It is always a little sad when summer comes to an end. To make this transition back to work and school a little sweeter, we offer a tasty, healthy stone fruit bar recipe that works great as a pack-and-go breakfast or snack. It is perfect for your busy days and to pack in the kiddos’ lunchboxes for a good-for-you tasty treat. The scrumptious bars are simple to prepare and work well with any dietary restriction. They are naturally vegan and free of refined sugar, and can be made gluten-free. They are also packed full of anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and gut-supporting ingredients. The bars feature a crisp yet delicate crust, topped with a layer of thick, juicy, sweet-tart stone fruit filling. The cinnamon-crumble topping brings all the tastes and textures together to create a satisfying bite of true deliciousness.
Serving: 9-12 bars
Crust and Topping
- 1 1/2 cups of roasted almonds (can be replaced with any seed or nut)
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (can use gluten free if needed)
- 1/4 cup of flour (almond, oat, coconut, all-purpose, whole wheat, or gluten free)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup oil (if coconut oil make sure it is melted)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup nut or seed butter
- 3 cups stone fruit (peaches, plumbs, cherries, nectarines, apricots, mangoes), pits removed and chopped
- You can use a single fruit or a combination of stone fruits.
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper or grease with nonstick spray or rub with oil.
- Add the almonds, oats to a food processor or blender and pulse until they are broken down to small bits.
- Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.
- Use 2/3 of the mixture as the crust and reserve 1/3 of it as the topping. Place that 1/3 mixture in the refrigerator. Press the 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake crust for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- While crust is baking, make the filling. Add the fruit, sweetener, chia seeds and lemon juice to a sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat covered for 5 minutes, then remove cover and start mashing the fruit and stirring. Continue to cook for 10 minutes, mashing and stirring occasionally until it has thickened.
- Pour filling mixture over baked crust and then evenly sprinkle the topping mixture (the remaining 1/3 of the oat mixture) over the fruit filling. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the topping is a golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Then cool completely in the refrigerator before cutting into squares. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
Stone Fruit: A good source of soluble fiber to feed the beneficial bacteria in our intestines. The skin and flesh are high in vitamin C for immune and collagen support as well as carotenoids (antioxidant) which has anticancer effects. Also most stone fruits have polyphenols that have been shown to reduce the growth and limit the spread of cancer cells.
Oats: Full of soluble fiber (beta-glucan), which has been shown to slow digestion, increase satiety, and bind to cholesterol to excrete it out of the body. Oats also have plant chemicals that act as antioxidants to reduce damaging effects of chronic inflammation.
Chia Seeds: Excellent source of fiber (10g in just 2 Tbs of chia!). Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. When you soak chia in a liquid (i.e. milk or water), it takes on a gel-like texture due to the high fiber content. This gel coats the gut and helps slow digestion to make you feel satisfied. It also helps bulk up stool and feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. It is also high in calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which can help protect bone health and fight off osteoporosis.
Maple Syrup: A sweetener that is an unexpected source of essential minerals for bone health, metabolism and brain functioning. with more nutrient value than regular table sugar. This means that it will raise blood sugar slower than regular sugar. Also contains polyphenols to reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system. The darker the maple syrup the more antioxidants levels it has. Note: Be sure to carefully read the food label when shopping for maple syrup. Many stores sell “maple-flavored” syrups, which are higher in refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup.
Cinnamon: It has been shown to enhance motor function and normalize neurotransmitter levels. It can help improve insulin sensitivity and maintain stable blood sugar.
Nuts and Seeds: Packed full of heart-healthy fats that help raise the level of our good cholesterol. Also packed full of plant-based protein, fiber and antioxidants. They are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps support the integrity of our nerves, muscles and bones; while balancing our blood sugar and blood pressure.