During the making of this recipe i realized that i improved in my photography skills (wasn’t difficult considering my starting level!) and i texted michelle about it (who is the pro between us in photography guys!). And then i thought, well i’ll share that thought with our readers too. So here you go, whether you wanna hear my thoughts or not 🙂 It’s so lovely to have a space where you can deposit your ideas and own creations and recipes, but on top of that, its so wonderful that simultaneously its an opportunity to learn something new, like photography! Who knew a few weeks after the birth of this blog, i’d be food styling, creating backgrounds, learning about exposure, focus and framing?! Einstein did say “When you stop learning, you start dying”; ok thats a bit intense but, you get the point. Opportunities to learn and explore new things, recipes, hobbies, are all around us – all it takes is to seize them and try something new; to break out of routine which we’ve unconsciously developed and say “hey, today im gonna do something i’ve never done before” or “i want to learn food photography” or “i’m gonna try make a meal without animal products”. So my message to you is this: If something even slightly teases your interest, then go for it, because you really don’t know what might come out of it, or what skill you might develop with it – hey you might even enjoy it 😉
Ok so now that i’ve bored you, lets get down to food business. I’ve included my favourite oat square recipes in this month’s theme of back to work / school, because they’re so simple to make: they’re made with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard, are made in one bowl (i.e. very little washing up, yey) and they’re actually very cheap in terms of cost – but they’re definitly not cheap in flavour! Sticky sweet blueberry jam sandwiched between crispy and smooth oat layers. The whole-meal flour, flax and sesame seeds, berries and oats provide antioxidants, omegas and fibre and are great for feeling fuller for longer (i,e. low GI)! They’re so easy to pack in silver foil or a tupperware to take with you to work, either for breakfast or as a snack bar in between meals.
You can use any berry jam in this recipe, but anyone who knows me, knows my love affair with blueberries and therefore blueberries needed to be THE ONE (shout out to my dear friend – yes Lenia, the Bluebs have made their debut! Now, wait for champs to make one somehow..!). I’ve made this recipe with forest berry jam and strawberry jam and both work fine. What i would suggest though, is any berry jam filling you do use, have some fresh fruit to accompany it and match the flavours. I.e. if you’re using strawberry jam, have a few strawberries on hand on the side.
Serving suggestion for breakfast: Two squares in a bowl, topped with cold coconut/almond milk and blueberries. (The bottom of the squares soak up the milk and get all soggy, while the top stays crispy, and oh well, here i go with my love of different textures again..!)
Serving suggestion for snacks: Grab two squares with you and go!
Ingredients (makes 12 medium squares)
- 100gr wholemeal flour (or All-Purpose Flour) / 100γρ αλευρι ολικής αλέσεως (ή κάθε χρήσης)
- 120gr Instant Oats / 120γρ βρώμη
- 85gr brown sugar / 85γρ καστανή ζάχαρη
- 1/2tsp salt / 1/2κ.γ. αλάτι
- 3/4tsp baking powder / 3/4 μπέικιν powder
- 1/2tsp baking soda / 1/2κ.γ μαγειρική σόδα
- 1/2tsp cinnamon / 1/2κ.γ. κανέλα
- 1/3tsp nutmeg / 1/3κ.γ. μοσχοκάρυδο
- 1tbsp flax seeds, ground / 1κ.σ. λινόσπορο, αλεσμενο
- 1tbsp sesame seeds (optional) / 1κ.γ. σπόροι σουσάμις (προαιρετικό)
- 65gr / 1/3cup melted coconut oil (or melted dairy-free butter) / 65γρ λάδι καρύδας λιωμένο (ή λιωμένο νηστίσιμο βούτυρο)
- 2tbsp plant-based milk / 2κ.σ. φυτικό γάλα (π.χ. αμυγδάλου)
- 1tsp vanilla essence / 1κ.γ. βανίλια
- 1tbsp apple sauce (or a flax egg) / 1κ.γ. σως μήλου ή μαρμελάδα (ή ένα αυγό από λινοσπορο)
- 7-11tbsp blueberry jam (or any berry jam) / 7-11κ.σ. μαρμελάδα μύρτιλου
- To serve: Frozen blueberries which have thawed out (optional) / Για το πιάτο: Μύρτιλα θαλάμου που έχουν ξεπαγώσει
Directions (20mins prep, 20mins in oven)
- Heat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius. Brush a medium sized orthogonal/square baking pyrex lightly with coconut oil (so that your squares don’t stick)
- Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix (flour, oats, spices, sugar, baking soda and powder, salt, flax and sesame seeds)
- In a pan, on a low/medium heat, heat up the milk, vanilla essence and oil (do not let milk boil – just warm)
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, add your flax egg or apple sauce and mix together. I use my hands to squeeze and mix together – it shouldn’t be messy or sticky, but should resemble making pastry)
- Spread half of your oat mixture at the bottom of the pan and press it down with your hands (or the back of a spoon) so that its an even layer. Top this with an even layer of blueberry jam (see photo above!)
- Top your jam layer with your remaining oat mixture and press lightly into the jam. Dont worry if the jam bursts through the oat mixture when you do this – that’s kinda the beauty of these squares.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top layer is golden and crisp
- Cut into squares, only once it has cooled completely
- Eat on their own as snacks, or in a bowl with cold plant-based milk and some fresh berries on top!