Raspberry Rhubarb Oat Bars

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I REALLY like dessert.

No, seriously, I love it.

For all those times fresh fruit isn’t quite enough, I find ways to create healthy versions of what i’m craving. Please keep in mind, this is still dessert, but compared to the butter laden, brown sugar filled version I used to make several years ago this is essentially like having a slice of watermelon.

I have to admit, I wrestled with the idea of this post for a while because when most people think of fresh local rhubarb, they also instantly think of strawberries and probably pie. I, however, am not most people. *surprise!*

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I love strawberries. Love. Love. Love them. However, I love them fresh, not cooked–and I don’t like fruit pie. So there’s that. I decided a compromise was in order, this crisp is incredible and I like the tartness the raspberries bring to the dish. I know, I know…rhubarb obviously needs help being tart. Trust me tho, if you try it, you’ll be hooked. The other option is to simply swap out the raspberries for strawberries and voila, traditional strawberry rhubarb oat bars!

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Raspberry Rhubarb Oat Bars (Vegan, gluten free)

Oat Base:

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup oat flour

1/4 cup rice/millet flour blend

2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/8 cup soy free vegan butter

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Fruit filling:

2 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1 inch sections

2 cups raspberries

juice of half a lemon

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/8 cup maple syrup

1/8 cup water

Preheat oven to 375.

Place rhubarb, raspberries, lemon, sugar, maple syrup, and water in a pot and bring to a boil on medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes until fruit starts to break down, set aside.

While fruit cooks melt vegan butter and coconut oil over low heat. Remove from heat and add in Β maple syrup and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients and with coconut oil mixture and stir until fully coated and sticks together.

Press half the mixture into a 9×9 pan, pour the fruit mixture on top, then top with the remaining half of the oat mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool, then slice into bars and enjoy!

*Alternatively, you can opt to not cook the fruit in advance, and simply layer it with the coconut sugar and maple sugar on the oat base, top with the rest of the oat mixture and bake for 20-30 minutes until fruit is tender and crisp is golden.

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Namaste beautiful friends.

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