Coconut Almond Blueberry Crumb Bars — An Easy, Gluten-Free Dessert

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Coconut Almond Blueberry Crumb Bars via eHow.com

Delightful blueberries get the royal treatment their hue deserves: on a bed of coconut sugar cookie, topped with a crisp crumb layer dotted almonds. These bars can be scooped like a crisp when hot, and served as crumb bars when cool.

Last week we picked the last of the strawberries. They were tiny and bursting with flavor, intensely red and prone to staining lips and fingers as we munched in the car on the ride home. We looked like we’d been tie-dyeing t-shirts … vibrant shades of red with the stains on our hands and – for some of us – down the front of our shirts.

We sang loudly the whole way home, full of July jubilation.

My freezer full, I turned to making pies to tuck on top of the bags of berries. Wiping my floured hands on a tea towel, I checked an email ping on my phone and saw that the organic blueberry farm would be open for picking starting the next week. As we said goodbye to one berry season, we were welcoming in another of stained fingers and sunshine.

Now, if only my raspberries in the backyard would hurry up and ripen.

Coconut Almond Blueberry Crumb Bars via eHow.com

A few months ago my mother-in-law had several tests done at the doctor in an attempt to figure out what was going on. We discovered she has celiac disease. For a typical Midwestern cook with homemade bread-baking sensibilities, the news was rather devastating, challenging every meal she eats.

I’ve been looking and experimenting with recipes that are gluten-free and dairy-free, but still fast and simple, with limited extra ingredients to keep them easy for her to relearn how to bake. This is one such recipe that took a few iterations before it came out right. Luckily it was worth the wait: the coconut and almonds complement the fresh bursts of super-sweet blueberries.

Coconut Almond Blueberry Crumb Bars via eHow.com

Coconut Almond Blueberry Crumb Bars
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream together the coconut oil and sugar, and then stir in the vanilla and coconut milk. In a separate bowl, mix together the rice flour, coconut flour, arrowroot/cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together the coconut oil and milk mixture with the flour mix until crumbly
  2. Separate the coconut flour mix into two equal amounts in separate bowls. Take the contents of one bowl and press them into the bottom of two 8-inch pans or one 9-by-13-inch pan. To the second bowl, stir in the sliced almonds and set aside.
  3. Stir the blueberries and sugar, mashing the berries slightly. Pour the blueberries evenly over the first layer of crust.
  4. With the remaining crumb mixture, cover the blueberries, sprinkling evenly over the surface.
  5. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the blueberries are bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. If you allow the double-crust crisp to cool completely, the crisp becomes much more bar-like.

Makes two 8-inch pans or one 9-by-13-inch pan.

Coconut Almond Blueberry Crumb Bars via eHow.com

Photo credit: Shaina Olmanson

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