These chia-oat bars are naturally sweetened, slightly-zesty, and have the perfect amount of fruit-to-oat ratio. This particular recipe calls for strawberries, but they're easy to adapt with whatever fresh fruit you have on hand. Serve these crumbly, juicy bars as is or with a big scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream.
Strawberry Pistachio Chia-Oat Bars [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Crust:
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3 tablespoon water
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup light agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3-1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
For the Filling:
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
- 2 teaspoons light agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine chia seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken while you prep the rest of the recipe.
- Combine oats, oat flour, almond meal or flour, ground cardamom, baking powder, and sea salt in a large bowl and mix. Set aside.
- Combine melted coconut oil, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and chia mixture in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour this mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Make the filling by combining the strawberries, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stirring together.
- Now, assemble your bars. Take about three-fourths of the oat mixture and, using your hands, press it firmly into the prepared pan. Spread the strawberry filling evenly over the oats, then drop the remaining oat mixture in small chunks over the filling. sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and, using your hands, a spoon, or a spatula, press down lightly to ensure the bars are firm.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Remove from heat and let cool completely before slicing. Serve.