Easy Apple Oat Bars with Streusel Topping (vegan + gluten-free)

VeganGluten-FreeDairy FreeSoy-Free

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Apple season is in full swing, which means apple desserts!  But beware, most apple desserts are drowning in butter and refined sugar making them not as healthy as their main ingredient…apples.  But I’ve got you covered on that front…this healthy vegan and gluten-free apple dessert is perfect for fall and completely allergy friendly (no dairy, eggs, soy, corn, wheat or gluten).  You could even enjoy these apple oat bars as part of a healthy brunch or breakfast.  Totally acceptable.

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Can apples really help keep the doc away? Two years ago I wrote about the incredible health benefits of apples in The Washington Post and created a healthy apple pie recipe.  Check it out.  Bottom line, apples are chock-full of powerful disease-fighting nutrients and health benefits while remaining low in calories and offering heart healthy fiber.  Plus, apples contain immune-boosting antioxidants and keep you hydrated (84% of an apple’s content is actually water).

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, apples are loaded with the powerful antioxidant quercetin, which is found predominantly in the skin. Quercetin is a phytochemical with anti-inflammatory and heart-protecting qualities, and may reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells.

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Definitely keep the skin on.  When you remove the skin, you remove about half the fiber. Dietary fiber is important for weight management, because it keeps you fuller longer. Dietary fiber from fruit, as part of an overall healthful diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and might lower the risk of heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Plus, fiber aids in proper bowel function and helps to reduce constipation.  An apple’s skin is also incredibly nutrient-rich so don’t miss out!
Dive right in to fall with this healthy, nutritious and allergy-friendly apple dessert recipe that has been a huge hit with my family and friends recently.
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Apple Oat Bars with Streusel Topping


  • Author: EatingbyElaine.com
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 12 bars 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A lightened-up apple dessert that is gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly.


Ingredients

Scale

For Oat Base

  • 2 cups quick cooking gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, melted (or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Apple Filling

  • 23 large apples, thinly sliced, chopped (makes approximately 3.5 cups, chopped) – skin on or off*
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

For Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 cup quick cooking gluten free oats
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, softened (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, add the apple filling ingredients (chopped apples, maple syrup, maple sugar and spices) and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the oat base dry ingredients: oats, almond meal, maple sugar, flaxseed, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, mix the melted vegan butter, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and flaxseed. Stir well.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well. Set aside 1/2 cup of the oat base mixture for topping. Pour the remaining oat mixture onto the square pan and press down with fingers. Use a pastry roller to smooth out if desired. Pour on apple filling and smooth out.
  5. Make the apple streusel topping by mixing all ingredients together with a fork or fingers. Now sprinkle on the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture and apple streusel topping and sprinkle over top.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Allow to fully cool for 40 minutes before gently removing from pan. You can firm the bars up in the refrigerator before slicing into squares or bars. The bars can also be frozen in a glass container in your freezer.

Notes

* I like a mixture of tart green apples and sweet red apples here.  You can peel them or not in this recipe.  I preferred peeled for the best texture but leaving the skin on adds nutrients,

  • Category: dessert

Adapted from OhSheGlows.com

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