My husband loves anything with a crumb or crust to it — fruit crisps, cobblers, apple pies, apple pie with a crumb topping — even better! The crust or crumb is his favourite part. I, on the other hand, prefer the fruity or gooey insides. So, when we find ourselves sharing a dessert together at a restaurant, he often gets the part with most of the crust/crumb, and I get the part with most of the filling. It works out well, and we both end up happy! He’s like the peanut butter to my jelly, the cheese to my macaroni, the milk to my cookies…well, you get the point. So, in honour of my crumb-loving better half, here’s an easy and delicious strawberry streusel bar recipe, which also happens to be low in sugar, gluten-free and vegan. It peacefully satisfies both the crumb-lover and the filling-lover. Enjoy!
Low-Sugar Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Streusel Bars Crust 1 1/2 C almond meal 1/2 C flax meal 1/4 tsp salt 2 T coconut oil, melted 1 T vanilla 1 T water Filling 1 C fruit preserves (strawberry, raspberry, apricot, etc. — I like to use preserves that are sweetened only with fruit juice) Crumb Topping 1/4 C almond meal 2 T flax meal 2 T coconut oil, melted 2 T brown sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 C dried coconut, unsweetened 1 C chopped walnuts Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix well until a ball of dough forms. Press into a parchment-lined 8×8 baking dish, and bake for 12 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. While the crust is baking, prepare the crumb topping. In a small food processor or bowl, mix all the crumb topping ingredients well. If using a food processor, make sure to mix in the coconut and walnuts after the other ingredients are mixed, so that they don’t get over-processed. Spread 1 cup of preserves over the warm crust. Add the crumb topping onto the preserves, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. The streusel bars may be eaten warm or be placed in the refrigerator to set if you’d like them less crumbly. Makes 16 squares. Recipe adapted from Elana’s Pantry, a great baking blog with a focus on gluten-free recipes, special diets, and the use of almond flour.