The flavor combo of strawberry and rhubarb is like the holy grail of Spring flavors in my kitchen. Rhubarb is so incredibly easy to grow for us, and you just can’t beat fresh-picked strawberries.
And when they are combined? WHOA NELLY. Sweet, tart, tangy, fruity, and 100% spring. It’s pretty much my favorite dessert flavor on the planet (okay, maybe second behind really dark chocolate).
These bars have all the flavors of strawberry-rhubarb pie, but are packed with whole grains and one of my all-time favorite super foods—chia seeds. I love chia seeds because they pack a huge nutritional punch in a mostly flavorless little package.
When they first became popular a few years back, they were hard to track down, but now, even my dinky little small town grocery store sells chia seeds! I love it when superfoods go mainstream.
I love cooking with chia seeds because they get this awesome gel-like coating when they are wet that does a great job of thickening foods.
You can use them as a replacement for eggs (just mix one tablespoon chia seeds with three tablespoons of warm water, and let sit until thick—about five minutes). You can make pudding with them without any added thickener like cornstarch or tapioca. And you can use them to thicken up fruit jams without adding pectin or sugar—and that’s exact what I did here.
The idea for these bars come originally from Angela at Oh She Glows. I did some tweaking to make them fit my vision, but I have to give her a ton of props for inspiring this masterpiece, because these pink ladies are gooooood eats.
I’ve been making these strawberry-rhubarb pie bars for years now, and they are always a crowd-pleaser. They are reminiscent of strawberry cereal bars (remember those from when you were a kid?) and have just enough sweetness to feel decadent, but not so much that you couldn’t eat these for breakfast. Enjoy!
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Squares are your favorite spring pie in bar form. They are sure to be a crowd-pleaser in all their sweet-tart glory.
For the Filling:
- 2 cups sliced strawberries (can be frozen)
- 1 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb (can be frozen)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
For the Crust:
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds, divided
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (coconut sugar or sucanant works, too)
- 1 stick butter, melted (vegan butter is fine)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons milk (dairy or unsweetened non-dairy are both fine)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Prepare the filling by adding all filling ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, or until sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool while you prepare the crust.
- Prepare the crust by mixing 1 tablespoon chia seeds and warm water in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, kosher salt and brown sugar. Add in the melted butter, maple syrup, milk, and chia seed/water mixture. Stir until well incorporated.
- Remove 2/3 cup of the mixture, and reserve for topping the squares. Spread remaining crust mixture into the prepared pan. Flatten with wet hands or using the bottom of a flat measuring cup. Set pan aside.
- Spread cooled filling evenly over crust, using a spatula to spread into one even layer, if necessary. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture over top of bars, and then sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons chia seeds on top of bars.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is well-browned. Let cool completely (about an hour) before slicing and removing from pan.
I’ve done this subbing in Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose 1-for-1 Gluten-Free flour and vegan butter too, and they turn out great!
- Category: Desserts