Summer is just around the corner and I love everything about the summertime. Sunshine, gardening, swimming, picking berries, BBQ's, and summer desserts. These Berry Jam Bars easily remind me that berry season is almost here and there are so many things you can make with berries, the possibilities are endless. Celebrate the summer with these Berry Jam Bars because they are gluten free, and refined sugar-free! They have a crispy shortbread crust, a strawberry raspberry jam center and an almond cookie crumble on the top. These are sure to please a crowd or to have just for a fun night at home.
RECIPE Berry Jam Bars (gluten-free & refined sugar-free)
Serves 9 people
2 c blanched almond flour
⅓ c melted butter
⅓ c powdered monk-fruit sweetener
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 cups organic strawberries (fresh is best, but frozen will also work)
1 c organic raspberries
Juice from 1 lemon or lime
¼ c raw honey
1 ½ TBSP chia seeds
½ c organic gluten-free oats
½ c blanched almond flour
4 TBSP cold butter (cubed)
¼ c granulated monk-fruit sweetener
¼ c sliced almonds
1 tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt
Start by making your shortbread crust first. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Take an 8 by 8 pan and grease it with butter
In a separate bowl add your almond flour, monk-fruit sweetener, vanilla and salt. Mix together. Add your melted butter. Mix until your mixture is crumbly.
Pour into your 8 by 8 pan and press down with a spoon or measuring cup so it forms a crust on the bottom of the pan.
Cook in the oven for about 12 minutes or until it’s slightly golden on the edges. Once done, remove from oven and let cool. Make your jam while they are cooling.
To make your berry jam layer get out your Instant Pot or medium pan if you want to make it on the stove. I used my Instant Pot mini.
Place your berries, lemon/lime juice, and raw honey in the bowl. Set your Instant Pot to “SAUTE” mode and “LESS” let them cook down until it’s more of a jam like consistency. The berries will have a natural pectin in it that will help it to thicken as it cooks. If it’s still too runny after about 10 minutes then you can add a cornstarch/water mix to it to thicken it. See *Tips below on this.
Once you get your jam to the consistency that you want it at, remove from heat and add your chia seeds. Stir to combine. Place in a mason jar and place in the fridge for a few hours.
You don’t have to have it in the fridge for a few hours if you don’t want to. Just add it directly to the top of the crust for the bars. Now make your crumble mixture.
In another separate bowl mix your gluten free oats, almond flour, monk-fruit sweetener, sliced almonds, almond extract, and salt together. Add your cold cubed butter, and with a pastry cutter or fork mix the dough until if forms small “pea size” balls. You can just use your hands for this step as well if that is easier for you. I usually mix with a pastry cutter for a few minutes and then with my hands until it comes together.
Once it’s in a “crumb like” mixture add it to the top of the jam mixture.
Place bars into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the crumbs on top are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.
I like to put mine in the fridge to cool but go ahead and dig in if you can’t wait! Enjoy!
*If you use frozen berries then your jam mixture will be more on the runny side after cooking it down. To thicken this up just add 3 TBSP cornstarch or arrowroot starch and 2 TBSP water. Mix in a small cup together and then add it to your jam. It will take a few minutes but will thicken it more. If it’s not thickened to your liking then do the same process until it gets to the consistency that you want it.
*Use organic ingredients when feasible