For the strawberry chia jam:
- 2 cups (350 g) frozen strawberries*
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp (14 g) chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the bars:
Make the jam:
- Add the strawberries and maple syrup to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until the berries begin to release their liquid, about 5 – 15 minutes depending on whether or not they were thawed first. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to break down and thicken, about 5 -10 minutes. Use your spoon to break them apart further if desired.
- Stir in the chia seeds and vanilla, continuing to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the jam to cool. It will continue to thicken the longer it sits, which is why I usually like to make it the night before I’m planning on making these bars.
Make the bars:
- Preheat your oven to 325F (162C) and prepare an 8×8 (20x20cm) baking dish by lining it with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal.
- Add the oats and almond flour to a high-speed blender or food processor and process on high for about 10 seconds, or until the oats have broken down into the consistency of a fine flour. Add the remaining crust ingredients and continue processing for about 20 – 30 seconds until la sticky dough begins to form. Make sure to stop and scrape down the sides of your blender/processor as necessary.
- Transfer 2/3 of the dough into your prepared baking pan, using your fingers or a spatula to ensure that it is pressed down tightly and evenly. It might be a little stubborn, so just take your time and spread it as best you can – it doesn’t have to be perfect. Spoon the chia jam over the surface, and use a spatula or knife to spread it evenly, making sure to only go within 1/4 of the edge to prevent the jam from burning. Top with remaining dough by dropping it on top in in a few separate globs, and then using your spatula to spread them out.
- Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until the centre has set and the bars begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a star[ knife to cut them into individual bars and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
* You can easily sub out strawberries for your favourite frozen fruit. Or use 3/4 cup store-bought jam if you don’t have time to make your own. ** You can also use any other lightly flavoured oil. *** You can also use brown sugar.
Keywords: almond, baking, bars, breakfast, gluten-free, healthy, oatmeal, recipe, snack, strawberry, vegan