Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Bars
OATS: Scientifically proven, there are few foods better at combatting heart disease or diabetes. Oats contain a unique fiber called beta-glucan;, eating just 3 grams a day can decrease your bad LDL cholesterol levels by 8-23%. Highly significant if you take into account that a 1% decrease in LDL cholesterol lowers your risk of heart disease by 2%.
STRAWBERRIES: One of the most antioxidant rich foods available, strawberries also contain an amazing combination of phytonutrients. Strawberries have a very short shelf life before their nutrients start to degrade rapidly, so its best to eat them as fresh as possible.
RHUBARB: One of the vegetables that has the least amount of calories, rhubarb is high in important phytonutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The stalks are very high in fiber helping to support the digestive system.
YEILDS: 9 Bars
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
4 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups rhubarb, stems removed, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup berries (such as strawberries or raspberries), large pieces chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp coconut sugar, plus more to taste
½ tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp tapioca starch
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp gluten-free flour
1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 1/4 Tbsp coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper or prep with coconut oil.
2. Add oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse into a fine meal, making sure no large pieces remain. You're going for a consistency similar to a graham cracker crust, so your meal should be pretty fine.
3. Add melted coconut oil and vanilla, and pulse to incorporate. It should form a loose dough that forms when squeezed between two fingers. Add more melted oil if too dry.
4. Spread the mixture into the lined baking dish and press down into an even layer with your fingers or a flat object (such as a spatula or measuring cup).
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is fragrant and the edges are slightly golden brown. Set aside.
6. In the meantime, add rhubarb, strawberries, orange juice, coconut sugar, vanilla and tapioca starch to a medium saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until slightly softened and bubbly - about 5-7 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Then remove from heat and set aside.
7. Next prepare 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.
8. Add strawberry-rhubarb mixture to the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Then top with crumble topping and spread evenly to cover fruit.
9. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the strawberry topping is warm and bubbly and the crumble is golden brown.
10. Remove squares from oven and let cool completely - 1-2 hours. Once cooled, gently lift bars from pan and slice into 9 even squares or 10 bars.
*Store leftovers in a well-sealed container at room temperature for 2 days, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or the freezer up to 1 month.