These Berry Lemonade Cobbler Bars Are the Perfect Heart-Healthy Summer Snack

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We're officially closing in on the final month of summer, which means the next 30 days are your last chance to buy up all the watermelon, peaches, and other seasonal foods before squash and pumpkin spice everything start taking over. One way to soak up the last fruity flavors of summer is by putting your berries to use, and that's exactly what vegan cookbook author Haile Thomas does in the latest episode of Cook With Us. Four words: berry lemonade cobbler bars.

"They're super seasonal, very refreshing, and just a nice way to enjoy berry season," Thomas says of the bars—which, by the way, are vegan and gluten-free. How do you make perfectly crumbly cobbler without gluten, you ask? It's simple, actually. All you need is gluten-free flour, rolled oats, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. (The latter three ingredients are used to add sweetness and a layer of brightness to the crumble.) "It's a very classic dish and you can build on it with spices you love," Thomas says, adding that she likes to sprinkle cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom in her own version.

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Once the ingredients are mixed together in a bowl and spread into a baking dish, it's time to add in the berries. Thomas uses strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries in hers but encourages experimenting with your own faves. Have a bunch of blackberries on hand? Go for it. Want to go with something a little more unexpected like mulberries or goji berries? Those are great, too. Since all berries are high in antioxidants, no matter which ones you choose you're making your bars one heart-healthy snack. Insider baking tip: drizzling corn starch on top of your layer of berries will really help bring their flavor out more. Thomas also likes adding a touch of maple syrup for another note of sweetness.

After the oat bars bake for about 30 minutes in the oven, take 'em out and add generous amounts of lemon zest on top. "The lemon zest makes everything pop even more," Thomas says. With that finishing touch, your berry lemonade cobbler bars are ready to eat—and you only dirtied two dishes in the process. Watch the episode above to see them come together and get the recipe below.

Berry lemonade cobbler bars recipe

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free 1:1 flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix rolled oats, gluten-free flour, coconut sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla. Pour in the coconut oil and stir well. The texture should be slightly crumbly and moist.

3. Press about two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top this bottom layer with sliced strawberries and top with raspberries and blueberries. Lightly dust the surface with cornstarch and drizzle with maple syrup.

4. Sprinkle the remaining dough on top and place the dish in the oven, baking for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

5. Allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!

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