Thursday, July 5, 2012

Vegan Almond Cherry Crumble Squares

I have no idea how these taste so good without any sugar, butter or oil. It's like a vegan miracle. The cherry jam is incredible. Lots of fresh cherries sweetened with a touch of agave. To thicken it up, you just stir in a couple tablespoons of chia seeds and it is seriously perfect. Most jams are loaded with sugar, so I'm pretty happy to have found a great sugar free option. Vegan or not, these are the perfect healthy snack!

Vegan Triple Almond Cherry Crumble Squares
Recipe and picture from

Almond squares:
  • 1& 1/2 cup raw almonds, ground into meal (or 1.5 cups + 2 tbsp almond meal)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 6 tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Cherry Almond Chia Seed Jam:
  • 3 cups pitted cherries, roughly chopped
  • 2.5 tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each direction.
2. Place almonds into a high-speed blender and grind into flour, making sure not to process too long or the oils will release. Or use store bought almond meal (use approx 1.5 cups + 2 tbsp almond meal).
3. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together (almond meal, rice flour, ground flax, baking powder, and salt). Use your fingers to break up any clumps of almond meal. In a small bowl, mix together the almond butter, agave, and almond extract. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. I got in there with my hands and kneaded the dough together a few times!
4. Set aside 1/2 cup of packed dough for crumbling on top of the jam later. Press the rest of the dough into the prepared pan. You may need to lightly wet your fingers as it’s sticky! Smooth it out and poke it with a fork about 8-10 times all over.
5. Pre-bake the almond base for 8 minutes at 350F. Remove and set aside.
6. Meanwhile, prepare the chia seed jam (or just use about 3/4-1 cup jam of choice). Add pitted cherries and agave into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 10 mins, stirring frequently. Stir in chia seeds and cook until thickened, about 5 mins more. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract. Try not to burn your tongue shoveling it in your mouth!
7. Spread jam over the almond base and smooth out. Now crumble the reserved dough on top. Bake at 350F for another 12-13 minutes or so, watching closely. Crumble topping will be golden when ready. Cool in pan on a wire rack before attempting to remove, about 30-45 mins. (Once cooled, I threw it in the fridge to help set even more before cutting.)