If you are anything like me, you may have gotten a little too excited with all the apples and pears at the market. So you probably need a couple of ideas and recipes to use up all that goodness. I gotchu covered with these healthy apple oatmeal bars. I use apples and pears on an oat/nut crust with date caramel sauce, a delicious oat crumble on top and it is all refined sugar free. Get excited guys, get very excited!
If it has fruit in it, it has to be healthy, right?
I used to consider dessert healthy if it had fruit in it. Ohhhh those were the days… now I know better. Those apple crumbles loaded with sugar and then topped with ice cream were definitely not very healthy. But because it had oats and apples, it was “healthy.” Oops, but you live and you learn, right. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having some apple crisp every now and then, but having a truly healthier option is pretty sweet too.
Embracing the Good:
I have been hit with the creativity bug lately and I am not complaining about it. This type of work (blogging and running a personal brand and business) can be exhausting mentally. Trying to constantly think of new and exciting things to talk about that are relevant to you (the reader) is amazingly fun, but also stressful when you can’t seem to get out of your own way. Or when you just have writers block, which I have had before and it SUCKS! So this time, I am going with the flow and embracing this period too. I received so much positive feedback when I spoke about anxiety on my latest post, which makes me so happy, I CAN’T EVEN. The whole reason I share is because I know that I am not the only one dealing with shit. We all have stuff to deal with, some worse than others, but it’s how you use tools available to you to deal with them that counts the most. I plan on sharing a lot more about how I deal with my own anxieties using foods, herbs and lifestyle adjustments.
Spoiler- one of those lifestyle shifts has been yoga. I challenged myself to a 30 day challenge in October and I can’t wait to share what I learned from the experience.
Healthy Apple Oatmeal Bars For the Win:
Ok, back to these delicious healthy apple oatmeal bars, because they scream fall and you need them in your life!
These bars are a bit on the crumb-ly side so keep that in mind when you’re serving it. Also, you don’t need to make the date sauce if you don’t want to. It does add a nice taste, but it’s optional. If you do make it and you have leftovers, be sure to make these no bake chocolate peanut butter bars or use it in my vegan pumpkin smoothie with date caramel sauce.
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This recipe is slightly adapted from the amazing, Minimalist Baker.
Healthy Apple Oatmeal Bars (Vegan + GF)
For the Crust:
For the Filling:
For the Topping:
Prepare the filling:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Chop and core your apples and pears into cubes that are bite sized.
Add these to a baking dish with all the other ingredients and mix it up.
Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes covered, then uncover it and cook for 4-5 minutes more.
Make the crust:
Line a 8 x 8 pan with coconut oil (helps make the paper stick) and then parchment paper.
While the fruits are cooking, make the crust by adding all ingredients into a blender or food processor except the coconut oil.
Blend until it is smooth and fine, then add the coconut oil and blend until the mixture comes together.
Press the dough into the pan, starting at the center and working your way out, pressing down until it is flat.
Bake for 22-25 minutes at 350.
Make the date sauce:
Once your dates have softened, add all ingredients into your blender or food processor and blend until it is smooth.
You can add a little extra water if needed.
Make the crumble:
Mix up all the ingredients in a small bowl, using a fork or your hands to mash it up, until it sticks together and is crumbly.
Putting it all together:
Once the crust is finished, remove from the oven and let it cool slightly, then add the date caramel (if using) as the first layer.
Add the baked apples + pear mixture on top.
Sprinkle the oat crumble on top and bake for 20 minutes at 350.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 30-45 minutes, remove it and cut into squares.
I like serving it with a drizzle of almond butter.