Sweet berry chia jam. A crunchy, caramelized cashew and buckwheat topping infused with cardamom. And a hearty, nourishing date flax base. I would go so far as to say that these jam crumble bars are pretty much the perfect sweet snack, year-round. They’re great eaten chilled during hotter months. And fabulous eaten warm from the oven in the cool months.
I developed this recipe back in August when my craving for berries was at its peak, so a jammy dessert bar was just the ticket. Now, I always keep a big back of frozen mixed berries around for smoothies and impromptu jam-making. That made it easy to whip this together!
I’m never one for a complicated, lengthy dessert process. When it comes to treats, the quickness of the execution is essential. I wouldn’t say these are a snap, seeing that there are three components (base, jam, topping). I mean, you could just go make some raw cookie dough bites or something in 5 minutes! BUT. But but but… these are really not very difficult or time-consuming to make (this is me staring you in the eyes, holding your hands and saying in a calm sisterly voice these are not that hard, you can do this!). And because they’re both healthy and rich-tasting, each little square is very satisfying.
All you need to do is: 1. make a 5 minute chia jam on your stove top. 2. Blend the crust ingredients in your food processor and press it into your pan (then pre-bake). 3. Stir together the topping ingredients, then 4. Spread the jam on the crust, sprinkle the topping on the jam, then toast it up in the oven to get the topping all nice and caramelized. That’s it! Well, of course you need to cut it into squares (or pizza slices?!?!) and nosh. Voila! Jam crumble bars fit for a health-nutty queen (like me! And probably you if you’ve read this far!).
I came up with this date flax crust a while back in an attempt to develop a grain free, free-form pie dough that I could use for hand-pies, galettes and the like. And, yes, it does work in that capacity. But it’s so low sugar and hearty that it doesn’t hit my mark for flakey buttery satisfying sexy pie crust. But it is most definitely a solid base on which to layer stronger flavors, like a lip-smacking jam. Or maybe a marmalade? That’d be a delicious variation!
For the chia jam, I used a mix of frozen blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. I like to get the mixed bag because it’s so much cheaper than the individual baggies of berries (*ahem* thank you Costco). I’m frugal like that.
This jam will work with just about any berries. Although blackberry and blueberry are my personal favorite in these bars. I’d love to hear what you all use and love!
Hope your Fall is wonderful! Let me know if you make these beauties, or a riff on the recipe. Don’t forget to tag me on social if you make any of my stuff so I can see! Because we’re friends, right? xoxo — Renee