Healthy Peach Crumble Bars
Yields: 16 crumble bars
 
These dessert bars remind me of my grandma’s famous peach pie! They have a soft and chewy sugar cookie crust, juicy peach filling, and spiced oat streusel topping. Such an irresistible combination of textures and flavors! Leftover bars will keep for at least six days if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator—if they last that long!
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line an 8”-square pan with parchment paper (or coat an 8”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray).
  2. To prepare the topping, stir together the oats, flour, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center. Pour in the maple syrup and coconut oil or butter, and stir until all ingredients are completely incorporated.
  3. To prepare the filling, gently toss together the peaches, cornstarch, and cinnamon until the peaches are evenly coated.
  4. To prepare the crust, whisk together the flour, baking power, and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil or butter, milk, almond extract, and liquid stevia. Stir in the maple syrup. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
  5. Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan into a thin, even layer using your hands. (If it sticks to your fingers, then moisten your fingers with a tiny bit of water, and continue as needed.) Spread the filling evenly across the crust. Sprinkle the oat mixture on top of the peaches. (It tends to clump, so break it into tiny pieces as you go!) Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until the topping feels firm and the crust appears to be done. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan, and let the bars rest for at least 3 hours once at room temperature before slicing and serving.
Notes: Instant oats are also called “quick cooking” or “one minute” oats. They’re smaller and thinner than traditional old-fashioned rolled oats. In a pinch, old-fashioned oats may be substituted.

Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour. Any gluten-free flour, except coconut flour, may be substituted for the millet flour in the topping.

In the crust, most store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) will work, if measured like this.

Remember to measure the oats and flour using this method or a kitchen scale! (← That’s the one I own.) Too much of either ingredient will dry out the streusel topping and sugar cookie crust.

Agave or honey may be substituted for the maple syrup.

Make sure to finely dice the peaches! They should be no larger than the size of your pinky nail or standard-sized chocolate chips. This smaller size ensures your bars bake evenly and that you have a thin, even layer of peaches spread all the way across the crust.

Both fresh peaches and peaches canned in 100% juice will work. If using fresh, peel them first. If using canned, drain them really well. I haven’t tried using frozen peaches.

I highly recommend using the liquid stevia! I buy mine online here, and you’ll also use it in all of these recipes of mine. You cannot substitute additional pure maple syrup for the liquid stevia because the cookies require a precise balance of wet and dry ingredients. However, you may substitute ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (120g) coconut sugar (or brown sugar or granulated sugar, if you aren’t concerned about keeping these cookies clean eating friendly) for both the pure maple syrup and stevia in the cookie bars, but the crust won’t be as sweet and will appear “speckled” if using coconut sugar because it doesn’t dissolve as well.

Any milk may be substituted for the unsweetened cashew milk.

If you prefer a thicker layer of streusel, then double the topping.

For more tips and information, please see my blog post above!

{gluten-free, vegan, clean eating, low fat, lower sugar}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2019/05/15/healthy-peach-crumble-bars/