A blog reader recently emailed me hoping to see a gluten-free version of an oldie but goodie blog recipe – the popular Healthy Strawberry Oat Bars from way back in 2010. There’s something about this time of the year that makes me crave jam-filled oat crumble squares (or really, any kind of baked good, who am I fooling!), so she didn’t need to twist my arm. Not only is this version gluten-free, but it uses coconut oil instead of vegan butter (reduced by about half!), and showcases a new and improved crispy topping. The topping gets crunchy and golden, almost like a granola. Wowzers. My Raspberry Chia Seed Jam recipe was used for a reduced sugar option, but you can use any store-bought or homemade jam you see fit. The beauty of the oat square is that you can change up the flavour significantly just by swapping out different flavours of jam. I think a peach version would be nice too. I made a cinnamon peach chia seed jam a few weeks ago and it was delicious!
Joanna, this one is for you, and anyone who appreciates a classic jam + oat combo! These are healthy enough to start your day with, and delicious enough for an end of the night treat.
Raspberry Oat Crumble Squares
Reminiscent of a Nutri-Grain bar, these squares are vegan, gluten-free, and filled with a delectable raspberry chia seed jam. They require a good period of cooling before they are ready to be sliced—otherwise they may crumble a bit, as they’re very delicate while warm. Feel free to use 1 cup of your favourite store-bought jam in place of the chia seed jam if you are tight on time; this recipe comes together so fast if using store-bought jam (or previously made and cooled chia seed jam)! Oat squares adapted from my Healthy Strawberry Oat Bars.
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam (or 1 cup store-bought jam):
- 3 cups (350 g) frozen or fresh raspberries
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons (20 g) chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) pure vanilla extract
For the squares:
- 1 tablespoon (10 g) chia seeds
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) brown rice syrup
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (250 g) gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (68 g) gluten-free oat flour
- 1 cup (100 g) almond flour (not almond meal)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper (with overhang so it’s easy to lift the slab out later).
- For the jam: In a medium pot, stir together the raspberries, maple syrup, and chia seeds until combined. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the raspberries break down and the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and into the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes, to hasten the cooling process.
- For the oat squares: In a small mug, mix together the chia seeds and water to make a chia egg. Set aside for a few minutes until thickened.
- In a large bowl, stir together the melted oil, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and vanilla. When the chia egg has thickened, stir that in, too.
- One by one, stir in the rolled oats, oat flour, almond flour, baking soda, and salt until the there are no dry patches left. The dough will seem too dry at first, but if you keep mixing, it’ll eventually come together!
- Set aside 1 packed cup of dough for the crumble topping.
- Spoon the remaining dough into the prepared pan. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and press down to spread the dough out evenly, until it covers the entire base. Or, in lieu of parchment paper, simply use lightly wet hands to press the dough down.
- When the chia jam has thickened and cooled, pour all of it (about 1 cup) on top of the oat mixture and spread it out evenly. If using store-bought jam instead, spread on 1 cup.
- Crumble the remaining cup of dough over the jam layer.
- Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is semi-firm to the touch.
- Place the pan directly on a cooling rack for 20 to 30 minutes, and then place it in the fridge until completely cool (about 30 more minutes). Slide a knife around the edges. Carefully lift out the slab and slice into squares.
- Store any leftover squares in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
Wow, this sounds great! Love how they are gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free! Great dessert for wheat, egg and milk allergies.
These are delicious!!! I didn’t have any brown rice syrup, so I substituted maple syrup and they turned out great! Had them as a snack before bed last night and then as breakfast this morning :)
Holy crap! These are good!
By the way I added 2 tablespoons of hemp hearts for extra omega 3s and protein!
Awesome recipe! I did it with peaches (fresh from the market). Also I used brown rice flour instead of almond flour so I could send it as a treat to school with my son.
I just made these tonight. Oh wow, so delicious!! Thanks for the great recipe.
These look great! I’m new to this site and excited to try some of the recipes. I’ve found chia seeds but no luck with the rice syrup or almond flour (I’m in Germany so it’s possible that I am not looking for the right name in German!). Just wondering if anyone has had success using substitutes for these? Would (barley) malt extract would work as it is certainly sticky/binding?
Yes, I substituted more maple syrup for the brown rice syrup. I also made my own almond flour by blending 1 cup of almonds (blended until it was powder and stopped as soon as it started to clump). They turned out great!
Thanks Heather – really appreciate you taking the time to reply. That’s great to know – ground almonds I do have (so guess I’ll just blend them some more) and maple syrup is easy :)
We have a nut allergy in the family. Is it possible to substitute something else for the almond flour?
Sounds delicious but wondering if you could leave out the coconut oil or substitute something other than oil.
This looks so good! I’m going to have to make these, but right now I’m all about fall produce. Maybe and apple version? Thanks for the recipe!
Awkward. made this, using the abundance of fresh blackberries in my fridge. shared exactly two squares to my boyfriend, finished the rest myself. ummmm, in 24 hours. Delicious!
I missed out the brown rice syrup (couldn’t find it in my messy cupboard…) but used malt barley extract. so good.
Thank you soooooo much for this recipe! Zingy raspberry chia jam, gooey oaty ‘flapjack’ base and NO BUTTER! It was the yummiest treat I’ve had in a long time…..and it’s good for you!
This looks amazing! Cannot wait to try this.
I sprinkled a handful of chocolate chips over the jam layer :D soooooooo good!!! VeganSweets produces white chocolate chips which would probably also be amazing in this! I love the recipe!!
These were absolutely lovely. I will definitely be making these again. Not too sweet but they certainly hit the spot when you want that little something sweet. A definite keeper.
Just a quick question, and this is where the recipe may have been misinterpreted by myself and caused the very dry texture. . .
The 2 1/2 cups of oats… is 1/2 for the oat flour, or should it be 2 1/2 oats plus 1/2 cup oat flour?
Aargh! It is falling to bits. I think I did something wrong with my cup to gram conversions. I read that 1 cup = 125g, but I guess I made a mistake somewhere as the mix was never really sticky. (and I added extra maple syrup). The jam however is great!
I look forward to reading any future recipes you post that are easy to make whilst there is a baby crying/destroying your kitchen – I don’t think I should probably have attempted this one today!
Ok – looks like I made a mistake with the amount of oats (using way to much). To be fair though it tastes great! Nice and nutty and not too sweet. I might attempt this again when feeling less frazzled.
What was your mistake with the oats? I think I made the same mistake, and I am about to make another batch and don’t want to mess it up again.
I thought 1 cup oats = 125g (same as with the raspberries/flours etc. But I just realised that it should have been around 85/90g. So I put in about 100g too much (an extra 50%). Oops!
Beautiful, healthy and super colorful! <3
I remade these and use 1/2 of the oats for the flour and they are PERFECT. The texture was sticky, as promised. I doubled the jam recipe because it’s so yummy, and did a raspberry/straberry jam. Divine! (5 STARS)
Going to try this tomorrow for sure! Yum! But………..any thoughts as to what I can substitue the almond flour with?? Allergic to almonds!
Hey Sherri, I think a couple commenters left comments with subs that they tried out for almond flour…I would suggest taking a quick read through for tips!
These were great! Loved the coconut oil instead of the vegan butter! Good texture.
Side note…. Being the obsessive crazy cat lady that I am- I must ask… How is Sketchie doing these days? I hope his life’s been easier since being diagnosed & put on med’s. Good thoughts for Sketchie.
Mmh this looks really delicious! I definitely have to try out this! Love you blog! I get quite a lot ideas from your recipes^^ Since I’m also vegan it’s perfect!
Your strawberry oat square recipe is one of my favourites from the blog. I can’t wait to try this version!
These look so so good and delicious!!
Cannot wait to try these tonight! They look great!!
Trader Joe’s only had almond meal, not flour. Any guesses if that will work, or if I should try adjusting any other ingredients? I’ve never baked with either before.
Ohh, just the raspberry chia jam alone is a genius recipe! Definitely want to try that!
Love this! Chia jams are my favorite, so much easier and healthier than traditional jams, so I will have to try this little treat someday!
Angela – Could I omit the chia seeds? Not sure if they are included for nutrition or binding or both. My daughter has braces and chia seeds reek havoc on her braces because they get stuck to them. Just thought I’d get your thoughts on the chia seed removal before I try it. I just popped a batch of these in the oven. I used strawberries instead of raspberries. My house smells sooo yummy!
Just made these for a Sunday morning treat. AMAZING!!! I ate them while they were still warm from the oven and had a hard time stopping after I finished a full row! Thanks for another winner recipe.
I made these in a 9″ long glass pan so there were more (ended up thinner, of course), and added 3TBS of chia to 2 cups of homemade rhubarb compote. They weren’t crispy at all, but kind of cakey and oddly chewy and AMAZING AND DELICIOUS. I’ll definitely be making these again.
Hi Angela, i actually wanted to ask you about your Nike shoes :) I’ve been looking for those for a while now and I couldn’t find them anywhere in Canada. Can you where where you got them and how long ago?
Wow these look delicious. I’m not the greatest chef in the world but my girlfriend might just go crazy over these. The beautiful photos make my mouth water.. and you said I can even eat this for breakfast? Shut the front door.
Made these this weekend and they are delicious!!
These are awesome, and the recipe is perfect. Making the raspberry chia seed jam was surprisingly easy! Great for a sweet breakfast, afternoon snack, or fancy dessert.
Yum love the idea of making a peach version since I’m still totally into peaches right now. Apply cinnamon too!
would hemp seeds work as well or does it need to be chia?
Hi Sara, The chia seeds are necessary for binding – the gel up like an egg white when mixed with water. I wouldn’t recommend using hemp seeds.
How long does chia seed jam of any kind keep in the fridge? I have some blueberries and would like to make some.
I made a batch of these as well as a version using your apple cinnamon chia jam for work (a small school) last Friday. They had to “compete” with the donuts brought in from the nationwide chain that the boss brings in each week. Much to many of the teachers amazement (since they were gluten free and vegan!) both versions were phenomenal and a huge hit. I was hoping for leftovers so I could have them the next day, but no such luck! I am already planning on making another batch with your blueberry vanilla chia jam!
Thank you for another awesome recipe!
Best wishes for you, Eric, and your precious baby girl. I have loved reading and watching your progress through the pregnancy. Enjoy every minute!
seriously you have the best recipes. YOur food is the product of such creativity and art… and your photos sell the dish without even looking at the recipe. thankyou thankyou thankyou <3
Another gem! You should have called them “magical jam oat squares” though, because I’ve made them three times since you posted the recipe last week and each time they magically disappear!
For me they’re too sweet for breakfast (perfect for dessert), but the kids can’t get enough. So far I’ve made fig, Cotton Candy grape, and blueberry.
This looks TO DIE FOR!! I need to try this asap. Just love your recipes!! <3 xx Bianca
These look amazing! I was wondering if there was a substitute for the almond flour? I have an almond allergy…do you think coconut flour would work similar?
Maybe you can try using more oat flour
These look so yummy!! You recommended storing leftovers in the refrigerator, correct? How long do you think they’d keep? Thinking about making some to share with others, and would love to be able to tell them proper storage and lasting time.
Just super good! I made a batch last night, the only twerk i made was sprinking 2 tablespoon of coconut sugar on the crumble at the end. The kids and I loved it! It was really good this morning a little bit warmed and with a side of coffee! This will go in my fmily recipe book!
These taste as delicious as they look in these photos!!! Amazing! I made them thr night before and put them in the fridge uncut and just cut in thr AM. I figured they would cut easier when cold. I also didn’t use a roller to flatten, just the back of a large spoon. They will probably all get eaten up in one day! Yum!
These look delicious!!
Is it possible to substitute a regular egg for the oat squares instead of a chia egg?
Alright, this jumped right out at me and is exactly what I am looking for! I have organic blueberries in the freezer, so I’ll just switch it out and whip up at batch! Here I go… Thanks Angela! <3
This is amazing! I love both the jam and the oat squares. My son (aged 5) said it tasted better than chocolate – thank you for the recipe
These are unbelievable and so addicting!!! I’ve been wanting to try chia jam for years now (I’m lazy) and I can’t believe how easy and delicious it is! Even a lazy person can do it! But seriously, I’m eating these squares for snacks and for dessert with banana soft serve or coconut whipped cream. Thank you again for another great recipe!!!!!
Loved these – they taste fantastic and such a good use of almond flour (leftover almond pulp from your gorgeous almond milk). Kids love them too. It was also the first time I’ve tried making chia jam, and it certainly won’t be my last. Thanks Angela for your wonderful recipes.
I was out of almonds, story of my life with my boyfriend around, so I used ground raw buckwheat groats. They turned out perfect! Great for a “survivors bunch” we are hosting after a wedding this weekend :)