For the past few months, I have been cooking privately for a very sweet family who recently made the transition to a plant-based diet. They have an adorable little 2-year old daughter, who they requested a few meals a week for as well. I must say, kids make tough critics! More often than not, when planning their weekly menu, I find myself asking "will the little girl enjoy this?" more than I question whether or not the parents will. It is quite a fun challenge to think up fun, creative, and delicious meals that would entice a toddler's taste buds, I am definitely learning a lot about how to cook for kids! I try to prepare healthful, simple meals- both sweet and savory- that I think she will enjoy. That's how I decided to create these delicious bars, and was inspired to make them because I had some leftover chia jam from the previous week of cooking for them. You could use any type of jam to make these bars, whether its chia jam, regular jam, or even just blended or crushed fruit.
These bars came out so delicious and crumbly, with a texture similar to shortbread from the combination of oat and almond flours. From what I heard, they were a hit with my 2-year old critic, and the parents certainly didn't mind them as well :)
GF Blueberry Crumb Bars
yields 12 bars
3 cups gluten-free oat flour (or regular oat flour if gluten is not a concern)
1 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave)
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup plant-based milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chia jam, blended fruit, or regular jam of your choice
Preheat oven to 350F
Combine oat flour, almond flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to combine and smooth out lumps.
In a small sauce pot, combine oil, sweetener, milk, almond butter and vanilla. Gently heat and whisk until you have a smooth, liquid mixture.
Pour wet mixture over dry, and fold ingredients together with a spatula.
Reserve 1 cup of the mixture, and press the rest into a 9x9 in baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes.
Spread your jam or fruit evenly over the bottom layer, and then crumble your remaining dough over the top evenly to create your crumb layer.
Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the crumbs start to lightly brown.
Let cool before cutting and serving.