These healthier apple crumb bars have a crunchy oat crust and a delicious apple cinnamon filling. They are vegan friendly, gluten-free, and refined sugar free as well!
My hubby, Rafael, had some procedures done on his eyes this past week. He went into the optometrist to get an eye exam after straight lines began to look wavy and he was seeing bright rings of light when he would blink. The optometrist referred him to a retina specialist, who immediately sent him over to an eye surgeon. It turns out he has what they call lattice degeneration in both eyes and a partially detached retina in one. The doctor basically said he was on the path to loosing his vision permanently, if it continued to get worse.
He performed a few same day procedures (cryotherapy and an intravitreal injection) which left his eyes super red and swollen. He’s due back on Monday to see if the procedures worked and fixed the partially detached retina. If not, they want to schedule an emergency surgery that afternoon. It’s been a scary ordeal, one we hope was remedied by the previous procedures. We take our eyesight for granted sometimes.
Since Rafael was down and out this week, I wanted to make him a special treat! He loves apple-y things, so I made him these healthier apple crumb bars! They’re based off of my Blackberry Oat Bars, which are vegan friendly, gluten free, and refined sugar free as well. The crumble is made with whole oats, almond flour and coconut oil, and the filling is made with fresh apples and cinnamon, all sweetened with pure maple syrup.
These bars taste like fall! They’re simple to make, delicious, and perfect for dessert or even breakfast too! Hope you enjoy them!
- 2 cups rolled oats (make sure they're certified gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 cups blanched almond flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or melted butter, if not dairy-free)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (honey or other liquid sweetener can also be used)
- 1–3 teaspoons water, if needed, to help dough come together
- ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Blend whole oats in a food processor until finely ground. Blend in almond flour and salt. Pour in coconut oil and maple syrup, pulsing until mixture is crumbly. If mixture is too dry, add water a teaspoon at a time, just until it holds together when pressed between two fingers.
- Remove ½ cup of oat mixture and set aside. Press remaining mixture into the prepared pan.
- For the topping, blend reserved ½ cup oat mixture with finely chopped pecans. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add chopped apples and spices. Saute for 2–3 minutes then pour in maple syrup and cornstarch/water slurry. Cook together until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
- Spread apple mixture over prepared crust. Sprinkle crumble topping over apple mixture and place into the oven. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until crumble is golden brown.
- Let cool completely before cutting into bars. Makes 12–16 bars, depending on how large you cut them.
- Store leftover bars in an airtight container in a cool room for 1–2 days or in the refrigerator for 4–5 days.