If you make them, ensure that there’s someone else in the house to share them with. If not, you may turn around to find that you ate half of it yourself. Seriously, they’re so addictive. There's no better way to make use of all the fresh strawberries this season. Sweet in all the best ways, these strawberry bars will be your new addiction.

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Nut-Free Strawberry Vanilla Crumble Bars [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Serves

9

Cooking Time

45

Ingredients

For the Strawberry Vanilla Chia Jam:

  • 3 cups frozen strawberries (or other berries)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

For the Oat Crumble:

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup Medjool dates
  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, as needed
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Preparation

To Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Grease a 9x9-inch glass dish with margarine or butter. Set aside.

To Make the Strawberry Vanilla Jam:

  1. In a medium saucepan, add frozen strawberries. Cook covered for about 8 minutes over high-medium heat, until strawberries soften.
  2. Mash strawberries with a potato masher or fork. Stir in chia seeds, vanilla and salt. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool (it should continue to thicken when cooling).

To Make the Oat Crumble:

  1. Spread the sunflower seeds on a baking sheet. When the oven is preheated, roast the sunflower seeds for 10 minutes until lightly golden. When the sunflower seeds are done roasting, remove from the oven and increase to 350°F.
  2. Place the roasted sunflower seeds and dates in a food processor. Process until crumbly. Add 2 cups of oats, melted margarine (or butter), sunflower seed butter, vanilla and salt. Add water and process until the mixture sticks together when pressed. Add the remaining 1 cup of oats and process for a few seconds until combined. You want the mixture to stick together, while still having texture.
  3. Press the oat mixture at the bottom of the greased dish, leaving 1 1/2 cups for topping. Spread the strawberry jam evenly on top of the bottom layer. Finally, crumble the remaining oat mixture on top.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, uncovered at 350°F. Let cool 1 hour before cutting. This helps the bars stick together.


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