I made us a snack.
I made us a snack in the height of my fruit obsession which peaked about 15 days ago.
I have eaten more strawberries than I thought existed in the universe.
This is what I did with the rest of them.
Throw them in a food processor, chop ’em up, boil them down and stir in delicious things like honey, vanilla and chia seeds. Be trendy! Make fake-but-real jam with chia seeds if you’re afraid to make real jam and do things with ball jars that don’t include tequila, lime and salt.
So this jam stuff is really, really good. Like really good. I had some on toast. I threw it on some chocolate almond butter and then some vanilla almond butter and one day I even added chocolate chips. This was back when I was living on cereal and toast so it was like a burn out kind of snack.
When I got sick of that, I made another batch to stuff inside of these bars. Remember these super old school oatmeal peanut butter snack squares I made EONS ago? No seriously. Like eons.
Those bars. They are a recipe I still make frequently. The perfect snack, breakfast, grab and go treat. Sometimes they taste like dessert but not when your usual dessert includes piles of chocolate cheesecake and trashy froyo and sprinkle smothered soft serve.
But I thought of them and wanted to throw the strawberry squishy stuff on top. Then I added a crumb topping, similar to what I put on this cake. And then I ate them all and swore I’ve never eat any again. (But I made them the next day. Details.)
I love them! Cute little squares that are snacks.
Strawberry Chia Jam Squares
Yield: makes 9 to 12 squares
Total Time: 1 hour
strawberry chia jam
1 pound hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
strawberry chia jam
Add the strawberries to a food processor and pulse until they are in small chunks. Once in small pieces, add the strawberries and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries cook down and the mixture becomes very juicy and saucy, about 5 to 6 minutes. You can mash the strawberries a little more if needed. Stir in the honey and vanilla extract. Stir in the chia seeds until combined, then turn off the heat. Allow the jam to sit at room temperature until it cools completely - it will thicken as it sits.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8-inch baking sheet with nonstick spray. (I also use coconut oil to grease pans.)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the butter and sugar and mix on high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add in flour, oats, salt and baking soda, mixing on medium speed. The dough will look crumbly. Add the milk with the mixer on low speed, and mix until a dough forms. If desired, you could add some chocolate chips here!
Spread the batter in the greased pan. Next, spread the chia seed jam on top of the batter, leaving space around the edges.
To make the crumb, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, salt and melted butter until combined. Whisk for a a good minute or two until the sugar begins to dissolve, then use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour. The mixture will be crumb-like and dry. Almost like a sludge or paste. This is what you want! Sprinkle the crumb on top of the jam. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center of the bars don't jiggle and are set. Let cool completely, then cut into 9 or 12 squares.
[bars adapted from my peanut butter snack squares]