These cherry almond raisin bars make a great snack or quick breakfast! The base is made from almond flour and oat flour sweetened with coconut sugar. It has a gooey dried fruit topping made from raisins, dried cherries, applesauce, and almonds with just a drop of almond extract to amplify the nuttiness. To top it all off, you can add anything your heart desires; fresh fruit, crunchy nuts, or a drizzle of dark chocolate.
Cherry Almond Raisin Bars [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Base:
- 1/3 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oats, ground into flour
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- Scant 1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
For the Topping:
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds, plus 3 tablespoons water, combined then set aside to thicken
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/5 cup applesauce
- 1/3 cup ground almonds
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the Optional Toppings:
- Fresh cherries
- Whole Brazil nuts
- Crushed walnuts
- Gold leaf (optional)
- Dark chocolate (optional)
To Make the Base:
- Line a square baking tray with greaseproof paper and set aside.
- Place the ground almonds, ground oats, coconut sugar, flax seeds, coconut oil, and flour into a food processor/blender and pulse until fully combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the lined/greased tin and press down until smooth and even.
- Place the base into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- While the base is baking, prepare the topping.
To Make the Topping:
- Wash, peel, and chop the roughly chop the Apples and place them into a deep/large pan along with a squeeze of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and enough water to cover the apples.
- Cook until partly soft.
- Drain the apples from the water and place into a blender/food processor.
- Whizz up until smooth and set aside.
- Mix together the ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and allow to thicken up.
- This will take around 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the thickened flax mixture, apple purée, maple syrup, ground almonds, and almond extract, then stir together until combined.
- Sprinkle the raisins and dried cherries on the base and cover with the topping mixture.
To Make the Bars:
- Return the tray to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- Place baking tray on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully before removing from the tray.
- Slice into squares and serve.
- These squares should be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Before serving, leave at room temperature for 5 minutes as this allows the coconut oil to soften slightly.