By Arianna Friedman
Updated Sep 19, 2016 @ 4:30 pm
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Ashley McLaughlin

Despite the ubiquity of gluten-free products, finding a solid everyday snack that isn't loaded with artificial ingredients can be more challenging than getting Kanye West to crack a smile. Sometimes it's easier to roll up your sleeves and whip up what you really want, like these homemade, melt-in-your-mouth strawberry oat crumble bars.

Dreamed up by food blogger Angela Liddon for her new cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day ($16;, the bars are perfect for snacking on-the-go. Not to mention they're also vegan and nut-free, so everyone can enjoy. We recommend making one big batch and refrigerating them overnight—Liddon swears they taste even better the next day.

Get the full recipe below.


Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars

Serves: 12 to 16


For the strawberry-vanilla chia seed jam
3 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or to taste
Dash of fine sea salt
2 tbsp chia seeds ($8/12 oz;
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure vanilla bean powder, or 2 large vanilla beans, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out ($12/2.5 oz;

For the strawberry oat crumble bars
1 1/4 cups strawberry-vanilla chia seed jam or your favorite store-bought jam
1 cup hulled sunflower seeds ($4/1 lb;
3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp brown rice syrup ($6/21 oz;
1 tbsp sunflower seed butter


For the strawberry-vanilla chia seed jam

1. In a medium pot, stir together the strawberries, maple syrup, and salt until combined. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the berries have softened (they will release a lot of liquid during this time).

2. Reduce the heat to medium and carefully mash the berries with a potato masher until mostly smooth. The jam will still look very watery at this point, but this is normal!

3. Add the chia seeds and stir until combined. Simmer over low-medium heat, stirring frequently (reducing heat if necessary to avoid sticking) for 8 to 15 minutes more, until a lot of the liquid has cooked off and the mixture has thickened slightly.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, vanilla bean powder, and lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate, uncovered, until cool, at least a couple of hours. For quicker cooling, pop the jam into the freezer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The chia seed jam will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It also freezes well for 1 to 2 months.

For the strawberry oat crumble bars

1. If desired, roast the sunflower seeds: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the seeds over a large rimmed baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 9 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden in some spots. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square pan (or an 8-inch for a slightly thicker bar) with parchment paper, leaving some overhang, which will make it easy to lift out the bars later.

3. In a food processor, combine the sunflower seeds, oats, and salt and process until you have a coarse flour.

4. In a small pot, melt the oil over low heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and sunflower seed butter until combined. Pour the wet mixture on top of the oat mixture in the food processor and process until the mixture comes together, 10 to 15 seconds. The dough should feel quite heavy and oily, and there shouldn’t be any dry patches. If there are, process for 5 seconds more. If for some reason it’s still too dry, try adding water, a teaspoon at a time, and processing again until it comes together.

5. Set aside 1 1/4 cups of the oat mixture for the topping. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the base of the prepared pan in an even layer. Starting at the center, push down with your fingers (you can lightly wet them if they stick) to spread out and pack down the crust. Press the dough down tightly. Even out the edges with your fingertips. Prick the crust with the tines of a fork about 9 times to allow steam to escape.

6. Parbake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. (If the crust puffed up while baking, gently press down on it to release the air.) Spread the jam in an even layer over the crust. Crumble the reserved 1 1/4 cups oat mixture evenly over the jam.

7. Bake, uncovered, for 14 to 18 minutes more, until the topping is lightly firm to the touch. The topping will not turn golden in color; it will remain the same shade as it was before baking. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 45 to 60 minutes, then transfer the pan to the freezer for 30 minutes until completely cool. Lift out the slab and slice it into squares or bars. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days, or wrapped up and stored in the freezer for 4 to 5 weeks.