These vegan pomegranate walnut crumble bars are a health(ier) recipe that you can even eat for breakfast! These bars have a crispy cinnamon-flavored crust, a bold pomegranate jam in the center, and a sweet streusel on top. This crumble bar recipe takes under an hour to make and would make a great meal prep recipe.
Making the Pomegranate Jam
The gooey center of these bars is a homemade pomegranate jam. To make this, you’ll need both pomegranate juice and seeds. During the winter, these will most likely be in the produce section of your local grocery store. If you buy a whole pomegranate, you can use this guide which will show you how to de-seed it.
Essentially, you’ll heat the pomegranate seeds, juice, brown sugar, and cornstarch together on the stove. The cornstarch helps thicken the mixture once cool. Once the sugar is all melted and the mixture is simmering, you’ll want to transfer it to the food processor and pulse until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, you could definitely use a high-speed blender for this part.
Because pomegranates are rather seedy, the jam will have seeds in it similar to say, raspberry jam. If you’re not a fan of seeds, you can use a sieve to strain out the pomegranate seeds after food processing. However, I didn’t think the seeds were too noticeable once the bars are assembled and baked.
At this point, you’ll want to simmer the jam for 5 more minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken. Once it’s thicker, you can remove it from the heat, and set the mixture aside to cool down.
Making the Crust
The main ingredients in the crust are walnuts, old fashioned oats, and all-purpose flour. I highly recommend using a food processor to make the crust. You could also use a blender, but I find that the food processor blends the ingredients more evenly.
You’ll want to finely process the walnuts in a food processor, and then transfer them to a small bowl. Then, you’ll add the old fashioned oats, flour, brown sugar, spices, salt, and baking powder to the food processor. You’ll want to pulse the crust ingredients until they’re well combined and the oats are smaller in texture (see the image above). After pulsing all the other ingredients, you can add the finely chopped walnuts into the mixture.
The next step is to add in the wet ingredients. The goal is to create a crumbly mixture that will hold together if compacted. The wet ingredients this recipe uses are coconut oil, cold vegan butter, and cold vegan buttermilk. To make vegan buttermilk, you can combine almond milk with apple cider vinegar. If you let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes it will begin curdling!
Half of your crust ingredients will be used for the bottom crust and the other half will be part of the crumble on top. After food processing, make sure to not press the dough into a ball. This is because we need a loose texture for the crumble.
To bake the bottom crust, you’ll press half of the crust ingredients into the bottom of a parchment-lined square baking dish. Then poke a few holes in the crust with a fork and bake the crust at 350 F for 10 mins prior to putting the filling in.
Assembling the Bars
With the remaining, unbaked crust ingredients add in some more old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, and salt. You’ll want to stir the mixture to form a crumbly texture. Then, you can pour the cooled pomegranate jam on top of the baked crust. (See the images above). Top the jam with the crumble mixture and then some more roughly chopped walnuts.
Once assembled, you’ll bake the bars for another 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let the bars cool down before trying to cut into them. Once cool, they will keep their shape better.
And that’s it! These vegan pomegranate walnut crumble bars make the perfect snack, healthier dessert, or even breakfast. They’re absolutely delicious and I love that they use in season ingredients like pomegranate!
If you’re looking for more breakfast ideas, check out these delicious recipes:
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp strawberry preserves, plus 2 tbsp to add at the end
- ¾ cup walnuts
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted but not hot
- 2 tbsp vegan butter, cold diced
- 3 tbsp vegan buttermilk, ice-cold (see notes for instructions)
- 2-3 tbsp ice-cold water
- ¼ cup unprocessed old fashioned oats
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- ¼ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- Heat the jam ingredients (except vanilla and the extra 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves) in a small saucepan on medium-low heat.
- Once melted and simmering transfer to the food processor and pulse until smooth.
- (Optional) If you’re not a fan of seeds, use a sieve to strain out the pomegranate seeds at this point.
- Transfer back to the pot, simmer for 5 more minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat, add in vanilla and 2 more tablespoons of strawberry preserves. Stir to combine. Set the mixture aside to cool down.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Finely process the walnuts in a food processor. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Add the old fashioned oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and baking powder to the food processor. Food process crust ingredients until well combined and the oats are smaller in texture.
- Add the finely chopped walnuts to the mixture (pulse a few times)
- Add the coconut oil, the cold vegan butter, and cold buttermilk. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse crumble. It should stick together if you pinch the dough. If the dough isn’t coming together, add in the 2-3 tablespoons of ice water (one tbsp at a time) until the dough is able to stick together.
- Divide the processed crust ingredients into two. Half will be used for the bottom crust and the other half will be part of the crumble on top. Make sure to not press the dough into a ball. We need a loose texture for the crumble.
- Press half of the crust ingredients into the bottom of a parchment-lined square baking dish.
- Poke holes in the crust with a fork and bake crust at 350 F for 10 mins prior to putting the filling in.
- Add the old fashioned oats, brown sugar, and salt (the crumble ingredients) to the remaining crust ingredients. Stir to combine until the mixture forms a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
- Let the crust cool for 5 minutes prior to assembling the bars.
- Pour in the cooled pomegranate jam. Top with the crumble mixture and then the roughly chopped walnuts.
- Bake the filling and crumble top for 30-32 more minutes, check and see if the top is browning too much at about 25 minutes. If it looks like it is burning wrap the pan in foil and bake for the remaining time.
To make vegan buttermilk:
Combine 2 ½ tablespoons almond milk with ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Then, let sit for 5 mins. to curdle.
These bars can be stored covered in the fridge for 5 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 94mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 14gProtein: 5g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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