Happy Endings

Fresh blueberries are a special treat this time of the year. They are plentiful, plump and inexpensive and can be found stacked in roadside stands, farmers' markets and grocery stores alike. When scoping out the perfect berries, look for firm, plump berries that have a deep indigo color to them. Store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.

While they are perfectly wonderful tossed in cereal, on yogurt and any other number of fresh applications, I like trying to use them in baked goods where a little goes a long way. A perfect example is this month's recipe. A simple fruity oatmeal bar recipe gets a splash of color and flavor from fresh berries sprinkled over a thick, fruity filling and baked with a crumbly crust. The result is a wonderfully textured bar that's an absolutely perfect mid-morning snack with coffee or tea. You might even consider putting out a plate with brunch.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Blueberry-Orange Oatmeal Bars

  • 3 c. flour
  • 3 c. oatmeal
  • 2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 20 oz. orange marmalade
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and baking soda. Stir to combine. Add the canola oil and mix until coarse crumbs form. Reserve 2 cups of the crumbs for the topping and press the remainder into the bottom of a jellyroll pan.

Spread the marmalade evenly over the crust and add the fresh blueberries over the marmalade. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the top of the fruit and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden. Cool the bars completely and cut into bars.

  • Yields: 40 servings
  • Preparation Time: 50 minutes

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