(MEATLESS MONDAYS/VEGAN RECIPES) Sweeten up your Monday with these raspberry crumble bars! This vegan dessert is made with a sweet-tart raspberry chia seed filling, granola crumb-style crust, and a thick crumble topping with pumpkin seeds and coconut.

These bars are best made the night before you intend to serve them. After an evening stored in an air-tight container, the sweet crusts becomes and soft and the crumble loses its crispiness, which makes them perfect for serving with vegan ice cream or whipped cream.

What’s more, the raspberry filling is delicious all on its own and is perfect on smoothie bowls, yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, pancakes, or even toast! As always, happy eating! — Global Animal

Vegan Raspberry Crumble Bars. Photo Credit: I Love Vegan

Vegan Raspberry Crumble Bars

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

Raspberry Chia Filling
  • 2½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
Crust
  • 1 ½ cups granola (I used Nature’s Path Hemp Plus)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, soft (at room temperature)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
Crumble Topping
  • ¾ cup granola
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, soft (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbsp shaved coconut (optional)

Directions:

Raspberry Chia Filling
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 2½ cups frozen raspberries, ⅓ cup sugar, and 1 tsp lemon juice over medium heat. Stir often. Once the raspberries have released their juices stir in 2 tbsp of chia seeds – be sure to break up any chia seed lumps. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened and the berries have broken down. Add ½ cup of fresh or frozen berries and continue cooking until berries are heated through (break them up slightly if desired.) Remove from heat and set aside.
Crust
  1. Pulse 1½ cups of granola in a food processor until the texture is rough but fairly even (no large chunks.)
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together ⅓ cup sugar and ¼ cup coconut oil. Beat in 2 tbsp of water. Add the processed granola, ⅔ cup flour, and a pinch of salt. Mix well. The mixture should be moist but not wet and hold together easily when pinched. Adjust the texture using a touch of flour or water if necessary. Set aside.
Crumble Topping
  1. Pulse ¾ cup granola in a food processor until the texture has evened out slightly (no large chunks of granola.)
  2. Cream together ¼ cup sugar and 3 tbsp coconut oil. Beat in 1 tbsp water. Add processed granola, ⅓ cup flour, and a pinch of salt. Mix up the crumble topping with your hands (try to encourage a chunky uneven texture.) Stir in the pumpkin seeds and coconut (if using.)
Assembling the Bars
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Press the crust mixture firmly into the pan.
  3. Top the crust with an even layer of the raspberry chia filling.
  4. Top the crust with a thick layer of crumble.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the crumble is barely golden brown. Cool and slice into 12 bars.

Notes

Raspberry Chia Seed Filling: It can be a little tough to decide when the raspberry mixture has thickened up enough to transfer on top of the crust. Chill a spoon by running it under COLD water. Dip it into the raspberry mixture. Once cooled, the consistency should be thick and jam-like (not runny) but not so firm that it’s hard to get off of the spoon.You can use this method throughout the cooking process to check the fillings progress.

Storing: These bars are best served after 12-24 hours in an air-tight container or bag. These bars freeze very well.

Recipe Courtesy of I Love Vegan

More I Love Vegan: http://www.ilovevegan.com/vegan-raspberry-crumble-bars/

Learn more about the Meat-Free Mondays Challenge!

See more Meat-Free Monday recipes, here!

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