you. We were surprised and disappointed to see how many brands contained unwanted ingredients like hydrogenated oils or added sugars.
Make-ahead tips: These oatmeal bars will keep for several days in the refrigerator, so they're perfect to make ahead and have on hand for quick desserts or grab-n-go snacking. They also freeze beautifully, kept tightly wrapped in air-tight packaging.