Use your favorite fruit combinations in these whole grain crumb bars. They are satisfying enough for dessert, but have less sugar than traditional crumb bars… I won’t tell if you eat one for breakfast.
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I’m going to be honest. This whole grain crumb bar recipe took a long time to get right. I’m not a natural baker, so making a crust that wasn’t too crumbly, but also didn’t have too much sugar, was a challenge. Though I love the idea of a crumb bar, I often find them to be too sweet or too bland. For this recipe, I use some all purpose flour, but also add whole wheat flour and oat bran to add some nutty-ness. Adding whole grains also conveniently helps them enter the “breakfast” category – score!
One of the benefits of testing this recipe over and over (and over!) is that I got to try a lot of different fruit combinations. This version uses strawberries and raspberries, but I have also tried all strawberry, peach & blueberry, all blueberry, and strawberry & peach. All were equally tasty and it is a great way to use up any berries or stone fruit you have around.
To highlight the nutty flavor of the oat bran and wheat flour, I added some finely chopped almonds on top of the fruit layer. This is optional, but offers additional texture and it aaaaaalmost tastes like a PB&J sandwich. It really takes the whole grain crumb bars to the next level. This step is optional, but I highly recommend it.
Whole Grain Crumb Bars
What You'll Need
For the dough:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup butter softened
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup oat bran
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp salt
For the filling:
- 4 cups mixed berries or stone fruit diced if needed
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup almonds chopped
What to Do
Prepare the fruit and the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a large bowl, combine the fruit, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Stir to combine and set aside.
Make the dough:
- In a stand mixer bowl, add all dough ingredients. (Note: this can also be done in a large bowl with a hand mixer.)
- On a low speed, mix all of the ingredients together until they resemble coarse crumbs. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Assemble the bars:
- Put half of the coarse crumbs into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Press the crumbs into a solid base using your fingers or the back of a spoon.
- Pour the fruit and sugar mixture over the base later.
- If using, sprinkle the chopped almonds over the fruit layer.
- Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the fruit & almond layer. Do not press down.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the fruit layer is bubbling at the edges and the top crumb layer is golden brown.
- Allow to cool, then slice into bars.
This version uses strawberries and raspberries, but I have also tried all strawberry, peach & blueberry, all blueberry, and strawberry & peach. All were equally tasty and it is a great way to use up any berries or stone fruit you have around.