You already know I love oats and oatmeal so making oat-based bars is also right up my alley. These are the Blackberry Sage Oat Bars from the Brave New Meal cookbook.
Right off the bat, I could see this recipe is similar to the blueberry thyme preserves from a few recipes back, where it has fruit paired with an herb. This gives a nice sweet and savoury aspect to the dish. I don’t really cook with sage that much but I did have dried sage in my pantry so I used that instead of the fresh. I used 1 tsp dried instead of 1 tbsp fresh.
Aside from blackberries and sage, the filling also has some lemon juice, a little sugar and vanilla extract. So it was a pretty simple mix and you don’t have to cook that first – you mix it together and then it sits while you make the oat mixture.
The oat component has peanut butter, coconut oil, brown sugar, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt. This was pretty quick to make using a food processor to break down the oats a little bit. And just from opening the food processor, you get hit with the smell of the peanut butter and vanilla, so good.
So 2/3 of the oat mix gets pressed into the pan, then comes the blackberry mixture, and lastly is the rest of the oats just crumbled on top. It baked up really nicely and got golden brown. It took quite a bit of resistance to not cut into this right away because it just smelled so good when it came out of the oven. When I finally did cut it open though, it was quite crumbly which made serving a little messy. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted amazing, but just messy. Once I put it in the fridge though, like overnight, it held together much better.
The peanut butter oat mixture was delicious of course and it went really nicely with the blackberry sage filling. The flavour of the sage was not overpowering, it just added a little je ne sais quoi. I do think there could have been a higher proportion of fruit to oats though, I just wish there was more here. Overall, these bars were delicious so soft and chewy and well flavoured.