vegan & gluten-free acai-apple jam bars


Oh, HI. While it's been a minute and a half since I've blogged (as mentioned in the previous post, I've had my hands full getting Best One Yet off the ground!), I can't think of a better reason to reemerge than the Superfood Showdown with Bob's Red Mill and Sambazon. Two of my favorite brands, a shiny new Vitamix on the line and the opportunity to christen our kitchen (that's right, we just moved!) with a new recipe: I'm in.

While both brands give you a list of viable ingredients, I tried to think outside the smoothie bowl. Even though the Pure Unsweetened Açaí Superfruit Packs are a staple in our breakfast rotation, I added some fresh-from-the-farmer's-market apples and turned them into a dark, molasses-like jam, perfect to go in some oatmeal crumble bar cookies.

For this recipe, you'll need:

For the crumble:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-To-1 Baking Flour***
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats+
1/2 cup vegan butter, softened***
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the jam:

2 Pure Unsweetened Açaí Superfruit Packs+
2 of your favorite small-medium apples, peeled, cored and diced
4 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

***You could really use any gluten free all-purpose flour here, but BRM makes a super easy substitute that can go into any regular recipe. Thanks, Bob!
***My current favorite is Miyokos European Style Cultured VeganButter (pictured below). It's made from cultured coconut and cashews and it will blow your vegan mind.
+Required ingredients for #SuperfoodShowdown.

The first step is to prepare your jam. This would be best done the day before so it has time to properly cool and gel together as a good jam should, but if you're short on time, about an hour before you plan to bake will work. In a small saucepan, combine all of your jam ingredients, stirring together over medium-high. Bring to a rapid simmer for about one minute and then reduce the heat to low. You want to stir occasionally to avoid sticking, but the trick here is patience as your açaí packs reduce down and thicken and your apples soften. Keep an eye on it will you put together your crumble ingredients.

After your jam has been reducing for about thirty minutes, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together your brown sugar, flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices. Cut your softened butter into large chucks and mix together with your fingers, breaking up any large pieces.

Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan. Line with parchment paper and grease again.

By now, your jam ingredients (if they aren't already cooling happily in the fridge from the night before) should be just about right: glossy, smooth, thickened, apples easily pierced with a small fork. Using a handheld blender (or transferring to a tabletop one), gently pulse your jam for about 5-10 seconds. You want to leave a little bit of the texture intact. Transfer to a freezer safe container and allow to chill for ten minutes.

Once your jam is cooled, press about two cups worth of your crumble mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan. Spread your açaí-apple jam on top of this layer and then sprinkle the remaining crumble over the top. Transfer to the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top of the crumble is browned.

Transfer pan to a cooling rack for thirty minutes. Remove from pan (just lift out by the parchment paper: easy!) and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Thanks for the opportunity, Bob's & Sambazon!

If you think this recipe sounds like a winner, like my Instagram post here: the post with the most likes will win! Good luck to everyone!