Sweet cherries are available from May to August in the UK so make the most out of them during these months. They are believed to be one of the most energy boosting fruits!
They are also rich in antioxidants, are a good anti-inflammatory and contain melatonin, which can help treat insomnia.
This recipe can be used as bars to enjoy all throughout the day or as a lovely granola to add as a topping to your breakfasts.
Servings: 10 bars
For the crust and crumble
1 ½ cups gluten-free oat flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, gluten free if desired
1/4 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (coconut oil, melted)
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
For the filling
2 ½ cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp corn starch or arrowroot starch
⅛ teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 180C.
Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the base and topping:
In a food processor, mix the drained dates until they are in small pieces. In a large bowl, use a fork to mix together the oat flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and finally add the mixture of the dates.
Add in olive oil or melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and almond extract and stir until a nice crumble forms and dough begins to clump together. Place 1 ½ cups of the mixture into the prepared pan and place the remaining mixture into the fridge (the remaining mixture will be used for the topping). Use your hands to evenly press the dough to the bottom of the pan.
Next make your cherry pie filling: place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add in the cherries, maple syrup, almond extract, corn starch (or arrowroot) and salt. Use a wooden spoon to press down and break down the cherries just a bit.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 5-10 more minutes until the mixture is thickened up and cherries are almost completely melted.
Pour mixture over the crust and use a spoon to evenly spread.
Take the remaining topping out of the fridge. Sprinkle the topping over the cherry filling. Bake for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden.
Allow bars to cool completely on a wire rack before transferring to the fridge to chill.
Bars are delicious served at room temperature or straight out of the fridge. Use a sharp knife to cut into 10-12 bars before serving.