Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars

Bursting with cozy chai spices, these pear crumble bars are a delightful treat (or maybe even breakfast!) all fall and winter long. They're secretly good for the body but feel so indulgent.

Ingredients

For the Spice Blend

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg
  • 0.5 tsp cardamom
  • 0.25 tsp turmeric
  • 0.25 tsp ground cloves
  • Few grinds of black pepper

For the Crust:

  • 1 c smooth nut butter
  • 0.5 c maple syrup
  • 0.25 c coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 0.5 c walnuts
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • About two-thirds of the spice blend

For the Filling:

  • 3 medium-sized pears
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • About one third of the spice blend
  • 8-10 cubes of crystallized ginger, very finely diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and thoroughly rub a 9x9 baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. Prepare the spice blend and give everything a thorough mix.
  3. In a sauce pan over low heat, combine and melt the nut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla (i.e. all of the wet ingredients for the crust).
  4. While the wet ingredients are melting, measure the dry ingredients for the crust (oats, walnuts, flax meal, salt, and two thirds of the spice blend) into a food processor.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and pulse the food processor a few times to bring everything together. Don't over-process it! Just a few pulses is fine to combine everything and coarsely chop the oats and walnuts. You want a crumbly consistency, not a smooth one.
  6. Dice up the pears and mix them with the rest of the filling ingredients. You can remove the skin if you want, but it's not necessary.
  7. Put a little over half of the crust mixture into your baking pan and press it down firmly. You want to achieve a smooth, coherent layer that covers the whole bottom of the pan.
  8. Add the pear filling over the top and spread it gently into an even layer. Press it down to ensure everything will stick together well.
  9. Spoon the remaining crust mixture in clumps over the top of the pears and press it down gently.
  10. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the pears have cooked down and the crust is lightly browned.
  11. Cool the bars completely for easier, neater cutting. Store finished bars in a sealed container in the fridge.