Strawberry & Cherry Oatmeal Bars
Summer is here, and so is strawberry AND cherry season! That means I will be regularly baking these bars for breakfast, dessert, and summertime BBQ's! I don't think anyone can resist a good fruit + oatmeal bar with ice cream (dairy-free of course). This serving makes about 10-12 healthy, delicious bars.
• ½ cup quinoa flour (you could probably sub another GF flour here)
• 1 cup oat flour (blend 1 cup rolled oats until you get flour consistency)
• ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
• 1 flax egg or normal egg
• ¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 3 tablespoons coconut sugar + a little extra for topping
Strawberry + Cherry Filling:
• 2½ cups strawberries, roughly chopped
• ⅓ cup cherries, pitted and diced
• 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
• 2 tablespoons chia seeds
• water (as needed)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and lightly oil 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil. Set aside.
2. First, add strawberries, cherries, and chia seeds to blender and blend until fruit is broken down into a semi-liquid consistency (some chunks of fruit are fine). Transfer to a small saucepan and heat on medium high. Mix in 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar, and stir. Add in 1 tablespoon water, cover saucepan, and leave for about 5-7 minutes. The chia seeds should absorb more of the liquid, and start to have a 'jammy' texture. For a thinner jam, keep adding water by the tablespoon. For a thicker jam, leave the extra water out. About 3 tablespoons extra water worked best for me! After those 5-7 minutes, turn off stovetop and let jam thicken.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add oat flour, quinoa flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. Stir briefly, then add in liquid ingredients (1 flax egg, coconut oil, vanilla extract). Mix well until you have a doughy texture. Transfer most of the crust mixture (save about 1/4 cup for later) to pyrex pan, and press down until you have a thin crust covering the bottom of the baking dish.
3. Pour strawberry cherry 'jam' on top of the crust in the pyrex, making sure that an even layer is spread across the dish. Finally, add ½ cup rolled oats and remaining crust mixture over the top of the jam layer, and gently press down with a spatula. Sprinkle extra sugar + cinnamon on top if desired, then place in oven.
4. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until fruit layer is bubbling and top looks golden brown. My oven runs a bit cool, so I would check at the 40 min mark to see how your bars are doing. Once ready, take out of oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm (a la mode?!) or refrigerate and enjoy later. Enjoy!! <3