Cherry Basil Crumble Bars

Cherry Basil Bars Kathy Hester

It’s beans that allow the crust to be oil-free, but it’s the cherries and basil that make them extra special. This unusual dessert has a crust made healthy and high-protein with a secret ingredient — white beans. It also has easy gluten-free options. Recipe and photo reprinted by permission, from The Great Vegan Bean Book* by Kathy Hester ©2013, Four Winds Press. Photo by Renée Comet.

Makes: 12 bars

For the crust

  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if need be)
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use gluten-free flour mix)
  • ¼ cup agave nectar

For the topping

  • ½ cup cooked white beans
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if need be)
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use gluten-free flour mix)
  • ¼ cup agave nectar

For the filling

  • 2 cups pitted or frozen cherries
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ to ½ cup agave nectar, depending on tartness of fruit
  • ½ teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Oil an 11 x 8-inch (28 x 20 cm) casserole pan, or use a nonstick pan.

To make the crust, add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until the consistency of large cornmeal. Press into the bottom of the pan.

Cherry Basil Crumble Bars Kathy HesterTo make the topping, add all the ingredients to the food processor bowl before you wash it and pulse until the almonds are broken up well. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

To make the filling, you can still use the unwashed food processor and add all the ingredients. Double-check that all the cherry pits have been removed. You’ll hear them in the food processor if any slipped by. Spread the pureed filling over the crust and then crumble the topping over that.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the topping browns and the filling has set up. Let cool and then cut into 12 bars.

Serving Suggestions & Variations:
Try with different seasonal fruits and herbs or spices: apple cinnamon, blueberry mint, or even strawberry basil.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

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