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Triple Berry Crumble Bars

These balanced tart and sweet berry crumble bars are as simple as it gets, and are perfect for when spring or summer is right around the corner.

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Cooking for friends, family, and coworkers is one of the most fulfilling things, but can also be challenging when trying to navigate allergies and other dietary preferences.

If you know me, you know I love a kitchen challenge. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to contribute a couple recipes to a cookbook gift for a vegan coworker’s good-bye gift, I knew I wanted to face the challenge head-on and make not only a vegan dessert, but a delicious one anyone would want to eat any day of the week.

After a lot of research, trial and error, and finally fine-tuning, I emerged with these berry crumble bars that are absolutely perfect for when spring or summer is right around the corner. Crumbles, in general, are very forgiving desserts. And by forgiving, I really mean they are flexible. Their straight-forward structure and simple list of ingredients means it is totally customizable. So if berry isn’t your jam (har har, this is my best attempt at a pun, you guys), you could swap the filling out for lemon curd, or chocolate, or anything else your heart desires and that suits your needs!

These specific bars today feature an assortment of berries whose flavor has been both deepened with some warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom, and brightened with a hit of lemon juice. The tart berry filling is then balanced out with a base and a topper of a spiced oat and flour mixture that’s bound together into a crumble using maple syrup and canola oil in place of butter and refined sugar. The recipe makes six bars, but if you need a bigger batch, you can very simply double or triple all of the ingredients and you’re ready to roll!

I hope you’ll try these out and let me know how they go over at your next get-together!!

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Triple Berry Crumble Bars

For the Crumble

  • 2/3 c. all purpose flour

  • 1/3 c. plus 2T old fashioned rolled oats

  • 1/4 c. organic sugar

  • very small pinch of salt

  • 1 t. baking powder

  • 1/4 t. cinnamon

  • 1/4 t. nutmeg

  • 1/4 c. maple syrup

  • 2-3 T. canola oil

For the Filling

  • 1 1/2 c. frozen berries

  • 1/8 c. maple syrup

  • 1/4 t. cinnamon

  • 1/4 t. cardamom

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract

  • small pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pot on the stove, combine frozen berries and maple syrup, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent the berries from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  2. When berries are thawed and beginning to break down, use a wooden spoon or potato masher to fully break the berries apart.

  3. Add zest, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, and a pinch of salt and let simmer until reduced by about half and thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  4. While the berries are cooking, preheat oven to 375F.

  5. In a medium bowl, combine the dry crumble ingredients (flour, oats, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg).

  6. Add maple syrup and canola oil and stir to combine. The mixture should hold together and the consistency of dry cookie dough. If it’s still too dry, add one teaspoon of oil at a time until correct consistency is achieved.

  7. In the bottom of a greased or parchment paper-lined bread loaf pan, press half of the crumble mixture into one even layer. Pour the berry filling over this, then sprinkle the remaining crumble dough over the top.

  8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown. Every oven is different, so begin checking for doneness at around 15-20 minutes.

  9. Let cool completely in the loaf pan on the counter, then refrigerate for one hour before cutting. This will help everything set nicely.

  10. Enjoy