It actually happened! I made the most delicious, homemade mini blueberry pop tarts that’re completely vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.They’re easy to make with only 7 ingredients. Plus, I mean aren’t they just the cutest thing ever? I couldn’t stop gushing at them after taking them out of the oven. So much so that I ALMOST didn’t want to eat them! But one yummy bite later and I wanted to devour them all.
You might be wondering what possessed me to try to attempt making pop tarts. Well, I was at home in Atlanta scouring the gluten-free aisle at the local health foods store, when I saw some gluten-free pop tarts. I’d loved pop tarts as a kid, seriously the blueberry and smore’s pop tarts were my jam. After looking through the ingredients of these so-called “healthier” gluten-free pop tarts, I was suprised to see at least 25 ingredients many of which I didn’t know what they were or couldn’t pronounce. Major warning sign that these were indeed actually not as healthy as they looked. Disappointed with my options and not wanting to spend another day missing out on pop tarts, I decided to make it happen.
Blueberry was not only one of my favorite pop tarts flavors, but also my favorite flavor jam as well. So, I decided I’d make a vegan & gluten-free pop tart stuffed with homemade blueberry jam and then sprinkle the jam on top in place of the usual overly-sugary frosting. As for the mini size, I found them to be a lot more manageable than bigger pop tarts and easy to take on-the-go as a snack or have as a little dessert.
I was totally prepared for it to be a recipe fail sort of situation. To be honest, I’d never made anything close to pop tarts before and worried they’d be too delicate or just fall apart. I wanted to simplify the process and ensure they were easy to make with only few ingredients, too. To my surprise, the whole process turned out much easier than I imagined. And the end result was a pile of glorious, naturally sweet blueberry pop tarts. Lesson learned: they don’t have to look perfect to taste amazing.
So, let’s talk pop tarts. To create a gluten-free pastry dough, I used mashed banana in place of oil along with gluten-free all-purpose baking flour, coconut sugar, vanilla, a dash of salt, and cold water. After a decent amount of mixing and kneading with my hands, I was happy to see a sturdy, semi-sticky pile of dough. I rolled it out no problem and cut out small rectangles for the pastry.
I decided I’d make my own jam, so I simmered blueberries with coconut sugar on the stove for 10 minutes. It was really that easy! Homemade jam is the way to go. It was a bit more liquidy than store-bought jam, because it didn’t have any pectin in it which acts as a thickener. But I didn’t mind! I actually liked the way that it oozed out of the pastry. Feel free to use any jam, like my raw blueberry chia seed jam, raspberry chia seed jam, or any other flavor that suits your fancy.
- 1 cup gluten-free baking flour
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
- 1/3 cup mashed banana
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit while you make the jam.
- Place blueberries and coconut sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes, bringing the heat down to a simmer after 5 minutes.
- Mash the fruit with a fork and stir occasionally as it thickens.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, and vanilla until well combined.
- Add in mashed banana and mix with a large spoon.
- Add in cold water 1 tbsp at a time while mixing until a ball of dough forms. I used 4 tbsp of water. The dough should be slightly sticky so that you can knead it, but if too sticky add a little bit more flour.
- Cover a flat surface with non-stick parchment paper and sprinkle flour on top of the parchment paper.
- Transfer dough to the lightly floured surface and cover with another piece of parchment paper.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Cut into small-sized rectangles. I made my rectangles about 3.5 inches long and got 8 of them.
- Gather your scraps, knead them together into a ball, and roll back out between parchment paper.
- Cut into rectangles again until you've used up all the pastry dough. This time, I got 4 more.
- Transfer half of your rectangles to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- With a small spoon, scoop out blueberry jam into the middle of each rectangular pastry, leaving a little empty space along the outside edges.
- Place the remaining half of the rectangles on top of the jam-filled rectangles.
- Use a small fork to gently press along the edges and seal the pastry.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned.
- Let cool and drizzle with leftover jam.