Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blueberry Breakfast Bars from Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon

Like most backyard chicken keepers, I eat fresh eggs nearly every morning for breakfast. They are economical, nutritious, easy to prepare, versatile....and of course we always have a ready supply! To the egg's credit, it can be prepared in like a gazillion different ways, as evidenced by the folds in a traditional pastry chef's hat (it has a name but I'm too lazy to Google it right now!), but sometimes I feel like something different for breakfast  

So when Ten Speed Press contacted me and asked if I would like to review a copy of Megan Gordon's new cookbook called Whole-Grain Mornings, I eagerly agreed.  I love oats and other whole grains - and healthy breakfasts are such an important start to our family's day.

I've had the opportunity to try a few recipes from the cookbook and just love it. In true Ten Speed Press tradition, the photography is just beautiful and everything looks positively mouthwatering. While there are some egg recipes included of course, I mean you just can't write a breakfast cookbook without including eggs, there are recipes for granola (which is what Ms. Gordon is primarily known for) and other cereals, as well as numerous recipes for muffins, tarts, pancakes and other breakfast favorites. 

I am enjoying this cookbook so much and have chosen to share one of my favorite recipes with you. I hope you will try these blueberry breakfast bars. I'm sure you'll agree that they are both easy to make and quite delicious.

Blueberry Breakfast Bars

These are the ultimate all-purpose breakfast bars. They blend right in with a weekend brunch spread but are also the perfect help-get-me-through-morning-traffic snack. They boast a toasty flavor from the almonds and sesame seeds and a warm fragrance from the marriage of brown sugar and oats. While I love using fresh berries in the summer, in the dead of winter I rely on frozen blueberries I’ve stored from previous farmers’ market hauls. makes 12 to 16 bars, depending on size.

Morning Notes: If you can’t find rye flakes, feel free to use more rolled oats instead. 

3 cups / 720 ml fresh blueberries or 1 (12-ounce / 350 g) package frozen blueberries, unthawed 
1⁄4 cup / 45 g natural cane sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon water 

1⁄2 cup / 50 g rolled oats
1 cup / 100 g rye flakes
3⁄4 cup / 60 g sliced raw almonds
1⁄4 cup / 30 g raw sesame seeds
1 cup / 120 g whole wheat flour
1⁄2 cup / 75 g packed light brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
8 tablespoons / 115 g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes, plus more for greasing the pan
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square pan. 

To prepare the filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Continue stirring until berries just begin to break down and the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. 

To prepare the crust: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse together the rolled oats, rye flakes, almonds, and sesame seeds just until they form a chunky, mealy texture, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and pulse a time or two to combine. Add the egg and butter. Add ice water slowly and pulse until mixture just begins to clump together. 

To assemble and bake the bars: Press approximately half of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Pour the berry filling onto the crust and spread evenly. Scatter the remaining crust mixture across the top as you would for a fruit crisp or crumble—messy and haphazard, but evenly dispersed. Don’t worry about pressing down; it will bake into the bars beautifully. 

Bake until the top crumble is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Slice into bars. If wrapped and kept at room temperature, the bars will keep for 3 days. 

Make It Your Own: Try these with your favorite seasonal berries. Blackberries or huckleberries would be lovely, as would cherries.

Megan, a food writer and recipe developer, is the owner of Marge Granola in Seattle. She also blogs over at A Sweet Spoonful where she shares a dazzling array of healthy, whole-grain recipes, so you'll want to head over and check out her blog, as well as her cookbook.

Purchase a copy of Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gorden HERE.

Excerpt of Blueberry Breakfast Bars (recipe pps 95 & 97; image p 96)
Reprinted with permission from Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon 
(Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo Credit: Clare Barboza.

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  1. These are gorgeous! How well do they hold together for storage or eating on-the-go?

  2. I think my kids would love these! I'm also wondering how portable they are... thanks for sharing.

  3. They actually hold up well. They're pretty sturdy and pack nicely in a Tupperware between layers of wax paper.

  4. Tried the blueberry filling but not crazy about the crust/topping. Too seedy with the sesame seeds.


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