(Note: this post was originally published on November 10, 2019. It has since been updated with a few tweaks.)
Cozy Chai Bars for Fall
I'm so excited to introduce you to my favorite seasonal treat. These chai-spiced pear bars are packed with cozy fall flavor and are made with nourishing ingredients. They've been on repeat in our house all season long. If you're looking for the most warming and comforting fall and winter dessert (that's also secretly good for the body and easy to make), this is it!
These flavor-packed bars are perfect in every way. Sweet juicy pears are sandwiched between two layers of crumbly crust and it's all exploding with warming spices inspired by chai tea. Best of all, this vegan pear dessert is also gluten-free, high in protein, naturally sweetened, and made from whole food ingredients like nut butter and oats.
I can't wait for you to try them!
Easy and Fast Pear Bars
To make these chai bars, you'll start by making a spice blend featuring all the classic chai tea flavors: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and the tiniest dash of black pepper. I know the pepper may sound strange, but it gives these bars a very subtle, indescribable kick and balances the sweetness of the pears.
To keep things simple, you'll divide the spice blend between the crust and the filling so that you only need to measure once. This sneaky trick keeps these bars easy to make, despite the fact that the ingredient list may seem long at first glance.
The crust/crumble for this vegan pear dessert is also a two-for-one deal. It forms the crust on the bottom of the bars, as well as the crumble on the top of the bars. All of this is aimed at trying to get to dessert as fast as possible, because sometimes you just need a comforting fall dessert ASAP!
Good For the Body
In addition to being packed with flavor, these pear bars are packed with good-for-you ingredients too. The crust is mostly nut butter and oats, is sweetened only with maple syrup, and has just a bit of coconut oil to bring it together. The addition of both walnuts and flax seed meal provides good omegas, protein, and some extra healthy fats. The filling is just pears and spices, sweetened with a dash of maple syrup.
But despite the fact that the ingredients are all essentially a bowl of oatmeal, these bars feel indulgent. The crust crisps up beautifully, the flavors are really pronounced, and the pears are so juicy and succulent. They certainly don't seem like a "healthy" dessert, and I'd have no hesitation serving these to a crowd at a holiday meal.
Want a really special fall treat? Heat up one of these dreamy chai bars and top it with some high-protein yogurt for breakfast. Yum!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here's what you'll need for this vegan pear dessert, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Black pepper. I know this sounds weird, but trust me! It's critical for that subtle flavor punch in these chai bars.
Smooth nut butter. I like to use peanut butter since it's less expensive than other types, but use what you like. Cashew butter will have the most neutral flavor.
Flax seed meal
Pears. Choose pears that are a little on the harder side so that they keep their shape while baking.
Crystallized ginger. I adore crystallized ginger and bake with it all the time! It adds magical flavor. Most health food stores will have it in bulk. Feel free to omit it if you can't find it or if you want to avoid refined sugar completely in this healthy + vegan pear dessert.
Something about chai tea is so nostalgic, don't you think? It reminds me of sitting in front of the fire on a winter afternoon after a cold walk outside. The combination of aromatic, warming spices feels like it's good for both the body and the soul.
I know pie is all the rage during the holidays, but I'd actually much rather have these dreamy chai bars. They're way more flavorful than pie and much lighter too. Plus they come together very quickly, which means a lot less prep time on a busy holiday. Serve them up with a scoop of ice cream and caramel sauce (see the photo below for inspiration) and you'll have yourself a delightful fall dessert.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
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Bursting with cozy chai spices, these pear bars are a delightful treat (or maybe even breakfast!) all fall and winter long. They're made with nourishing ingredients like fresh pears, whole oats, and nut butter.