This time two weeks ago I was up in the air on my way to meet my family in Washington DC for my brothers Masters Graduation.
I never imagined that a chef would be the commencement speaker at my brothers graduation from The George Washington University held on The National Mall in Washington DC. A politician, a first lady, a famous actor maybe, but Chef José Andrés? Excited but confused, I headed to the commencement ceremony to see what Chef Andrés had to say.
Well, let’s just say I wasn’t the only one slightly confused, he started out his speech by saying, my daughter asked me, “they asked you to speak or to cook lunch?” He had the best sense of humor about the whole thing, and then came his speech.
WOW! What an amazing person, speaker, humanitarian. In a world of “let me check my Instagram, text messages, Facebook, etc.” I did not pick up my phone once during his speech. He was so inspiring, not only to me as a fellow foodie entrepreneur, but in his humbleness, selflessness, hard work and dedication.
In addition to giving the commencement speech, Chef Andrés was also awarded an honorary doctorate of public service. I looked over at my Mom and said, “see, there’s still hope for me to become a doctor after all!” Haha.
His entire speech is available to watch on Eater and I highly recommended taking a half hour out of your day to check it out. I have no doubt that it will leave you feeling happy, inspired and humbled.
While I knew from the moment he began to speak that I wanted to share this story with my fellow foodies on Little Leopard Book, it does somewhat tie into this recipe as well.
As some of you know, the reason I blog about gluten free cooking is because of my brother. Three years ago he was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and began his gluten free journey.
As I began to blog about recipes, I noticed myself mentioning “I made this recipe gluten free for my brother by simply swapping this for that.”
That was when I began adding Gluten Free and Vegetarian Options to the bottom of every recipe on LLB. I realized that by cooking and baking for my brother, I began to find simple ways to turn almost every traditional dish into a gluten free dish.
As LLB grew, I began to see the excitement behind my gluten free recipes, so I began to post more. Since I myself am not gluten intolerant, I love talking to my brother about the things he misses most living a gluten free lifestyle so that I can come home and re-create them for him.
On this trip to Washington DC he said that one of the things he missed most was Starbucks Blueberry Oat Bars, so of course I was on a mission to “gluten free re-create” the popular coffee chains breakfast bars.
I began with a base that combines my favorite gluten free flour, Premium Gold, with oats, brown sugar and butter.
I topped the oat crust with a healthy helping of fresh blueberries, because they really are the star of the show here!
And finished off the bars with a little brown sugar crumble.
The result was amazing!
I’m actually embarrassed to admit how many I ate in a matter of 20 minutes!
Thank you to my brother for requesting this gluten free transformation recipe! His birthday is in three days and if he wasn’t 3,000 miles away I would make them for him myself, but the best I can do right now is post the recipe as my birthday gift to him 🙂
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp Premium Gold Gluten Free Flour (divided)
- 1 + ⅓ cups brown sugar (divided)
- 2 cups oats
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¾ cup cup + 1 tbsp butter (divided)
- 3 cups blueberries
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Combine ¾ cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, oats, baking powder and sea salt together in a large bowl.
Add ¾ cup butter (cold & cubed) and mix with your hands to form a crumbly mixture.
Press the mixture into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.
Spread the blueberries over the top.
Combine the remaining 2 tbsp flour, ⅓ cup brown sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the remaining 1 tbsp butter, mix into a course crumble and sprinkle over the blueberries.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing into bars… or you can be like me and totally break this rule, cut into them immediately (because you just can’t wait!) and have the first couple of bars crumble apart. Crumbly or not, they’re just as delicious 🙂
All of those fresh, juicy blueberries really are the key to this recipe and luckily for us, it’s officially blueberry season! Yes!!!!
My favorite time of the year, when blueberries are their best and they go from being $8 a pint to $3 a pint, yay!
Pair the bars with a cup of french pressed coffee for a delightful start to your day, eat them as dessert, eat them as a mid-day snack. It really doesn’t matter when you eat them, your tastebuds are going to thank you!
Yes, you’re welcome tastebuds! Yes, I will continue to eat three more, yes, you’re welcome tastebuds… again 😉
Now here’s your plan for the day, go whip up these bars, pop them in the oven, flip over to Jose Andrés commencement speech, watch and be inspired, brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee, take the bars out of the oven and dig in!
Pretty much sounds like the best plan ever to me 🙂
♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.
♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.