Cranberry Crumble Bars
I’ve got a serious weak spot for crumble bars, in all forms. Whenever I treat myself to a fancy latte from the coffee shop, I can’t help but notice the fruit crumble bars that gleam behind the shiny glass display. They’re basically begging me to take one home! To be honest, sometimes I do. But most of the time I skip right over them, because pastries like these are notoriously packed with calories, fat, and processed sugar.
Thankfully, this cranberry crumble bars recipe is a healthier take on these mouthwatering treats. The base is made from oats* and raw almonds, which are processed into a fine meal with coconut sugar, and coconut oil replaces butter. The result is a much more wholesome pastry crust, that tastes truly indulgent.
The filling is made from chopped cranberries and orange, which is a match made in heaven (here’s a recipe for a shake that uses both). A sprinkling of coconut sugar takes the mixture from fairly tart to just right. A word of warning: cranberries (and their juice) are quite potent, so can stain quite easily if you’re not careful. I suggest wearing an apron and making sure you wash your hands and cutting board right after use. As long as you’re careful, you’ll be fine — just don’t wear your favorite white t-shirt to make this recipe!
The process for making these cranberry crumble bars would work just as well with other fruits, such as apples, blueberries, or even strawberries. I especially love the cranberry combination at this time of year, but feel free to experiment once you get the hang of it!
- Parchment paper
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup dry old fashioned oats, gluten-free
- 1 cup whole raw almonds
- ¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
- 3 tbsp. coconut sugar
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil, melted
- 3 cups coarsely chopped cranberries
- ¼ cup 100% orange juice
- 1 tbsp. finely grated orange peel (orange zest)
- 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch, preferably GMO-free
- 3 tbsp. coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp. gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup dry old fashioned oats, gluten-free
- 1 tbsp. + 1½ tsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper. Lightly coat with spray. Set aside.
To make crust, place oats, almonds, salt, and sugar in food processor (or blender); pulse into a fine meal. Make sure no large pieces remain.
Add oil; pulse to mix. It should form a loose dough that sticks together when squeezed between two fingers. Add more oil if too dry.
Spread oat mixture into prepared pan. Press into an even layer with your fingers or a flat object (like a drinking glass).
Bake for 15 minutes. Increase heat to 375º F. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until crust is fragrant and edges are slightly golden brown. Set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350º F.
To make filling, heat cranberries, orange juice, orange peel, sugar, and cornstarch in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until bubbly. Set aside.
To make topping, combine sugar, flour, oats and oil in a small mixing bowl; mix with fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
Add cranberry mixture to crust; cover evenly.
Top with crumble topping; cover cranberries evenly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cranberry filling is warm and bubbly and topping is golden brown.
Cool completely for 1 to 2 hours. Lift parchment paper from pan; cut into 12 bars.
*This cranberry crumble recipe calls for gluten-free oats, but if you are not avoiding gluten, you can use regular rolled oats.
The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.