Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Bar, sitting on a plate looking beautiful!
These bars have been on my wish list for a long time now - breakfast bars, sweetened only lightly with honey, that are autoimmune paleo friendly - and these are it. Let's face it, sugars - even the healthy kind - shouldn't be consumed in mass quantities everyday! And then there's the blueberry and lemon flavor combination. They just go perfectly together!
These bars feature a number of gut-healthy ingredients. Some you may be familiar with; others may be new to you. Don't be afraid to try some of them if you haven't before - you'll be more than pleasantly surprised, promise!
Blueberries: Maybe everyone knows this by now, but blueberries are still one of the foundational sources of antioxidants. And they do more than offer Vitamin K (a hard-to-source vitamin), C, fiber and antioxidants. They've been shown to lower heart-attack risk and reduce blood pressure (a small study but results were clinically significant nonetheless). And they just taste plain good.
Coconut Flour: Higher in protein, fiber and fat than other flours, coconut flour is an excellent choice, particularly for us gluten-free folks. Learn more about the benefits of coconut flour here.
Coconut Oil: Know about the benefits and importance of saturated fat? Yes, it turns out what "they" said was bad for us is, in fact, good. The MCT's, or medium chain triglycerides, are more easily-digested by the body and go directly to the liver, where they can be immediately utilized instead of being stored as fat. Also contained in coconut oil is lauric acid, a fat which the body converts into monolaurin which helps the body fight illnesses such as HIV and measles. Dr. Mercola, a prominent leader in the holistic healthcare movement, calls lauric acid a "miracle" ingredient. You can read more about the benefits of coconut oil here and here.
Arrowroot powder: This powder often comes from both the rootstock of several plants, including the arrowroot plant and yuca plant. And, unlike cornstarch, the extraction process doesn't involve intense heat or chemicals. Also unlike cornstarch, arrowroot can actually ease digestive troubles, especially diarrhea. You can use it to thicken sauces, and also for baking.
Gelatin: Made from the bones, organs and tissues of animals, the amino acids contained in gelatin help reduce inflammation, improve liver function and strengthen bones. Read more at the Weston A. Price Foundation here (It's important to note that your body can only utilize the amino acids present in gelatin when you have sufficient amounts of fat-soluble A and D in your diet [found in foods like egg yolks, butter, cod liver oil]. Although you can get gelatin by making your own broth, it's also readily available online. I do my best to get mine from cows that have been fed their traditional diet of grass instead of grain. Vital Proteins gelatin has been independently verified and they are a company I trust.
This was my first attempt at making these bars and I am quite pleased with the way they turned out! When done, they have a dense, moist texture. In keeping with the breakfast bar theme, look for upcoming savory breakfast bars, pumpkin bars, and more!
These bars are perfect for anyone following the autoimmune paleo or AIP diet. It's very allergy-friendly, free from the top eight allergens. And they are perfect for a quick and healthy breakfast bar for on-the-go! I love keeping some handy for car rides or post-school snack.
1 gelatin egg: 1 TBSP gelatin, 1/3 cup water (directions below)
Preheat oven to 350. I used an 8 x 8 inch pan here (you could use a slightly larger or smaller one - bars will just be a bit thicker or thinner than mine). Line pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Put frozen berries, lemon juice, vanilla and sea salt into saucepan. Bring to boil and cook for about 7 minutes, until mixture is reduced and all gooey / thick. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, mix coconut flour, arrowroot flour and baking soda. Add melted coconut oil and melted honey, and mix until fully incorporated.
Add berry compote mixture and lemon zest. Mix until fully combined.
Make gelatin egg: pour water into small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over. Allow to "bloom", approximately 3 minutes.
Turn stove on low and allow gelatin to melt into water, another 3 minutes or so. Remove from heat and, using a whisk, froth vigorously until mixture is largely foam. Pour directly into mixing bowl and combine.
Pour mixture into pan, pressing into place with back of a spoon or your fingers.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing. Keeps for several days in the fridge or week or more frozen.