Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars

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Easter, not unlike all holidays, has become the unleashing of the treats. My older daughter was never much of a sweets kid or much of an experimental eater for that matter so she was easy. She was all mac n’ cheese and chicken tenders and that was about as exciting as it got. Ellie on the other hand, will eat just about anything. She isn’t much for meat but she loves raw fruits and any veggies. In fact if we allowed her to live on cheese and fruit alone she would be a happy little gal. Obviously a girl after my own heart…except, when it comes to one thing, chocolate. Me, I’m not much of a chocolate person so I can’t relate, but Ellie loves chocolate with a fervor only true chocaholics can understand. And while we monitor her intake of sweets, reserving those treats for only very special circumstances, holidays have become a dreaded battle. Chocolate is really the problem and naturally the only thing she gravitates to. Enjoy Life chips are tolerated well but any other chocolate seems to unleash my daughters inner maniac. The personality difference is “noticeable”, to say the least.

So post Easter, the gifted candy has now been hidden away, this evening has been spent lamenting in only the way an almost 4 year old can about her traumatizing loss of chocolate bunnies. So to soften the blow I decided to bake a little treat for Ellie. One that has some of her favorite things, in reasonable doses, that won’t make my husband and I run for the woods after she consumes them. It might not be chocolate bunnies but it has chocolate and for Ellie that is pretty, pretty good.

Chocolate Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars
This recipe will remind you of eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich except minus the bread, peanut butter, and jelly. It has a nice mix of sweet and salty notes, thanks to the coconut sugar, and the brown rice flour gives it a satisfying mouth feel.
Preheat Oven to 375
Grease an 8 x 8 glass baking dish

Bottom Layer
2 cups Brown Rice Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill for most baking supplies)
1/4 cup Unrefined Coconut Oil (I use Carrington Farms)
1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar (I use Madhava)
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (Plain, unsweetened)
1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
Combine dry and then wet ingredients for the bottom layer. Mix with hands to get a soft cookie dough like consistency. Spread evenly into greased glass square pan and set aside.

Top Layer
1 Cup sliced Strawberries
1/4 Coconut Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats
Mix sliced strawberries, water, vanilla, and coconut sugar together in a sauce pan and cook on low stirring occasionally until strawberries begin to soften (about 10 minutes). Mash softened strawberries with a fork and then take off heat. Stir in oats until well combined and spread mixture over top of the bottom layer. Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes. Bottom should be lightly browned.

For chocolate drizzle: Mix 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chips with 1 tbs coconut oil. Microwave in a mug for 20 seconds stir, then microwave another 1o-15 seconds. Stir until smooth. Once baked mixture is out of the oven use a spoon to drizzle chocolate across top of the bars. I didn’t end up using all of my chocolate but you can apply as liberally as you please. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes for chocolate to set. Cut into 9 squaresDSC_0341

 

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