Peach Pie Oat Bars

As much as I can't accept it, summer has officially ended. True - it actually ended a while ago, but here in London, the weather was (and is!) holding up so well that it may as well still be summer. Anyways, what I'm really trying to get at (other than the fact that I'm devastated that summer has left) is that with summer, summer fruits are going as well. Now, I know how obvious that sounds, but seriously. I mean, it's not like there is no stone fruit or buckets of berries in the markets. It's just that they aren't that great. And that's how these peach pie bars were born.
I was searching through our fridge and countertop for some baking inspiration and I spied a mixture of peaches and nectarines that looked slightly bruised and like they were about to start shriveling. They were no longer good enough to eat straight from the counter. I was first simply going to make a sauce/compote of the fruit, so I began by blanching the fruit so I could easily remove the skin. And then it hit me. Peach pie! But I didn't want something as cumbersome, tedious or decadent as the real deal peach pie. So peach pie turned into peach crumble which eventually turned into these juicy peach pie oat bars.

I also had some almond pulp from having made almond milk, so I threw it into the mix! The base is dense, yet light and crunchy. The filling is just ah-mazing. The true flavors of the fruit really shine in a very natural, sweet and juicy peach filling. And the oat crumble is just perfect - crispy and sweet. The crumble top/streusel is always my favorite part, but in these bars, the filling really gives the topping a run for its money! As always, this is easy to throw together, doesn't require any fancy ingredients, is simple, delicious and healthy!

For the crust:
1/2 cup wet almond pulp
1 cup whole rolled oats
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
pinch of salt

For the filling:
4 peaches/nectarines, peeled and diced
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
dash of cinnamon
1 tsp flour

For the crumble topping:
1/2 cup whole oats
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Begin by preparing the filling. Peel and dice the peaches/nectarines (I blanched them first in order to peel them easily).

Place the the chopped fruit in a medium saucepan along with the sugar and cinnamon and bring the mixture to a boil. Let the mixture reduce slightly, then add in the flour and stir until the flour dissolves completely. Let the mixture cook for another 3-5 minutes to let it thicken. Once it reaches the desired consistency, turn off the heat and set the filling aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Line a square or rectangular baking dish with baking paper and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the crust until they just come together. If your pulp is too dry, add a bit of milk. Press the crust mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 12-15 minutes until crust begins to set and just begins to turn golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven to let cool. Keep the oven on.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the topping by stirring together the ingredients for the topping. Feel free to add some chopped nuts.

Now, you're ready to assemble! Spoon the peach filling on the crust, spreading it around so it covers the entire surface of the crust. Sprinkle the oat topping evenly over the filling.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Cool completely, cut into squares and serve! These are delicious warm, at room temperature and cold from the fridge. Enjoy!

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