Strawberry Crumble Bars

These Strawberry Crumble Bars were adapted from one of my favorite holistic chefs, Laura Lea. I first discovered Lea through my oldest sister, Sally. I think what drew us to Lea’s recipes was her approach to eating and health. She is a strong advocate for balance (AKA EAT the cinnamon bun if you want the cinnamon bun, but don’t do that every day) and has found a way to transform basically every “junk” or “treat” food that you can think of into a modified/healthier version (if I have piqued your interest, check out her Black Bean Brownies, Hungry Girl Cookies, Turkey Meatloaf and Chili! ).

In her second cookbook there is a recipe for Blueberry Peanut Butter Crumble Bars, that were the inspiration for our Strawberry Crumble Bars. It is essentially the same recipe, but instead of a blueberry filling, we opted for fresh strawberries, and made a few other minor tweaks.

Ingredients

  • 3 3/4 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (if you want to go healthier, sub coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup runny peanut butter
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups chopped strawberries
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 3 tbs brown sugar

Steps

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking dish with parchment
  • In a food processor, place 2 cups of the oats, and pulse until a fine flour forms (about 30 seconds)
  • Transfer the blended oats to a large bowl, and mix in the remaining 1 3/4 cups oats, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon
  • In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla/almond extract (if you don’t have almond extract just do two tsp of vanilla… we just LOVE the combination of almond and strawberry in our house!)
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients until a dough begins to form; Place about 3/4 of the dough into your baking dish and press down until it has covered the pan
  • Back to the food processor! Place your strawberries, cornstarch, and 3 tbs of brown sugar; pulse for just a few seconds (you won’t want the strawberries to blend into a liquid)
  • Place the strawberry filling onto the crust; Top with the remaining oat crumble
  • Bake the bars for 40 minutes; Once you have removed from the oven, allow the bars to cool for another 25-30 minutes before removing them and slicing

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