When I was just a wee one in elementary school, as I watched all the other kids at lunch peel away the plastic and devour their delicious processed Lunchables, I sat in the corner and unwrapped a soggy tuna sandwich. Every. Single. Day. The whole wheat bread would shake hands and mingle with the mayo-ridden tuna fish and it would shape shift into this ball of mush rolled into tin foil that would stink up my entire lunch box. Although only mildly scarred from the whole experience…I was always green with envy as I saw my classmates eating the square pepperoni pizzas that the cafeterias served. Now that I’m older and wiser (sort of), I feel forever indebted to my mother.
She instilled in me that home cooking is healthier cooking, and I have never forgotten that simple truth.
….My poor future children. Not only will they have long scraggly hair that I will refuse to cut and be forced to take drum, guitar, AND piano lessons, but they too will be munching on soggy sandwiches at lunch. What goes around comes around, kay?
Don’t feel too bad for them, look at this dessert that they’ll potentially be eating. That’s right. They’ll be long-haired, musically talented, AND
obese well fed.
I am very excited to share this recipe with you because my mom is the one who introduced me to it! She is so sweet; when I first switched my diet several years ago she took a recipe and modified it to make it vegan for my 22nd birthday. I have taken it a step further to make it gluten free as well! It’s sweet, crunchy, and oozing with rich bright raspberry jam. Plus, adding nuts (optional) to the recipe will amp up the protein value!
The most difficult part of this recipe is letting it cool before cutting it! You really have to wait it out because otherwise it will just be one big gooey mess, which, let’s face it, isn’t a terrible thing as long as it tastes good, but if you’re going for bars you have to let them cool completely. Check your facebook, stalk your ex on instagram, pick your nose, do whatever for the next 30-45 minutes because these babies need ample time to set.
This dish also works well if you want to pour it over ice cream while it’s still hot. You can sub the gluten free flour for all purpose flour…whole wheat pastry flour may work as well. You can also try using chia instead of flax seed but as chia tends to not assimilate as well, it could throw off the texture. Who knows…experiment!
Raspberry Crumb Squares
- 1 1/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (or all purpose flour…I have not tried whole wheat but you could definitely give it your best effort!)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, plus a little more for greasing the baking pan with
- 1 T ground flax seed + 3 T water + another 1/2 tsp ground flax seed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
- 1 cup raspberry jam (you could also try apricot/strawberry/blackberry)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-in square baking dish with some coconut oil.
- Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, 1/2 tsp ground flax seed, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, mix together 1 T ground flax seed and 3 T water. Let sit for at least 5 minutes until mixture becomes a little gooey.
- Cream together the brown sugar and coconut oil in a separate bowl or electric mixer. If the coconut oil is pretty much a solid, heat it up in the microwave for a bit until it becomes softer…you want it to be just like the consistency of butter/margarine. Work with me here, we’re trying to avoid clogging up your arteries.
- Beat the flax and water mixture, along with the vanilla and almond extracts, into the sugar and oil. Then add in the flour mixture and stir until smooth.
- Stir in 1 3/4 cup of the oats and mix well.
- Spread 2/3 of this batter into the bottom of the greased pan.
- Spread the jam onto the top with a spatula or the back of the spoon. See, spooning is always a good time.
- Now add the rest of the oats (should be about 1/4 cup) into the rest of the batter and stir until thoroughly combined. Crumble this over the jam and place in the oven for about 35 minutes.
- Take pan out of oven, annnnnnd LET IT COOL! Wait at least 30-45 minutes.
- When completely cooled, cut into squares. Warning, these squares will be a little flimsy but I promise the taste is out of this universe. If lazy or impatient or both, you can always spoon the mixture while its warm over some dairy free (I like coconut milk or cashew cream) ice cream. Much yum.
I’ve got a nice little song for you called Electric Eyes by Metaform. The lyrics are divine, the beat is rhythmic and groovy, and it sets the mood for a long drive. Which I had to endure this past week as I drove down to LA and back. I am moving to LA in a couple weeks and could not be more excited!!