To the ridicule of my family, I’ve been trying to lead a (mostly) vegan diet for the past year. I’ll mix in proteins and eggs occasionally, but I try to avoid animal bi-product in my foods and absolutely NO dairy. So this fall I tried my hand at a vegan dessert to see if I can actually make something that’s delicious and that won’t leave me riddled with guilt (and impress the family, too).
These vegan bars are similar to apple pie, and although an actual apple pie will win this battle any day, the bars were actually really good! Although it isn’t pictured below, I would recommend adding a scoop of vegan coconut “ice cream” to the top of these to really finish them off. They’re a fantastic way to indulge yourself while still feeling good about what you’re eating, which is really important.
Vegan Apple Bars
Modified from this recipe from The Minimalist Baker
- 4 heaping cups (~500 g) peeled, cubed apples (~2 sweet + 2 tart apples)
- 3 tbsp (36 g) coconut sugar (depending on sweetness of apples)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 lemon, juiced (~3 Tbsp or 45 ml)
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup (90 g) gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup (112 g) raw almonds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp (24 g) coconut sugar
- 4 1/2 tbsp (68 g) coconut oil, melted
- 3 tbsp (36 g) coconut sugar
- 3 tbsp (33 g) flour
- 1/4 cup (23 g) gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 1/2 tbsp (20 g) coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Add apples to a separate baking dish along with coconut sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, lemon, coconut oil, and cornstarch. Toss to combine.
- Cover with foil and bake for 18 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for 4-5 minutes more or until apples appear slightly caramelized and are tender.
- While the apples finish baking, add oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a food processor or high speed blender and pulse into a fine meal, making sure no large pieces remain.
- Add melted coconut oil and pulse a few more times until a crumbly dough forms that resembles wet sand and sticks together when squeezed between two fingers.
- Spread the mixture into the baking dish and press down into an even layer with your fingers or a flat object (such as a drinking glass or measuring cup).
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 (176C), then increase heat to 375 degrees F (190 C) and bake for 5-8 minutes more, or until the crust is fragrant and the edges are light golden brown. Set aside.
- While crust is baking, prepare crumble by adding all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and using a fork or your fingers to mix ingredients into a crumble. Set aside.
- Add baked apples and their juices/sauce to the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Then top with crumble topping and spread evenly to cover apples.
- Reduce oven heat back to 350 degrees F (176 C) and bake for another 15-25 minutes or until the apple topping is warm and bubbly and the crumble is golden brown.
- Remove squares from oven and let cool slightly – about 45 minutes. Once cooled, gently lift bars from pan and slice into 9 even squares.
Have you ever tried to have an all-vegan diet? Did you find it difficult? Let us know in the comments!