I saw a meme today that said ‘Congratulations, you’ve made it to April. Welcome to level 4 of Jumanji!’ And isn’t that just life right now? The funny memes are a necessity to stay grounded, lighthearted and laugh a little; I for one am very appreciative of the people creating and sharing these! And then I was thinking, what can I put out there that also helps in just a small way and that’s why this post titled ‘Blueberry Lemon Crumble Bars’ is also going to be full of ideas on how to
pass enjoy your time during the stay at home order your community may be following at the moment. But let’s not completely skip over these crumble bars, because making them is definitely included in the list 🙂
A few important call-outs when it comes to this breakfast, snack or dessert (you decide)! If you have Jeni’s ice cream in your freezer, the brambleberry crisp flavor, it goes so perfectly with these crumble bars. If you’ve never had any of Jeni’s ice cream, please click this link and treat yourself. I’ll wait… Did you go with the classics? Her honey vanilla bean ice cream is my absolute favorite vanilla ice cream and the darkest chocolate just makes me feel less guilty about taking an extra scoop. hello. antioxidants 🙂 Or maybe you ventured out a bit…I also love the wildberry lavender and the roasted sweet corn and black raspberry, the latter of which they only offer seasonally….sometimes! We live in an unfair world, friends!
Second call-out is about the crumble crust and topping. This is actually the same recipe used in the Strawberry Rhubarb crumble bars I shared last spring! It’s just as delicious here, but the blueberry filling is more saucy/runny and the crumble doesn’t hold up as well in the fridge (gets a bit soggy) making the leftovers deliciously messy. Good news though. If you’re making these for a dinner party or small get together with friends or family, you likely won’t have leftovers 🙂
So about that fussy crumble. Start by adding the oats, pecans or walnuts, almond flour, brown sugar, ground flaxseed, cinnamon and salt to a food processor to blend all together. I used almond flour from Trader Joes again this time, but have also used ‘Bob’s Red Mill’ brand and both worked well!
Then add the coconut oil and water and blend once more until everything is mixed and sticks together well. Press 2/3 of the crumble into an 8×8 baking dish to create the crust layer. As always, I lined my baking dish with parchment paper, because it makes clean up so darn easy! Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. (I did 20 in my oven, others may vary)
Meanwhile, you can make the filling on the stove. You’ll mix fresh blueberries with brown sugar, fresh squeezed lemon juice and corn starch over low to medium heat. Just keep stirring occasionally until it looks like the photo on the right and then remove from heat and let it cool while the crust is baking and also cooling for a few minutes.
Lastly, you’ll pour the blueberry filling over the crust (I didn’t use all of it and did try to leave some of the liquid in the pan so it wasn’t too much for the bars. Pro tip – use the leftover in place of syrup over pancakes or waffles!) and then sprinkle the remaining crumble over the blueberry filling. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the topping is crisp and browned. Remove from oven and let cool almost completely before cutting and enjoying! I am really wishing I had enough blueberries to make this right now after writing about it and staring at the photos!! But trips to the store are limited these days as we’re trying to stay home as much as possible. And on that note, let me share a few ideas for how to enjoy the time at home. I’ve found it can be quite productive and it’s really not that bad of a situation at all depending how you look at it.
- Workout! – This is seriously the perfect time to finally get a routine going in the exercise department and an even better time to release all the endorphins! Peloton has a 90 day free trial of their app going on right now and it’s amazing! I’m loving the strength workouts. The instructors are really motivating as is the tracking and setup of your profile and they are super positive! Highly recommend! And if you keep the app after the trial, it’s just $12.99/month! I’ve also heard several people talk about how much they are enjoying Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube!
- Bike Riding – Do you have an old bike in your basement or garage collecting dust and a nice bike path nearby? Bike paths seem to be everywhere these days and if a pandemic had to happen at some point during the year at least it’s during the springtime when the weather is turning nice and nature is coming back to life and blooming! Bike rides can truly be relaxing, no need to make it an intense workout.
- Gardening – one of our local garden centers is taking online orders that you can pick up curbside or have delivered. Perfect time to work on some flower beds and bonus for doing this on a sunny day and getting some Vitamin D!
- Favorite Series on HBO: Barry (so clever and funny), Big Little Lies (drama at its finest), Righteous Gemstones (wild, but entertaining haha), Sharp Objects (warning, a little disturbing) and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (the news delivered in a very entertaining manner)
- Favorite TV Series on Hulu: Schitt’s Creek, This is Us, The Good Place and Parenthood. Then there’s the classics…Seinfeld and The Office are my favorites that I could watch over and over. And if you’re unfortunately into reality TV like me check out Total Bellas, Married at First Sight and Chrisley Knows Best!
- Favorite Movies/Documentaries: I recently watched the Taylor Swift documentary on Netflix and it was actually really enjoyable! I’ve also heard good things about the Hillary and Bill Gates documentaries, but haven’t watched either yet. For movies… Yesterday (hi Beatles fans!), basically any movie with Melissa McCarthy, Limitless, The Harry Potter series, Inside Out (the best animated family movie!), Stuber and while we’re at it The Big Sick (same actor), Hall Pass, Game Night and so many more!
All Other Recommendations
- Cooking & Baking – How could I not suggest this? 🙂 some of my favorite recipes on my blog are potato soup, broccoli cheddar soup, superfoods soup, egg salad, banana bread, Dad’s chocolate chip cookies, the homemade honey mustard dressing and paired salad, taco stuffed peppers and creamy pasta salad!
- Reading – I have majorly slacked in this category lately but such a great way to start or end the day with a cup of coffee or hot tea! Books I’ve loved…Yes, Please by Amy Poehler, The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis, A Magnolia Story, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter series, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and Rhett and Link’s Book of Mythicality (this one is great for kids and just a fun read overall!)
- Board Games – When Hailey was younger especially, we did game nights pretty often but had a few favorites we always went back to…Monopoly Empire (so much quicker than traditional Monopoly), Clue and Life. Classics! If you’re looking for something to play solo on your phone that’s also good for your brain I really like the Wordscapes and Lumosity apps!
- The things stuck on your to do list – cleaning out and organizing the basement, garage, that one closet or the junk drawer in your kitchen. Starting a blog! Putting your idea for a side business into motion. DIY projects. Learning how to paint, play piano…anything you can watch a video for on youtube really. Digitizing photo prints, making an album online.
- Your Turn – What else? What are you doing with your extra time at home?
And in all this, for sure take advantage of the technology we have and make video calls to friends and family to stay connected, see everyone’s face and hear their voices! It really makes a difference! Oh! and if you’re on Instagram follow two accounts in particular…@tankgoodnews and @goodnews_movement. There is so much good going on in the world right now and it’s refreshing to read about that every day! I like to watch our governor’s daily press conferences, but I try not to over consume news outside of that which I also find helpful!
If you stuck with me until now, thank you!! haha Let me reward you with the full recipe for these bars and if you only make the filling and just eat it with a spoon I wouldn’t judge you at all! 😉
Stay safe & healthy, friends!!
Blueberry Lemon Crumble Bars
- 2/3 cup whole rolled oats & additional for garnish
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp firm coconut oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp filtered water
- 1 pound fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/8 - 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice I use 1/4 cup since I like the tartness
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
Make the crumble by mixing the oats, walnuts or pecans, almond flour, brown sugar, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Once combined, add the coconut oil and pulse again. Then add the water and pulse one more time until everything is mixed well.
Press 2/3 of the crumble into the baking dish to create the crust layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, mix up your filling. Add the blueberries, brown sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch to a sauce pan over low to medium heat and stir occasionally until berries burst and the ingredients turn into a sauce type filling. Remove from heat and allow to thicken slightly.
Pour the blueberry filling over the slightly cooled crust and sprinkle with remaining crumble or as much of the crumble as your prefer. Garnish with a few more oats and return to the oven to bake another 20 minutes, until the crumble topping is crisp.
Let cool completely before slicing into bars and serve immediately or store cooled bars in a tupperware container in the fridge. Enjoy with ice cream or on their own!