Healthy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars made with a sweet yet tart strawberry jam, sandwiched in between the perfect oat topping. Made with fresh strawberries, lemon juice, and sweetened with a touch of maple syrup, you will love these bars!
Healthy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Fresh strawberry desserts are one of the highlights of the summer for me. What about you? There are so many delicious ways to fresh strawberries, but this recipe for gluten-free strawberry oatmeal bars is my favorite.
These bars are the perfect combination of sweet, tart, crumbly, and just a little chewy. A delicious strawberry jam is sandwiched in between an oat and almond flour crust that also doubles as the crumb topping. They are great cooled, yet still warm, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. I know you will love them!
Almond Flour: to keep the crust and topping gluten free, these bars use almond flour.
Oats: for this recipe use gluten free rolled oats for the best results. If you are particularly sensitive to gluten, be sure your oats are certified gluten free.
Dark Brown Sugar: this is used in the crust to add sweetness.
Fresh Strawberries: making these bars with sweet fresh strawberries really makes them even more delicious.
Butter: this gives the crust the best flavor and of course buttery-ness.
Lemon Juice and Zest: this is a must have ingredient to add just the right amount of tartness to the bars. The fresh lemon juice and zest really help to amplify the flavor of the bars.
Maple Syrup: for a touch of sweetness in the filling, these bars use pure maple syrup. If you would like, you can use honey instead of maple syrup.
Vanilla Extract: this gives the filling just the right touch of vanilla flavor.
Corn Starch or Arrowroot Starch: you can use either of these ingredients to thicken the bars.
How to Make Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Step One: First make the crust and crumb topping. Add the almond flour, oats, sugar, and butter to a mixing bowl. Use your hands to work the butter into the flour, sugar, and oats until it is well combined and forms a dough like consistency. Press two-thirds of the crumb-crust mixture into an eight by eight pan lined with parchment paper. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and set aside.
Step Two: Now make the strawberry filling. In a medium saucepan or skillet combine the strawberries, lemon zest, maple syrup, and vanilla extract over medium-high heat. Bring the strawberries to a boil and let them cook for ten to twelve minutes. When the strawberries have turned a deep red color, remove them from the heat. Whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch to make a slurry and then pour that mixture into the strawberries. Stir until the strawberries have thickened into a jam like consistency.
Step Three: Pour the strawberry jam over the crust and then use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crumb topping evenly over the jam.
Step Four: Let the bars bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the jam is bubbly around the edges and the top is golden brown.
Step Five: Let the bars come to a complete cool. Slice into squares and enjoy!
Will Other Fruits Work?
You can definitely give it a try! If you are thinking of using blueberries, you can follow this recipe for Blueberry Pie Bars!
If you are interested in a raspberry version, these Raspberry Oatmeal Bars are for you!
You can even make a cranberry crumble bar that would be perfect for the holiday season.
Apples will likely work, but because apples do not have as much moisture in them as berries, you may not need to add as much cornstarch or cook them as long to make the jam.
Can I Use Frozen Strawberries For The Filling?
Yes! If you are using frozen strawberries, thaw them completely before using and then drain any extra liquid before adding them to the pan. If your jam filling does not seem to thicken up for some reason, add an extra teaspoon of arrowroot starch.
What Can I Substitute for Almond Flour?
If you have a nut allergy, feel free to use oat flour or gluten free all purpose flour for the almond flour in these bars. Do not substitute coconut flour as it will not work.
Can I Use Coconut Oil Instead of Butter?
If you need to make a dairy-free and vegan version of this dessert you can easily substitute coconut oil for butter. Just note, that the coconut oil will give the crust and crumb topping a slightly coconut flavor. If you do use coconut oil, make sure that the oil is slightly solid and similar to the texture of butter and not melted.
How to Store
Store the strawberry bars in an air-tight container in the fridge for five to seven days to keep them fresh. If they even last that long!
Tips and Tricks for the Best Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
- Use parchment paper. Grease the pan a bit before adding the parchment paper to help the parchment paper stick to the bottom of the pan so it won’t slip around while you are pressing in the crust.
- Let them cool before slicing. I know it’s hard but after the bars are finished baking, you need to let them cool completely before slicing and trying to pick them up. The jam needs to fully set in order for you to eat them like an actual bar. I found that letting them cool in the refrigerator makes the bars easier to slice and eat.
- Chill in the fridge. Speaking of fridge, these bars are actually delicious straight out of the fridge. If you just can’t wait, you can always let the bars cool for 30-40 minutes on the counter until they are warm instead of piping hot. Just know that you’ll probably have to eat them with a fork, which isn’t the worst thing.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the bars. A sharp knife will help you make a clean cut and get through the thick bottom layer of crust.
More Delicious Dessert Recipes to Love
Healthy Blueberry Pie Bars
No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
Healthy Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
Healthy Key Lime Pie Bars
Gluten Free Strawberry Oatmeal Crisp
No Bake Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
For the Crust and Topping
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, diced
For the Filling
- 3 cups chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the oats, almond flour, brown sugar, and butter almond flour to a mixing bowl. Use your hands to work the butter into the flour, sugar, and oats until it is well combined and forms a dough like consistency.
- Press 2/3 of the crumb-crust mixture into a 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan or skillet combine the strawberries, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and lemon zest over medium-high heat. Bring the strawberries to a boil and let them cook for 10-12 minutes.
- When the strawberries have turned a deep red color, remove them from the heat. Whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch to make a slurry and then pour that mixture into the strawberries. Stir until the strawberries have thickened into a jam like consistency.
- Pour the strawberry jam over the crust and then use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crumb topping evenly over the jam.
- Let the bars bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the jam is bubbly around the edges and the top is golden brown.
- Let the bars come to a complete cool. Slice into squares and enjoy!
Keywords: healthy strawberry oatmeal bars, strawberry oatmeal bars, gluten free strawberry oatmeal bars, strawberry bars
Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: THE MINDFUL HAPA