Healthy Raspberry Crumble Bars
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Yields: 16 crumble bars
 
These dessert bars are a lovely combination of cookies and fruit crisps! They have a soft sugar cookie crust, a sweet fruit filling, and a spiced oat streusel topping. The best of all worlds, in my opinion! Leftovers will keep for at least five days (if not longer!) if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  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 raspberries and cornstarch.
  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 raspberries. (It tends to clump, so break it into tiny pieces as you go!) Bake at 350°F for 28-34 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 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.

Don’t skip cutting the raspberries! They should be no larger than the size of chocolate chips. This smaller size ensures your bars bake evenly and that you have an even layer of berries spread all the way across the crust.

Both fresh raspberries and frozen and thawed raspberries will work. If using frozen and thawed, drain them really well and gently pat them dry with paper towels first.

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 aren’t a fan of almond extract, then substitute vanilla extract instead.

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

If lining the pan with parchment paper, I highly recommend clamping it to the pan’s edges with binder clips (like these!) to prevent it from moving around when you press the crust across the bottom.

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

{gluten-free, dairy-free, clean eating, vegan, low fat, lower sugar}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2019/06/16/healthy-raspberry-crumble-bars/