Gluten Free, Vegan and no sugar added homemade Blueberry Lemon Crumb Bars, sounds too good to be true? The good news is, it is really true, no kidding! This crumb bar was absolutely delicious and bursting with fresh flavor from Blueberry, lemon and coconut flavor. The base crust and the toppings were made without butter, only good stuff like almond flour, oat, coconut oil and maple syrup. The Blueberry filling is gluten free and sugar free. It cannot get any better than that, homemade, all natural and simply delicious in every bite.
I was really excited about this Blueberry Crumb Bar and you probably already know why. I’ve made quite a lot of variations for crumb bars which all turned out to be amazing and delicious, and something that I love to make during Summer. Although some of them can be made any time of the year (like my Caramel Apple Crumb Bar) some are best made when the fruits are in season and most of them are during Summer. All my Strawberry, Blueberry, Pineapple and Peach Crumb Bars were made using fresh fruits which is for me always the best way to make it. But this Blueberry Lemon Crumb Bar is far different from my original Blueberry Crumb Bar. Let me tell you why.
Crust and Crumble: First of all, it is gluten free (in case you care). I used a combination of Almond flour and gluten free rolled oats are based for the crust and the toppings. If you do not care about being gluten free, you can substitute all-purpose flour and use regular rolled oats. The texture will be slightly different as Almond flour provides a nice nutty taste which all-purpose flour cannot provide. Base made from almond flour makes a more loose crumb than when using all-purpose flour. If you have almond flour anyway, I suggest use it then just use regular oats flour.
Blueberry Filling: The only reason I would call the filling gluten free is because it uses tapioca flour instead of cornstarch to thicken the jam. If you don’t care about being gluten free, you can use cornstarch instead which I find is more easier to find and you probably already have one.
Refined Sugar FREE
Crust and Crumble: The crust and crumble toppings do not use regular can sugar, instead I used Maple Syrup
Blueberry Filling: My homemade Blueberry Jam was made without no additional sugar . I made it using Maple syrup instead of processed sugar. It is less thick but the consistency was perfect for the crumb bar.
Not that I am trying to convert myself to being Vegan, but the idea of making a crumb bar without using butter or any dairy was something that interest me. When I was first thinking about it, I find it challenging and mind boggling but later on found out a way to do without it.
Crust and Crumble: There is no butter here, not even a Vegan butter. Instead of butter, I used coconut oil and maple syrup to bind the ingredients together. The crust and crumble were more loose and light as compared to when using a butter to make the crust. This makes sense, because coconut oil and maple syrup do not harden as much as butter, but do not worry. The crust and crumble toppings were absolutely delicious! It was so tasty and with a very intense lemon and coconut flavor, I cannot even believe how good it turned out. This is definitely a way to go.
How is this different from a regular crumb bar
If you do not know that this is gluten free and vegan, you might not be able to tell. The major difference that you would notice is that the base crust and crumb toppings are slightly loose and not as compact as regular crumb bar. It also have a softer crumb. This is why i highly recommend to let this cool completely before slicing, and even better if you have time it ahead of time to better texture. I often make this a day ahead and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. This gives the best texture, and the base is more stable. A softer crumb and base is expected since there is no butter in the recipe, even vegan butter replacement. This uses coconut oil to bind the ingredients, which do not harden and solidify as when butter is used. Also, another factor is the use almond flour as compared to all-purpose flour. Almond flour is more loose and grainy by nature. But even with all this, I am telling you, in terms of taste this is not far behind regular crumb bar. I might be biased, but I even prefer this than regular crumb bar, specially because I am all in for anything with almond. It made this crumb bar taste creamy even without the butter, plus I adore almond flavor always.
How to make Gluten free, vegan and sugar free Blueberry Lemon Crumb Bar
There’s two parts in making this crumb bar, but they are both very simple. That is making the Blueberry filling (because I do not like using store-bought jam) and making the crust and crumble toppings. I always make this two ahead of time because both require cooling for better texture. The Blueberry jam is a 15 minutes cooking, but I like to leave it in the refrigerator overnight to give it a lot of time to solidify. The crust and crumble toppings are as easy as making the jam. It is basically just mixing everything together, it is even easier than when I use butter because I do not have to crumble the butter into small pieces. It comes together and clump together so easily by just mixing it with a spatula. I find that the texture is better when it is chilled, so I make this ahead of time too. More than half (1 1/4 cup) of the mixture goes into the pan lined with parchment paper. Then I leave it in the refrigerator to chill just the same as the Blueberry jam. The following day or even maybe 3 days after, I’ll pre-bake the crust for 15 minutes to make it more stable then I’ll add the Blueberry filling and fresh Blueberry and the crumble toppings. All this can be done in the same day, but make sure to cool the Blueberry jam completely before adding to avoid the crust from being soggy. The same thing goes for the crust and crumble topping, have it chilled.
- 1/3 cup Homemade or Store-Bought Blueberry Jam
- 1 cup Almond Flour
- 1 cup Oats Flour (make your own by processing rolled oats in a food processor until fine in texture)
- 4 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 4 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 cup chopped Pecans or Sliced Almonds or combination of both
- Zest of 1 large Lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh Blueberry
- 1/3 cup Blueberry Jam
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray with oil and line a 5-inch or 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Make sure to leave some overhang for easy removal. Set aside.
- Make the Blueberry Filling (No refined Sugar added) – Get the FULL RECIPE HERE
- Make the Crust – In a large mixing bowl, mix together the Almond flour, rolled oats, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt. Divide the mixture into 2, one portion is 1 1 /4 cup for the base crust and 3/4 cup for the crumble toppings.
- Make the Crumble – to the 3/4 cup remaining, add chopped nuts. Mix and keep in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes or can be left overnight in the refrigerator.
- Chill the Crust and Crumble: Transfer the 1 1 /4 cup to the prepared pan and flatten the surface using your fingers of back of a spoon. Chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes or can be left overnight in the refrigerator.
- Pre-bake the Crust – Take out the chilled crust from the refrigerator. Pre-bake the dough crust at 350°F for about 15 minutes or until the top is set and the edges are lightly golden brown. Take out from the oven and add the filling and toppings.
- Add the Filling & Toppings – Pour the Blueberry filling mixture over the pre-baked dough pressed into the pan. Add fresh Blueberry on top and more Blueberry jam (optional). Remove the remaining 3/4 of the dough crust from the refrigerator and sprinkle on top of blueberry filling. Return to the oven and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the top.
- Cool – Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. This gets even better when left overnight or after few days in the refrigerator.
- Storage – Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Makes 4 – 6
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Enjoy! If you make this, share and tag me in Instagram #SweetNSpicyLiving. I would like to see your creations too.
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