Loaded with blueberries, these Blueberry Crumb Bars are the perfect summer dessert!
Do you guys have gardens? Having space for a backyard garden was pretty high on our wish list when we bought our house 5 years ago this month. (5 years ago? Wow…time really does fly…) That first summer we planted a tiny little garden by the back porch just because we wanted to see something growing in the yard. But by the next summer? I’d dug out a whole corner of sod from the yard and replaced it with raised beds.
For that first summer, we planted a little bit of everything in that garden. Part of it was over-excitement, and part of it was trying to figure out what would grow well here in New York. In hindsight, we were spoiled in the south. We could virtually toss some seeds on the ground and overnight you’d have an entire tree. (I might have exaggerated that a bit.) But we also had to wake up with the birds on the weekends in the south to do our yardwork. By 10am, it was way too hot to be outside working. So gardening in New York was a new adventure for us.
Our excitement that year led to an overgrown garden. Seriously. The tomatoes were like a jungle, and I had to use my Inspector Gadget arms to weave my way into the midst of that jungle to pull out the ripe tomatoes. We learned our lesson, and now we space out our plants a bit more. But back to the garden. What are your favorite things to grow?
For us, we grow bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos, peas and sometimes banana peppers. Those are the garden staples. Aside from those, we kinda rotate through other plants. Last year, we tried our hand at lettuce again, and it grew quite well. (For the record, garden lettuce tastes WAY better than store-bought lettuce. Plus, it’s kinda fun to just go out and pick a few leaves each evening for a side salad with dinner. I just did that last night, in fact.)
Aside from those yearly crops, we also planted fruit trees/bushes all over the yard. We planted a couple of apple trees along with a cherry tree and a nectarine tree. We planted an arctic variety of kiwi that goes quite well here in upstate New York. Seriously, the kiwi has vined down the entire length of our yard, and each summer the vines shooting up from the fence remind me of some sort of sea creature. We’ve yet to get any actual kiwi, but we’ve heard it can take 5 years for the arctic variety to produce fruit. So stay tuned…this could finally be the year!
And of course we also planted berries. Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. The raspberries have done fantastically well, but the blueberries and blackberries struggle a bit. I suspect it might have something to do with the pH in our soil, but I haven’t spent the time yet to figure that one out. We get a few berries off of those bushes each year, but not as many as I would like.
So where does all of this garden talk lead? Well to these Blueberry Crumb Bars, of course! As our blueberry bushes are a bit stubborn, I usually end up picking up blueberries at the store. We love fruit desserts in the summer, and these crumb bars are a go-to around here. I adapted this recipe from one that my mother used to make when I was a kid. And guess what? This recipe couldn’t be any easier if it tried! The crumb topping is the same mixture as the crust. And the middle portion is mostly just berries. These Blueberry Crumb Bars are easy + delicious, and the recipe makes a huge tray. We packaged most of this batch up and sent it as a thank you to Robbie’s teachers at daycare.
When it comes to ingredients, I can be kinda picky. Especially when the recipes are super simple. Bob’s Red Mill has been my go-to flour for years, and I used their All-Purpose Flour to make these Blueberry Crumb Bars. (I also used Bob’s old-fashioned rolled oats, too.) Bob’s All-Purpose Flour is unbleached and unbromated. That basically means it has less additives and chemicals. You guys know that I bake a lot. So it should come as no surprise that I keep a large glass jar of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour on our kitchen counter. (I also keep a jar of bread flour on the counter, too.) Most of our appliances (including my mixer) go in the cabinets…but the flour? That stays out for easy access!
If you’re looking for a go-to summer dessert, then put these Blueberry Crumb Bars on the list! And for the record, the same base can be used for other fruits, too. Growing up, my Mom rotated between blueberry, blackberry and raspberry. Now that we live up here in apple country, I should see if this recipe works for apples, too!
And now I have rambled way too long about gardens and summer desserts…
Do you plant a garden each year? What are your go-to crops?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
The opinions and recipe are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!