These chia jam bars are made with a rich almond butter oat base that’s covered in gooey raspberry chia jam and crumble topping.
Can we talk for a minute about what a big fat phony I am? Sometimes, if you follow me on social media, you’ll see me say something like “Yay! Spring’s on the way!” And the other day I went to the dentist, and just as the hygienist was about to shove an instrument in my mouth she asked if I was excited for spring. “Yup!” I responded. What else could I say? And I do this all the freaking time guys, because most people are super excited about warmer weather being on the way. But I’m kind of…not. I love the snow, and my fireplace, and the Christmas tree (it’s going down this weekend, I swear). I’m not excited about humidity, doing my taxes, and losing an hour of sleep over daylight savings (oh hey, good morning!).
But I can’t really talk about it, because see: I sound like a old grump.
So sometimes I pretend to be more enthusiastic about spring (and then summer) than I really am.
And sometimes I find things to be enthusiastic about. Like berries!
Okay, so berry season is a ways away at this point, but I need to psych myself up as much as I can, and they are available if not at peak, which probably explains my recent chia jam kick. The nice think about chia jam is that the berries don’t have to be perfect for the jam to turn out great.
I made these bars to cheer me up one weird 70° afternoon in the middle of February, and they worked! These babies were very delicious, very easy, and tasted like all that’s good and right about spring and summer. The crust is a lot like shortbread, but better because it’s made with almond butter and oats. The filling is just as sweet as I like it, which is not too sweet. All in all, these guys were delicious, and I plan on keeping a stash available to elevate my mood until September rolls back around.
Almond Butter Raspberry Chia Jam Bars
For the Raspberry Chia Jam Filling
- 12 ounces about 2 cups fresh raspberries
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
For the Base/Crumble Topping
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour, you can make this by grinding rolled oats in the food processor
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar, or another vegan granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup creamy almond butter
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
First, make the raspberry chia jam filling. Place the raspberries, maple syrup, and lemon juice into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat and allow to simmer until the berries begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Mash the berries with the back of a spoon and stir in the chia seeds. Continue simmering for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to sit while you prepare the base/crumble topping. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch square baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of the ingredients for the base/crumble topping, until everything is uniformly blended. Dig in with your hands if you need to.
Place about 2/3 of the base/crumble topping mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan to create the base. Press very firmly to uniformly coat the bottom of the pan. Spread the chia jam over the base, then crumble the remaining base/crumble topping mixture over the jam.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crumble topping begins to brown.
Remove from the oven and transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
This recipe can be made gluten-free by using certified gluten-free oats and oat flour.