Vegan Berry Crumble Bars
Even though I didn’t start seriously diving into recipe creation until I became a registered dietitian, I started baking low-sugar pastries back as a freshman in high school.
That was the year I got my first root-canal, and discovered that despite my notorious “sweet tooth”, 3 hours of drilling into my lower jaw wasn’t exactly habit-forming.
I started playing around with ways to sweeten pastries naturally, using things like berries, applesauce, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and small amounts of fibrous produce and nectars.
I learned things I didn’t expect. That sea salt actually intensifies sweet flavors, that refined sugar is an appetite stimulant, and ultimately - that I could live a pretty delicious life without it.
This recipe is the perfect compilation of all that I’ve learned, and all that I love.
I hope you adore these Vegan Berry Crumble Bars as much as I do.
Prep time: 20 min
Bake time: 30 min
Makes: 12-16 bars
2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 cup oat flour
1.5 cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease (or line with parchment paper) an 8 x 8 baking dish.
While the oven is preheating, prepare the chia seed jam by adding the mixed berries into a saucepan and heating over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the fruit is warm & beginning to break down, smash the berries with the back of a fork or spatula until there are no large chunks remaining. Add in the maple syrup and stir.
Turn off the burner & remove the jam mixture from heat. Stir in the chia seeds and let "gel" for about 10 minutes while you prepare the oatmeal crumble mixture.
To make the oatmeal crumble, combine the oat flour, rolled oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, sea salt and baking soda in a medium-size bowl. Next add in the wet ingredients (the applesauce, almond butter, and vanilla) and stir to combine.
Set aside a heaping 1/2 cup of the oatmeal crumble mixture and press the remaining mixture into the 8 x 8 baking dish until it evenly lines the dish. Add your warm and thickened jam mixture on top of the pressed oatmeal crumble crust and spread evenly to coat. Finally, drop the remaining set aside oatmeal mixture on top of the jam layer and gently press down each cluster. This should not be a perfectly flat or even coating, but rather a layer of uneven oatmeal crust crumbles sprinkled throughout.
Bake for 30 minutes, remove the bars from the oven, and allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving warm.
For more disease-fighting & drool-worthy
meal ideas, check out my other plant-powered recipes here: