Blueberry Streusel Bars

I didn’t bake (or should I say make) anything yesterday, which is very unusual for me.  My little Aussie Shepherd has kept me preoccupied.  Based on my amateur diagnosing skills (aka Google), she just has allergies, but I still worry.  Her nose and eyes are irritated, and she has been itching like crazy.  She’s typically a little ball of energy, but lately she’s been sleeping when she usually would be trying to entice me to play rope.

I won’t bore you with my puppy’s health, but I’ve realized a few things from all of this.  It is so easy it is to overlook the small signs animals display when they are uncomfortable.  In retrospect, her energy had been low and she had been itchy for a few days before I even thought twice about it.  I’m much quicker to take her to the vet or give her medication than I am for myself.  I can gauge my own discomfort and decide how much I want to endure, but she can’t tell me what she is feeling or how much is too much.  I feel it is only fair to give her as much relief as possible. For those creatures who can’t communicate that something is wrong in words, we have to be ten times more receptive to pick up on the small clues.

Of course I missed my time in the kitchen, but it means that I have lots of pent up creative juices and tons of fruit-filled ideas today.

I have an abundance of blueberries in my fridge, because they are on sale this week.  I have dried blueberries in my cabinet, because they are such tasty little morsels.  And I love streusel because its streusel!

Cheap blueberries + dried blueberries + love of streusel = blueberry streusel bars!

Blueberry Streusel Bars

Makes 8

Base

3/4 cup dried blueberries

1 cup almond meal

Blueberry Jam

1 cup blueberries

1 tsp coconut nectar (or liquid sweetener of choice)

3 TBSP chia seeds

Streusel

1/4 cup almond meal

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tsp coconut nectar (or liquid sweetener of choice)

Optional: 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  1. Combine the dried blueberries and almond meal for the base in a food processor, and process until it forms a dough ball.  Press into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap for easy removal.  Place in the refrigerator.
  2. Process the fresh blueberries and sweetener for the jam in a food processor.  Pour into a bowl, and stir in the chia seeds.  Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes so the chia seeds can thicken the jam.  Pour on top of the base, and place it back in the refrigerator.
  3. Combine all the streusel ingredients in a bowl, and mix with your hands until it clumps and is quite sticky.  Add water slowly if it is too dry and not clumping.  Sprinkle on top of the jam layer.
  4. Cut into squares and serve.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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