Healthy Apple Pie Bars. AND they are Vegan & Gluten free!
Healthy Apple Pie Bars
In my quest to find healthyish breakfast snacks, I stumbled upon these lovely little guys. Gluten-free, vegan, apple pie bars. It is fall time here in Atlantic Canada and the apples are just POPPIN! They are absolutely delicious at this time of year and I am looking for every excuse to cook with them. These Apple Pie Bars are basically the perfect mid-point between an apple crisp and a date square.
Oat and Sesame Crust
The crust of these bars is really delicious and the toasted sesame seeds give it a more savory note which balances the sweetness of the apple filling. They are gluten-free, using the oats and sesame seeds to make up the structure. Perfectly crunchy, and the seeds give a nice nuttiness to the bar which I find just lovely.
Apple Pie Filling
This filling has your fairly standard apple crisp or apple pie flavours. Cinnamon, lemon juice, coconut sugar. The kind of flavours that just warm the soul and give this bar an indulgent taste profile. I also enjoy how the apples and coconut sugar caramelize together to give a nice gooeyness.
The crumble is a textural play; the same sort of topping that would go on an apple crisp, but again totally gluten-free. The crumbled oat flour, melted coconut oil, and the coconut sugar give an amazing crunch and flavour.
These bars are also school safe as they are 100% nut-free. I hope you give them a try and let me know what you think! Be sure to tag me in your creations on Instagram!
- Apple Filling:
- 6 cups of peeled, diced apples
- 4 tbps coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 1/2 tbsp coconut melted oil
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup toasted sesame seeds
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 8 tbsp melted coconut oil
- ½ cup + 4 tbsp rolled oats
- 10 tbsp oat flour
- 4 tbsp coconut sugar
- 4 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- Pre-heat oven to 350 and line a 9X13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl mix together the apples, coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and cornstarch. Once mixed, pour apple mixture into a large non-stick pan and turn the heat to medium. Let the apple mixture bubble and caramelize for about 10-15 minutes.
- While the apples are on the stove, let’s get started on the crust. Add the oats, sesame seeds, hemp hearts, coconut sugar to a food processor and blitz into a fine meal.
- Add melted coconut oil and pulse a few more times until a crumbly dough forms that resembles wet sand and sticks together when squeezed between two fingers. If the mixture appears too wet add in a little oat flour, if too dry add a small amount of melted coconut oil.
- Next up, spread the mixture into the baking dish and press down into an even layer with your fingers or a spatula. Really press it down.
- Bake the crust at 350 for around 20 minutes or until it’s quite fragrant and the edges look to be turning brown. Don’t rush this process as you want to make sure they are baked. Once done, remove from the oven and let cool.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the crumble by adding all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and using a fork or your fingers to mix ingredients into a crumble. Set aside.
- Now it’s assembly time. Pour the caramelized apples on top of the crust and then cover the apples with the crumble. Press lightly down onto the crumble to force all three layers together.
- Place the baking pan back into the oven and bake at 350 for 18-25 minutes. Ideally, you want to see the apple filling bubbling and the top crust turning brown.
- Once done, remove from the oven and let cool on the counter. After the apple pie bars are close to room temperature, I suggest placing the whole pan in the freezer for 20 minutes. This allows everything to come together and results in a less crumbly bar.
- Store leftovers in a well-sealed container at room temperature for 2 days, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
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