If you’re a fan of date squares, if you like cranberries, and especially if you eat gluten free and/or vegan, you’re going to love these GF Cranberry Oat Squares! Just in time for holiday desserts & snacking~
Adapted from the Cranberry Oat Bars that I’ve made for years, I’m becoming more comfortable in changing recipes for special diets, for myself, and for clients. Isn’t it amazing what you can accomplish with experience and know-how!
Traditions & change.
It’s good to know that things can change for the better – especially when it comes to food. There are more and more people requiring special diets, for any large number of reasons. This includes yours truly! While not diagnosed with a gluten problem or issue, yet… it’s not my friend when it comes to eating… except at the time I’m straying and stuffing my face with proper Italian pizza, a fork full of perfectly al dente linguine, or a cornetto con crema. Sigh. You could say it’s my kryptonite!
Call it a work in progress, and something I always have to be considering. Old habits really are hard to change, for example when I want homemade pizza… before I know it, I’m in the kitchen and measuring out ingredients, including regular flour, by memory. What I should be doing… is digging out the GF recipes that I have used with success, and not only know, but accept, it’s going to be more work. Isn’t my health worth it…?
FYI, if you eat gluten free, you might be interested in this recipe for GF pizza; the best I’ve yet found, including the taste of the dough not clashing with the tomato sauce.
Other than using GF baking powder, the only, and biggest as it happens, change, was to sub in something for the butter. We all know how important butter is/was/can be… to baked goods, and how it should taste in the mouth, and on the tongue. While I considered using only extra virgin olive oil, as I do in many recipes, I also included coconut oil – liking the clean taste that it gives. I’m very happy with the result, but plan to enlist some of my tasters, to get their thoughts.
I can’t think of a better use for leftover cranberry sauce whether you make your own, or buy it. This year… I made a double batch, to purposely have some for this recipe that’s so tasty, I’ve fed it to people who said they didn’t like cranberries… but they enjoyed these!
Happy Holidays, from my house to yours~
Gluten Free, Vegan Cranberry Oat Squares
As tasty as they are quick to put together, these tart, slightly sweet bars make a great addition to any holiday dessert table. Serve as is for coffee or tea break, or fancy them up for dinner, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream - vanilla bean would be especially good~
- 1 1/4 cups GF rolled oats ie Bob’s Red Mill
- 1 cup *GF flour blend purchased or use your own favourite
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon GF baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 3/4 cups homemade cranberry sauce or use store bought
- 1/4 sliced almonds to add to the crumble topping only
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Prepare the parchment paper (or foil) slings for an 8x8” baking pan; they should come up the sides for about 1-inch, for easy removal. Set aside.
Combine all dry ingredients in medium sized bowl.
Add olive & coconut oils and mix together, using your hands to help make clumps form. If it seems a little dry, add sprinkles of water, just to help it clump together.
Put just over half in the prepared 8" pan, pressing down gently to make the base. Add the cranberry sauce, spreading it evenly.
Add the almonds to the remaining oat mixture (omit for nut free.) and work with your hands to form crumbles. Sprinkle it over the cranberry layer, leaving some of the filling peaking through.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes, until golden brown and filling is bubbling.
Let cool and set in pan. Remove using the slings. Place on cutting board, and cut into desired sizes; whether small, large - or both!
* I used: 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca starch, 1/8 cup white rice flour, 1/8 cup gf oat flour
Tip: these taste even better the next day (or two - if they last that long) so pop the pan in the fridge overnight - but don't cover it, just like streusel you want it crispy on top!