Articles & Recipes

Apricot Squares (GF, vegan)

Ashley Sperber - Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Apricot Squares (GF, vegan)

The recipe of the week was inspired by my grandmother's renowned apricot squares, which was a treat I used to enjoy immensely as a child.  Unfortunately, her recipe was comprised of traditional refined flour, refined sugar, butter and eggs, as well as sugar laden apricot preserves.  As tasty as they were, they provided close to zero redeemable nutrition.  Due to my health coach nature, I decided to reinvent this classic with a few nutrient dense improvements.  

Any whole grain flour can be used in place of the oats and almost any fruit can replace the apricots, such as: peaches, berries, cherries, apples, plums, etc.  A 13x9 pan may be used, but I prefer the density that the 8x11 pan provides for the bar. 

Lastly, if you find that the dough is too greasy, add some more flour a tablespoon at a time, to absorb some of the healthy fats.  The consistency of the dough should resemble a crumble topping.

servings: 12
total time: 1 hour 15 mins

apricot compote:

  • 6-8 fresh apricots (depending on size, should yield approximately 2 cups of fruit)
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch

dough:

 

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil (must be in solid state)
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats (or approximately 2.5 cups, +/- a few tbsp oat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons mixed seeds (I used sprouted millet, sprouted quinoa, chia, hemp and flax seeds)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 

Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. In a medium sized sauce pan, place washed and pitted apricots over low heat, and cover for 5 minutes.  Once the liquid from the apricots start to express, add in the maple syrup and vanilla extract, and allow the apricots to simmer for 5-10 minutes longer, until they are completely broken down.  Use a potato masher or fork to mash whatever large pieces still remain intact.  Add in tapioca starch and mix thoroughly, until completely absorbed.  Place the compote in a different container to chill in the fridge while the dough is prepped.   

Whisk together almond butter, maple syrup and coconut oil with a high speed mixer and set aside.  In a food processor, blend oats on high for 30-60 seconds, until flour consistency starts to appear (better to be less blended than more).  Place the flour in a medium sized mixing bowl, with walnuts, seeds and salt; mixing until an even consistency is reached. Slowly add in the almond butter mixture and fold in until the dough reaches a crumble consistency.  If the dough becomes too saturated, add an extra tablespoon or two of oat flour. 

Grease a 13x9 or 8x11 pan (based on desired density), with coconut oil. Split dough in half and layer the bottom of the pan with one of the halves, pressing it into the pan with greased fingers.  Remove the compote from the refrigerator and layer all of it on top of the raw dough. Next, take the remaining half of dough and crumble it into small pieces over the compote.  Bake in the oven for 45 minutes for 13x9 pan or up to 1 hour for 8x11 pan.  Allow at least 10 minutes to cool before slicing and serving. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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