Blackberry Crumble Bars made with whole grains and lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup. These easy homemade bars are a nutritious option for breakfast on-the-go or an afternoon snack. This recipe post is sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free and Sprouts Farmers Market. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions are my own.
Why You'll Love These Blackberry Crumble Bars
These nutrient-rich bars are miles ahead of anything bought off store shelves. Made with whole grains, fresh berries, and coconut sugar, they're a fiber-filled option for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Top them with a dollop of coconutmilk yogurt for an extra layer of decadence, and enjoy on repeat!
These bars are a staple in my house, and I love experimenting with different fruit options to coincide with the seasons. Right now, blackberries and lemon zest are calling my name, however you can also use raspberries or strawberries. Either way, you're in for a fruity, fantastic treat.
Ingredients and Substitutions
These crumble bars are quite versatile, and you may already have some of the ingredients on hand. Here's what you need:
- Old-fashioned rolled oats: The star ingredient in the crumble topping, oats are a necessity here. Quick oats aren't quite sturdy enough to hold up after baking, so I do not suggest subbing for those.
- White whole-wheat flour: All of the whole-grain goodness without the bran-forward taste, this flour works like a charm. You can also use all-purpose flour or a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob's Red Mill.
- Fresh berries: I love blackberries here, however you can also use raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries. The lemon zest adds zing and brightness to the berries, though you can also use orange zest.
- Coconut sugar: Also known as coconut palm sugar, this natural sugar is made from the flower buds of the coconut palm tree. It's lower on the glycemic scale than other granulated sugars, which tempers any potential sugar high. Light brown sugar or regular granulated sugar will also work well here.
- Maple syrup: Rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, maple syrup offers candy-like sweetness to the berry mixture. If you prefer, feel free to swap it for honey or brown rice syrup.
- Butter: An essential in most crumble toppings, this recipe calls for 5 tablespoon butter (a little more than half a stick). If making dairy-free, use a vegan butter, such as Miyoko's, instead.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: This liquid-at-room-temperature oil surprisingly keeps baked goods moist even longer than butter. Plus, it adds heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
How to Make Blackberry Bars
These bars only take about 20 minutes to prepare, and 35 minutes to bake. The only difficult part is waiting until they cool to break into them.
Step 1: Prepare the Fruit Mixture
Combine the blackberries in a small saucepan with maple syrup, corn starch, water, and maple syrup. Bring mixture to a low boil, and cook until the mixture thickens and berries break down. (It helps to use the back of a wooden spoon to manually mash the berries while they cook.)
Once the mixture is thick and gooey, remove it from heat and let cool slightly.
Step 2: Prepare the Oat Mixture
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Next, pour in the butter, olive oil, and vanilla extract and use your hands to thoroughly mix. You want the mixture to feel coarse like sand, and well-moistened.
Step 3: Layer the Bars in a Pan
Set aside ⅔ cup of the oat crumble, and pour the remaining in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Press the mixture down to form an even, compact layer. Next, spread the blackberry mixture overtop using the back of a spoon to spread evenly to all corners. Lastly, sprinkle the reserved ⅔ cup oat crumble over the berries, and transfer the pan to the oven.
The bars need about 35 minutes to bake, however you'll know they're done when the top is golden and toasty. After they bake, let them cool COMPLETELY before slicing into squares.
Step 4: Top with Coconutmilk Yogurt
For an extra layer of decadence, I love topping each bar with a dollop of creamy coconutmilk yogurt. I recommend So Delicious® Dairy Free Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternative. It’s made from organic coconutmilk, and naturally free of lactose, casein, carrageenan, artificial flavors, and MSG. In addition, So Delicious Dairy Free products are verified by the Non-GMO Project’s product verification program.
With the exception of the unsweetened variety, all So Delicious Dairy Free Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternatives are lightly sweetened. This takes the place of needing to add any additional sweetener to the topping, and makes it feel like a dairy-free whipped topping.
Can You Freeze Blackberry Crumble Bars?
In short, YES--crumble bars freeze quite well. Once they cool, cut the bars into squares, place them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag, and freeze up to 3 months. When ready to eat, either take one individual bar or the whole batch out and let thaw to room temperature. Alternatively, microwave each bar for 30 seconds.
If you're not freezing, you'll likely notice these bars get BETTER as they sit. In fact, I like them best on day 2 or 3. The fruit filling will start softening the crumble, which makes them taste exactly like a Nutrigrain bar. If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your fun creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
More Healthy Snack Recipes
Blackberry Crumble Bars
- 2 ½ cups fresh blackberries (sub raspberries)
- 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. corn starch
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Cooking spray
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour (sub all-purpose flour)
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (sub vegan butter if making dairy-free)
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- So Delicious Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternative for topping (optional)
- Combine blackberries, maple syrup, corn starch, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a low boil, mashing berries to break them down. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lemon zest, and let cool slightly.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 11- x 7-inch baking dish with parchment paper; lightly grease with cooking spray. Combine oats, flour, coconut sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in butter, oil, and vanilla; mix with your hands until texture resembles coarse sand. Reserve ⅔ cup oat mixture.
- Spread remaining oat mixture in an even layer in prepared baking dish. Use your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup to firmly press down. Spread blackberry mixture evenly overtop, and sprinkle remaining oat mixture over berries. Bake until lightly browned, about 35 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack. Slice into 12 squares. Top each square with a dollop of So Delicious Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternative, if desired. Store in an airtight container up to 4 days.