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Whenever I’m in town, I always check the clearance section at the grocery store for cheap produce that’s about to expire. The ultimate jackpot find is berries! Berries are SO expensive in Dublin, which is very tragic because they’re my favourite fruit (especially blueberries). I only buy them if I can find them on sale – does anyone know where to buy cheap (or even reasonably priced) berries in Dublin? On my most recent trip to the clearance section, I found pears. A whole box of pears for 99 cents, who could turn that down? So I came up with these pear crumble bars – these are healthy, portable and have no flour or sugar (only honey if you count that!) And they’re delicious! They are gluten free if made with gluten free oats.

Pear Crumble Bars

by Emily Ratzlaff

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 30-35 min

Ingredients (10 bars):

For the Base & the Topping

  • 1/2 cup of oats, ground into a flour – see instructions below
  • 1/2 cup of almonds, ground into a flour – see instructions below
  • 1/4 cup of cashews, ground into a flour – see instructions below
  • 1/4 cup of pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 cup of oats (not ground)
  • 3 tablespoons of dairy-free butter or coconut oil

For the Filling

  • 2 cups of pears, peeled & chopped (about 4 medium pears)
  • 4 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1.5 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch (or smaller) pan or line with parchment paper.
  • Combine lemon juice, cornstarch, maple syrup, cinnamon and cardamom in a medium bowl.
  • Peel and chop pears and add to lemon juice mixture. Carefully stir to coat and set aside.
  • Add 1/2 cup of oats, almonds and cashews into blender* and grind until a flour forms. Add dates and continue to blend until dates are chopped. Transfer mixture into a bowl. Mix in baking powder, honey, vanilla extract, coconut, and 1/4 cup of oats (not ground). Cut in vegan butter with a fork so mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Press about 2/3 of crumb mixture down into bottom of pan with fingers. Spoon pear filling over top. Crumble remaining crumb mixture over top and press down with spatula – you may not have enough to completely cover the top.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until topping is golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from pan. Cut into squares.
  • *Blender note: If you have a food processor, this may do a better job chopping the dates. Having said that, I have the cheapest blender available and it still does the job!



In other news, the kitty is back – and he’s hungry! Can you tell by the look in his eyes?

He’s now trying to sit on top of my laptop. I’m almost finished writing up my research paper but this kitty is making it considerably more difficult. I hope you like the crumble bars as much as I do. Let me know if you try them!

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