These Easy Strawberry Crumble Bars with Oats are what you want to make as soon say you find Spring’s gorgeous strawberries at the market. They are made with an oat base and crumble and are better when chilled. But I guarantee they’ll be gone before they're totally chilled.
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Why you'll love oatmeal strawberry bars:
- Delicious: The combination of oats, strawberries, and lemon.
- Easy to make: Comes together with simple ingredients you probably have on hand. Grab some fresh and sweet strawberries and make them today!
- Delicious crumble: Crumble makes a simple crust and topping! It's so tasty!
- Versatile: You can enjoy them for breakfast, as a snack, a lunchbox treat, or for dessert.
- Double for extra: So delicious, you will want to double the recipe!
- Why you'll love oatmeal strawberry bars:
- What ingredients are in healthy strawberry crumble bars?
- How do you make healthy oatmeal bars?
- Crumb Topping for Strawberry Crumble Bars
- Fresh Strawberry Filling
- Expert tips for baking with strawberry recipes:
- Variations for healthy recipes with strawberries:
- What to serve with healthy strawberry recipes?
- How to store oatmeal strawberry bars?
- Other fresh strawberries dessert recipes:
- Easy Strawberry Crumble Bars with Oats
I just love these strawberry bars! In case you happen to have extra oats around these days in your pantry, you have to try these delightful bars. These bars are dairy-free and can be made gluten-free.
So it goes that when you live in Florida, you will find in season strawberries in January. It’s no wonder that we are baking with strawberries all winter long. When March arrives, and the strawberry recipes start to appear, I feel as if I’m already onto summer recipes.
Could there be a way to share another strawberry recipe here?
I’m going to be completely honest and say that the first time these were made that not one of my beast family members awaited for them to chill. As soon as I took the last photos there were plates being passed around and juicy crumble slices being devoured by one and all (and it was not totally chilled, as I didn't wait for that to take the photos).
They are so good!! If you could resist eating them before they’re totally chilled they will be more firm and you could even serve them with a scoop of ice-cream. Or you could enjoy them the next day for breakfast (they have oats!) with your favorite yogurt. No matter how you decide to do it, it will be a good thing!!
When it seemed as if we were entering days of 80F temps we were hit with a big cold front and it seems like winter just decided to pay us another short visit. If that is the case no matter where you live, make it feel like a warm spring day and brighten it up with these Strawberry Crumble Bars.
Let's get onto this delightful recipe!
What ingredients are in healthy strawberry crumble bars?
Here is all you need to make these delicious bars. Full printable recipe is below:
- All-purpose flour: Used to make the crust and crumble topping for the bars.
- Granulated sugar: Provides sweetness to both the crust and filling.
- Baking powder: Gives a rise to the crust when baking.
- Sea salt: Enhances the flavors in all components of the bars.
- Unsalted butter: Cut into small pieces and used to make the crust and crumble topping.
- Vanilla extract: Adds flavor to the crust and filling.
- Strawberries: Used for the filling, providing a burst of fruity flavor. Look for ripe, yet firm berries. Better to use fresh and not frozen.
- Lemon zest: Gives a subtle tanginess to both the filling and glaze.
- Cornstarch: Helps thicken the filling and prevent it from being too runny.
- Confectioner's sugar: Used for the glaze, provides sweetness and a smooth texture.
- Lemon juice: Adds tanginess to the glaze and helps thin it out if needed. Overall, enhances the lemon flavor in the bars. Fresh is better than store-bought.
How do you make healthy oatmeal bars?
Let's move on to this super easy recipe that makes the most sweet and juicy strawberry bars. They really are very simple to put together. It all begins with your crust and topping. Full printable recipe can be found below.
Crumb Topping for Strawberry Crumble Bars
As it is with so many crumb bar recipes, the base is also used as a lovely crumb topping.
First step is to mix the crumb toppings together. Next, you press half into the bottom of your lined baking pan (I used parchment paper).
Fresh Strawberry Filling
Here is how you make the strawberry filling. You just have to combine the berries in the cornstarch, sugar and lemon zest. The cornstarch is essential in the filling as it is used to thicken them up. Once the oat based crust is ready and pressed into your baking pan, spoon the juicy berries on top of the crust.
Once the berries are spooned into the crust, add on remaining portion of the crumble on top.
The final step is to let them chill (makes them easier to slice)and you could drizzle on the glaze. They are great even without the glaze.
Expert tips for baking with strawberry recipes:
- Use juicy ripe strawberries: The ripe berries will bake up and taste incredible and be sure to chop them evenly so they'll cook evenly.
- Frozen strawberries: You could use frozen strawberries if you can't find fresh. Thaw them them completely before using.
- Pinch of salt: Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors in the crust and crumble.
- Perfect for breakfast: or brunch, or as a dessert.
- For extra texture: add chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts to the crumble mixture.
- No cornstarch: you can use flour as a thickening agent for the strawberry filling.
- Chill before slicing: The bars will be easier to slice if they are chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
- Customize the glaze: Add different flavors like vanilla extract or almond extract to the simple glaze.
Variations for healthy recipes with strawberries:
- Instead of strawberries, you can use any type of berries such as blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. You can also mix different types of berries for a more colorful and flavorful filling.
- For a healthier option, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with almond flour or oat flour. This will give the crust a nutty and slightly sweeter taste.
- If you don't have cornstarch, you can use arrowroot powder or tapioca starch as a thickening agent for the filling.
- Try adding different flavors to the crumble mixture such as chopped nuts, shredded coconut or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. This will add texture and depth of flavor to the bars.
- For a dairy-free option, you can use coconut oil instead of butter in the crust and crumble mixture. Make sure to use refined coconut oil for a neutral taste.
- To make this recipe vegan, you can substitute the egg with a flax or chia egg. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
- If you want a more tart and tangy flavor, you can use lime juice instead of lemon juice in the glaze. You can also add zest from the citrus fruit for an extra burst of flavor.
- For a gluten-free version, make sure to use certified gluten-free oats and flour. You can also substitute the oats with shredded coconut for a grain-free option.
What to serve with healthy strawberry recipes?
- A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top
- Whipped cream
- Fresh strawberries and blueberries
- A dusting of powdered sugar
- Coffee or tea as a beverage to pair with the bars
How to store oatmeal strawberry bars?
- To refrigerate: Store any leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To freeze: Freeze the bars unglazed for up to 2 months. Wrap individual slices tightly with plastic wrap and store in a zipped lock freezer bag or airtight container.
Strawberries are readily available and picked in most states in April, May and June. Strawberry season does vary throughout the country. Florida's strawberry harvest is towards the end of February, but even in January Florida has beautiful berries!
Let the strawberry bars cool completely before slicing them. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They will lose their crispness on the second day after being in the fridge, but can be reheated on a low heat in the oven.
Yes, these bars will keep frozen nicely for up to 2 months. As soon as they are completely cooled down, slice and portion them out. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in a zipped lock freezer bag. Don't forget to date the bag. You could also wrap them individually and store in a freezer safe storage container. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
Yes, you could substitute all-purpose flour with your favorite 1-1 gluten-free flour.
Yes, you could make these with blueberries, raspberries, or peaches.
Originally published April 2021 and updated for content in February 2024.
Other fresh strawberries dessert recipes:
- Strawberry Yogurt Cake (one of my favorites!)
- Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake
- Strawberry Monkey Bread
- Strawberry Crostata
- Vegan Strawberry Banana Bread
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Easy Strawberry Crumble Bars with Oats
- 8 inch square baking pan
For the crust and crumble:
For the filling:
- 2 cups finely chopped strawberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Zest of one lemon around 1 tablespoon, and juice will be for the glaze, I use organic lemon
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the glaze:
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from the lemon zested
For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add in the melted butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan sticks)and vanilla; stir until combined.
- Reserve about 1/3 of the oat mixture for the topping. Spoon in the remaining 2/3 of the crumble mix into your prepared baking pan and press to form a crust.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until the edges of the crust begin to lightly brown. While it’s baking, prep the filling.
For the filling:
- In a small bowl, stir together the strawberries with the sugar, lemon zest and cornstarch. Spoon the strawberry filling over the warm crust and spread evenly with a spatula.
- For the crumble:
- Sprinkle the rest of the crumble mixture over the strawberry filling and try to cover as much of the strawberries as you can. There will be spots that aren’t completely covered.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the the crust and the crumble are golden and strawberries bubble just a little (mine was ready at just about 32 minutes. Every oven is different).
- Cool completely before trying to remove from the pan. Let chill for a few hours in the refrigerator before slicing or you could dive right in as we did. If you choose to not wait, it will be very tricky to slice them and they will not stay intact.
For the glaze:
- In a small bowl whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice. Add more juice if it is too thick and add a little bit more confectioner’s sugar if you need it to be a little thicker. Adjust to how you like your glaze to be. Drizzle the glaze over the chilled bars, slice and enjoy!
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.