Can you just not judge me for a second?
I am falling hard and fast for the basic of the basic-est STRAWBERRY JAM right now. I know, I know I know I know. It’s so 4-year-old of me. But you guys, have you even let a spoonful of strawberry jam touch your lips lately? It’s a kiss of sweet strawberry love that I had all but forgotten about.
For breakfast these last few weeks, I’ve been on a kick with English muffins. And do you know what? A toasted English muffin with plain salted butter and plain strawberry jam combo is crispy and salty and sweet in all the right places (those English muffin crevices!! gah) and is a valid reason for that my life is worth living. Have we all just forgotten about the jam basics in our quest for fancy roasted vegetable poached egg sun dried tomato pesto Parmesan cheese avocado toast? Major fail. I don’t know why jam has disappeared from my life, but today I am bringing it back with a new kind of fired-up passion.
Let’s rekindle those jam feelings, right here, right now.
It’s jam bar time. These are juicy, sticky, happy strawberry jam bars – more specifically, strawberry oat crumble bars – and they also happen to be allergy-friendly (no nuts) and vegan (not joking).
This recipe is from a nutritious and bright new cookbook published by a food blog(ger) called Oh She Glows. It’s called Oh She Glows Every Day, and psshh, please, as if I am making any sort of introduction here. If you don’t know Oh She Glows already, you maybe have been living under a rock. or five rocks. This blog (and related cookbook) is very awesome, even for us non-vegans of the world 👋🏼 who just occasionally like to play around with the plant-based lifestyle.
I don’t even know how she does it, but Angela, you keep workin’ those food miracles, girlfriend, and I’ll just be over there in a corner eating the rest of your jam bars k byyye.
I think my favorite part about this recipe is the caramel-like sauce that you make to bring the whole crust together.
The world says: vegans, isn’t it sad to not eat caramel?
Vegans say: don’t you know you can make caramel with coconut oil, maple syrup and maybe some brown rice syrup, and a dollop of nut or seed butter?
Wait tho – WHY HAS THIS BEEN KEPT A SECRET FROM ME. I literally could have stopped at this moment in the recipe and died happy.
The Jammy awesomeness of these bars is big, guys. B-I-G.
Everything about these screams sweet and nutritious after-school-snack – they have a little bit of a peanut butter and jelly taste to them, but super subtle because SUNFLOWER SEEDS. Not peanuts. You still get that creamy nuttiness that compliments the sweet lil pops of jam, but in a way that makes you go, YUM. What is that. I need more.
And then somehow you find your fingers at the keyboard typing in o-h-s-h-e-g-lo-w-s-.-c-o-m because you have tasted and seen. You are a believer.
- 1¼ cups strawberry jam
- 1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup virgin coconut oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons brown rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter
- If desired, roast the sunflower seeds: Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). 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.
- Increase the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9-inch (2.5 L) square pan (or an 8-inch/2 L pan for a slightly thicker bar) with parchment paper, leaving some overhang, which will make it easy to lift out the bars later.
- In a food processor, combine the sunflower seeds, oats, and salt and process until you have a coarse flour.
- 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 (5 mL) at a time, and processing again until it comes together.
- Set aside 1¼ cups (300 mL) 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 9 times to allow steam to escape.
- Prebake 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 1¼ cups (300 mL) oat mixture evenly over the jam.
- 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.
Lindsay's notes: I cheated and used almond butter instead of sunflower seed butter because that was all I had. Still super delicious! I also baked mine in a 9x5 loaf pan because, again, I was under-resourced at the moment. But they turned out great! Just a little thicker and more begging for a glass of milk to seal the deal. I meannnn ALMOND MILK! You do you, friends.
This post contains affiliate links for the Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook!✨
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