gluten-free, naturally-sweetened strawberry rhubarb crumble bars 🍓
the perfect summer treat
Strawberry and rhubarb come together with fresh lemon juice to make a tart, sweet filling nestled between a lightly sweetened crumble dough in these out-of-this-world healthy summer treats. Made from oats, almond flour, coconut oil and applesauce, the natural sugars from the fruit condense and caramelize as the crumble bakes, leaving a thick and delicious jammy filling.
The crumble dough is reminiscent of a lightly spiced oatmeal cookie – dense and buttery (without any butter!). The coconut oil adds healthy fat and sweet flavor while the applesauce provides moisture and a natural sweetness. These bars satisfy a sweet craving and won’t leave you with a sugar crash. Pretty perfect, in my opinion.
While these are a wonderful summer dessert, I’ve been enjoying them for an afternoon snack, sometimes warm, sometimes straight from the fridge. Either way, they’re delicious!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes // Cook Time: 35 minutes // Total Time: 50 minutes // Servings: 9 slices
Before you Begin: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
What you'll need:
For the Crumble:
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats divided
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
- 3 cups sliced strawberries fresh or frozen (~1 1/2 lbs)
- 1 cup sliced rhubarb fresh or frozen (1/2 lbs)
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
For the crumble:
- Add two cups of rolled oats to an upright blender, or food processor fitted with a metal "s" blade, pulse the oats until ground down into a flour.
- Transfer to large bowl, add the remaining 1/2 cup rolled oats and the rest of the crumble ingredients.
- Using a spatula or your hand combine the ingredients until the dough begins to stick together. You want everything to be moist and come together. It can be slightly crumbly, hence the name.
- Measure a heaping 1/2 cup of the dough for the topping and set aside.
- Spread the remaining dough evenly into the prepared pan. Press firmly and flatten into the bottom, sides, and corners. It may help to slightly oil or wet your fingers or spatula.
For the filling:
- Wipe out the food processor and add the strawberries and rhubarb. If using frozen fruit make sure it is slightly thawed.
- Pulse 5-6 times until the fruit is broken down into small pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the arrowroot powder and lemon juice.
- Spread the filling evenly over the crumble crust.
- Take the remaining crumble dough and use your fingers to break it up evenly over the fruit filling.
- Gently push the crumble dough into the filling to set.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Let the bars cool completely before slicing.
Tip: The bars cut best when chilled in the fridge before slicing. They can be eaten cold or warmed up slightly. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This recipe calls for fresh or frozen fruit. I’ve tried it both ways based on what I had on hand and both worked well. If using frozen fruit, let the fruit thaw slightly before measuring it, as frozen fruit tends to take up more volume.
- Fruit filling: fresh seasonal fruits or any frozen variety // blueberries // raspberries // cherries // peaches // apples
- Spices: Cinnamon is warm and sweet. Depending on your fruit, cardamom // lavender // rose // zest or herbs could be added for a unique flavor combination.
Enjoy! Tag us #nutritionsimply and Jessica @nourishedbynutrition #nourishedbynutrition on insta so we can see how it turns out!
JESSICA KELLEY | NOURISHEDBYNUTRITION.COM
Jessica Kelley, MS, RD is the founder of Nourished By Nutrition, a blog where she shares plant-based recipes, wellness information, and offers nutrition coaching services. Jessica uses a holistic approach to help you optimize your health and gain confidence in making choices that allow you to eat well, live balances, and be completely nourished. Read more >