The best healthy strawberry oat crumble bars with a buttery sugar cookie crust, naturally sweet strawberry filling, and crispy oatmeal crumble topping. Made with a mix of almond flour and oat flour, this summer dessert is made vegan, dairy free, and gluten free.
The best vegan strawberry crumble pie bars
Fruit crumbles and crisps are my all-time favorite dessert. Now that it is summer, I have an excuse to make a different crumble recipe every weekend! Although I do love a classic berry crisp, I have recently been loving making them into bars. Something about finger food is just the best, am I right??
These gluten free strawberry oatmeal bars are a delicious treat made from real whole food ingredients. They are so easy to make and honestly who doesn’t love bubbly and sweet strawberries. It is strawberry season after all!
My favorite part about these vegan strawberry oatmeal crumble bars is the buttery sugar cookie crust. Made with almond flour and oat flour, it seriously melts in your mouth and is so delicious that I could just eat it all on its own.
Since these bars are not overly sweet and are low in sugar, they can be enjoyed at any time of the day. They are ideal for dinner parties or family dinners, summer grill-outs, the Fourth of July, or meal prep. They are simply the best thing I have eaten all summer!
How are these strawberry crumble bars healthier?
While the term healthy is relative to each individual, I consider these strawberry oatmeal bars to be quite healthy. First, they are made from a few simple good-for-you ingredients. Second, they contain no preservatives, no refined sugars, and no random ingredients. Third, this recipe is completely wholesome and naturally sweetened with fresh strawberries and a little maple syrup.
In fact, strawberry crumble squares have many health benefits including vitamins and antioxidants from the strawberries, fiber, whole grain and protein from the rolled oats, healthy fats from the coconut oil, and omega-3s from the walnuts. Strawberry crumb bars truly taste AMAZING and are the best healthy dessert there is!
Ingredients in healthy strawberry crumble bars
There are 10 simple ingredients and three easy parts to this strawberry dessert recipe: the quick sugar cookie crust, the sweet strawberry filling, and the crisp oat crumb topping. These bars are soon to be your new favorite dessert. Here, take a look at the ingredient list for yourself:
sugar cookie base:
- Almond Flour: for the base, we are using 1 cup of almond flour to make them gluten-free and super soft like a sugar cookie. Trust me, the base of these bars will melt in your mouth!
- Oat Flour: use store-bought or homemade oat flour made by blending rolled oats in a high-speed blender.
- Salt: you only need 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Maple Syrup: to give this delicious sugar cookie crust a little sweetness, we use 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup. This is my favorite natural sweetener because of its amazing flavor, and it makes this base slightly dense (in a great way)!
- Vanilla Extract: add 1 tsp of vanilla extract to give this cookie base a little flavor.
- Unsalted Butter or Coconut Oil: 3 Tablespoons of softened coconut oil (vegan) or unsalted butter are key to keeping the crust moist, soft, and melt in your mouth delicious. Personally, I love using butter because it gives this sugar cookie bottom an irresistibly delicious buttery melt. Still, I have tested them with coconut oil and it is just as delicious! Plus, that means these squares are vegan and dairy-free.
- Strawberries: the star of this insanely delicious summer dessert recipe! Use 4 cups of destemmed and quartered fresh strawberries. Once baked, they will be warm, bubbly, and perfectly sweet.
- Coconut sugar: to give this filling a dash of sweetness, add 2 Tablespoons of coconut sugar. This is my favorite refined sugar-free sweetener.
- Lemon Juice: add 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for a light & tangy flavor.
- Arrowroot Starch or Cornstarch: 1 Tablespoon is plenty to thicken the strawberry filling and not leave it too liquidly.
- Oats: Measure out 1 cup of rolled oats or quick oats for the star of this crispy oat crumble. If you are gluten-free, use gluten-free certified oats!
- Almond Flour: add 1/4 cup of almond flour, not almond meal, to help bind the crumble together.
- Walnuts or Pecans: plus 1/4 cup of nuts. This ingredient is optional, but I love to add it because it offers the perfect texture crunch and nutty flavor. Plus, walnuts have lots of Omega-3s.
- Maple Syrup: 1/3 cup of maple syrup naturally sweetens this crumble and also helps crisp it up.
- Coconut Oil: use 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil to help crisp up this oat crumble topping. This also makes these strawberry pie bars vegan. You can also use butter.
Ingredient substitutions suggestions
There are so many options for you to customize these vegan strawberry crumble bars so they can be exactly how you like them! If you are missing a few of my ingredients, here are some ingredient substitution recommendations:
- Make them Vegan: swap out the butter for coconut oil or vegan butter in the sugar cookie base to make these strawberry pie bars vegan and dairy free.
- Arrowroot Starch: use cornstarch or tapioca powder instead.
- Butter: you can also use coconut oil or vegan butter for the base of these bars. Use 3 Tablespoons of softened coconut oil, not melted.
- Rolled Oats: swap the rolled oats out for quick oats if that is what you have on hand. Stay away from steel cut oats.
- Coconut Sugar: you can use light brown sugar in place of coconut sugar.
Kitchen tools used
Gather your kitchen tools before diving into making these super easy strawberry oatmeal bars. This dessert recipe calls for 3 tools, which will make clean-up a breeze! Here is a list of the few basic kitchen tools needed to make this amazing strawberry dessert:
- 8×8 inch tin
- High-Speed Blender (if making your oat flour)
- 2 large mixing bowls
- Measuring tools: 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/3 cup, and 1/2 cup, 1 cup.
How to make healthy strawberry crumble bars
Healthy strawberry crumble bars are incredibly easy to make. Any level cook can make them and feel like a master chef! I practically have every step already memorized that’s how easy they are to bake. With 12 servings, these strawberry pie bars will quickly become a go-to dessert recipe.
Step 1: First, start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, Then, line and grease an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and nonstick cooking spray.
Step 2: Next, prepare the buttery sugar cookie base by combining the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. If you are making your own oat flour with rolled oats, blend the oats in a high-speed blender prior to mixing them in. Once all the ingredients are combined, press the mixture in an even layer on the bottom of the lined pan and blind bake the base for 8 – 10 minutes while preparing the strawberry filling.
Step 3: Now, in the second mixing bowl, toss the strawberries with coconut sugar, arrowroot powder, and lemon juice. Pour the mixture on top of the base once it has been removed from the oven and cooled.
Step 4: Then, prepare the oatmeal crumb topping by mixing the rolled oats, almond flour, and walnuts or pecans together. Then, pour the maple syrup and melted coconut oil on top and mix it together with your hands until it is a sand-like texture.
Step 5: Finally, sprinkle the oat crumb topping evenly on over the strawberries and bake for 35 – 45 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden.
Let the bars cool on a wire rack and enjoy! I recommend serving with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream topping.
You do not need to be a professional baker to make these strawberry pie squares! Here are my top 6 recipe tips to ensure your strawberry crumble squares are perfect.
- Use fresh strawberries. Using fresh strawberries will give your vegan strawberry crumble bars the best flavor and consistency. That being said, you can certainly use frozen strawberries if that is all you have.
- Use parchment paper. Make sure to lay down parchment paper in your pan. This step makes it so much easier to remove the crumble bars from the pan and cut into squares everyone can pick up and enjoy.
- Blind bake the bottom. Blind baking the bottom layer makes it so there is no soggy bottom. You want the sugar cookie base to be soft and buttery, but not soggy.
- Make sure your topping is well-combined. Mixing the oat crumb topping with your hands is the best way to ensure that all your oats are covered and that the butter is cut into the streusel. This creates the delicious, golden brown crisp topping!
- Let it cool before diving in. Before dividing your gluten free strawberry bars, let the entire crumble cool. This allows everything to set and stay together for the best cut squares.
- Easily make ahead. Are you looking to save time and prep for serving guests? Simply prepare the recipe as directed, bake, and then cover it with foil. Once ready to eat, cut them into squares and enjoy cool or place in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes and serve!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to enjoy?
I love enjoying these healthy strawberry oatmeal bars cool at room temperature or straight out of the refrigerator with some ice cream or whipped cream. There is something special about cold buttery sugar cookie crust! It just melts in your mouth.
Are they vegan?
Yes, there are no eggs in this recipe; just make sure to use vegan butter or coconut oil for the almond flour sugar cookie base!
How to store strawberry crumble bars
I recommend eating these gluten free strawberry bars within 6 – 8 hours from removing it from the oven for the best taste. Store leftover bars in individual airtight containers or the original baking dish covered with aluminum foil in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
Can I use quick oats in the crumble?
Yes, you can use quick oats if you do not have old-fashioned rolled oats. Do not use steel-cut oats!
Are these strawberry crumble bars gluten free?
Yes, these strawberry crumble bars are 100% gluten free since we use almond flour and gluten free oat four. Make sure you use certified gluten free oats!
Can I make homemade oat flour in a blender?
Making your own oat flour is really easy and will save you lots of money. Add you need to do is add rolled oats to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until it resembles a flour consistency. This will only take about 45 seconds!
If you loved this healthy summer Dessert recipe, check these out!
- Healthy Blueberry Crumble Bars
- Mixed Berry Orange Crisp
- Healthy Peach Crisp
- Lemon Poppy Seed Crumb Cake
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Healthy Strawberry Crumble Bars
Sugar Cookie Base:
- 1 ¼ cup almond flour, spooned and level
- ½ cup oat flour, homemade in the blender
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup real maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter or coconut oil, softened
- 4 cups fresh strawberries, ~1.5 lbs, destemmed & cut up into quarters
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup almond flour, spoon and leveled
- ¼ cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and line an 8x8’ tin with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar cookie base dry ingredients. Then use your hands to make sure all the butter is mixed into the dough. Evenly press into the greased tin.
- Bake the base for 8 - 10 minutes then remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in another mixing bowl, combines all the strawberry filling ingredients. Make sure all the strawberries are coated and then pour on top of the sugar cookie base.
- In another mixing bowl, combine all the crumble topping ingredients. Evenly sprinkle on top of the strawberry filling.
- Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until filling bubbling and crumble topping golden brown.
- Enjoy at room temperature, from the fridge, or warm with vanilla ice cream!
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