Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars

Today I was craving some comfort. The past few weeks I’ve felt uneasy, and I can’ quite figure out why.

Easy Vegan Almond Butter Strawberry Seed Jam Bars with Crumb Topping

Perhaps it’s a combination of stress of an 18-credit graduate school load, figuring out my summer practicum, some pressing family issues, or the mundaneness I sometimes feel after working on something (whether it be school work, work work, projects, or applications for practicums) from morning til evening with little relief.

Once I cross one thing off my list, it seems, 6 more pop up.

VEGAN Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal crumb bars

Yesterday I took a break and got brunch at Mathew’s with my good friend Raag. The outing provided not only a delicious meal and good conversation, but a much needed break, some peace of mind, and a fleeting moment or two of comfort.

But today, I was back on the grind. And today, comfort came in the form of Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars.

Vegan Strawberry Chia Jam

I love a sweet but not-too-sweet breakfasty nibble, filled with oats, nut butters, and sometimes fruit to snack on in the afternoon with tea and to have to pack for snacks during the school week.

I wanted something with a soft bottom, a yummy fruity center, and a scrumptious oatmeal crumb topping. Crumb toppings are one life’s finest pleasures, as far as I’m concerned.

Almond Butter Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Bars Spread 2

I was trying to decide what to bake when I remembered the clearance frozen strawberries I purchased at the store yesterday, and the idea for a Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Bar with an oatmeal crumb topping came to me. And just like that, I knew I had to make some.

Easy Cegan Almond Butter Strawberry Seed Jam Bars + Crumb Topping

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Easy Vegan Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

So I have this weird habit of making some recipe, taking photos of it, uploading the photos onto my computer, putting them in a folder on my desktop, and then forget to ever post the recipe and photos. Like, it happens way more often than it should. WTF.

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Or maybe I didn’t post this recipe because the photos aren’t great. I took some on my phone (ie one above) and forgot to DSLR anymore of the finished project. Probably cause I was eager to eat them. Sometimes I wonder why I pour so much time and energy into the stuff I do for other platforms that consistently under or don’t pay me and so little on my own site. I am actively changing this RIGHT NOW. So I’m gonna creep around my desktop, find some old (but new to you) recipes, and post ’em. Starting with this one.

I made these on Easter when I had a baking bug in my pants and wanted a sweet treat but was limited on baking supplies. I also didn’t feel like going to store, so I crept in the freezer, found a bag of frozen strawberries, and got busy.

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I was craving a sweet, oaty bar, and googled “oatmeal strawberry bar,” and was directed to one of Ree Drummond’s recipes. Related: low key love watching the Pioneer Woman. Yes, I know I’m a non-meat-eater of 17 years and the Drummonds live on a tycoon cattle ranch and raise animals for the purpose of human consumption. And yes I know Ree makes a bunch of stuff I would like, never want to touch with a 10 foot pole.

But you can’t deny there’s something eerily enchanting about that show. And that the violin theme song is perfect. And that you love  learning what’s happening on the ranch that day. And most importantly, you can’t deny that Ree has some good trips and tips for cooking, no matter what your dietary pattern or preference.

So these easy bars were inspired by her. I looked at her recipe, adapted it, veganized it, healthified it a little, and proceeded to watch The Pioneer Woman while baking. It was a lovely Easter indeed.IMG_3756

These bars are lightly sweet, oaty, chewy, and gushing with strawberries (in a good way). I made the jam for the filling using only frozen strawberries and chia seeds. This works tremendously. You just let them jell up. It’s wonderful.

Anyways, enjoy this recipe. More life update type post tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

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Easy Vegan Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Adapted from

Prep Time:   10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: about 12 bars


  • 1 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 8 ounces non-dairy butter
  • 1 cup oat flour (you can make oat flour by pulsing rolled oats in a food processor until a fine powder forms)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Thaw frozen strawberries in the microwave by warming for about 1-2 minutes until soft. Mash with a fork. Add chia seeds, mix well, and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 12×12 pan.
  3. Combine oat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  4. Cut cold non-dairy spread or butter into small bits. Then add to flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, back of a fork, or your fingers, crumble butter into mixture until coarse crumbs form.
  5. Divide mixture in half. Pack slightly more than half of the flour mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  6. Spoon strawberry jelly mixture over the packed flour mixture into the pan.
  7. Crumble and sprinkle remaining flour mixture over the top half of the strawberry mixture.
  8. Place pan in oven for 35-40 minutes, until lightly golden.
  9. Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy.

Vegan Animal Crackers with Coconut & Strawberry Icing

So a few weeks ago I had a wicked craving for these, so I bought some at Target.


Except then I ate them and I wanted to cry because I was so disappointed in how gross they were…I don’t know why I remember them being tasty. They tasted like total junk – WAY too artificial and too sweet, I was surprised by how much flavor they lacked for how bright they were and the list of ingredients that was longer than most novels I’ve read.


So I was deeply saddened grieving the loss of the enjoyment of a childhood treat; however, through my tears a glimmer of hope and inspiration struck me. I was determined to redo them. But make them delicious and flavorful and junk free.


And today, I succeeded. These have a wonderful nutty, oaty flavor and are just pleasantly sweet, but light enough to eat as a snack or breakfast. I was actually surprised at how frickin’ delicious they are. My mom also enjoyed them quite a bit, as did Millie when I dropped one (lucky girl).


I made these with half oat flour and half whole wheat flour because it’s what I had around, but for Celiac’s sufferers, it is very possible to use all oat flour or another gluten free flour as a substitute. These are also vegan, so they are friendly for those with dairy sensitivities.

“let’s makeout”

The icing is phenomenal, my friends. I basically used canned coconut milk and add powdered sugar. For the pink cookies, I pureed some freeze dried strawberries (available at Target and/or Trader Joe’s) which added color and flavor without ruining the consistency of the icing. A sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon adds a beautiful warmth to the cookie, as well.


Overall, these are wonderful little nuggets of joy that taste and feel good for the body. A little more work than buying the junky ones, sure, but well worth the effort.

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Level: Easy (but putsy)



  • 1 chia egg (1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons almond milk)
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (I made my own in a food processor with rolled oats)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (can also sub a gluten free flour, such as rice flour, or just use all oat-flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (can also use vegan butter or vegetable oil; I used Spectrum Coconut Oil)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of cinnamon
  • sprinkles (optional)

Frosting – Coconut:

  • 1/8 cup light coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Frosting – Strawberry:


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine chia seeds and almond milk. Mix and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

3. Melt coconut oil and mix in sugar and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon.


5. Slowly add coconut oil mixture and chia egg to flour mixture. Mix until combined. Roll into a ball and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes or pop in the freezer if impatient (you just want the dough to be chilled so it’s easier to work with!)


6. Place dough ball between two pieces of parchment so it’s easier to roll and doesn’t stick. Roll until about 1/8 inch thick. Use animal (or whatever) cookie cutters to make shapes and place on baking sheet.



7. Bake for about 10 minutes until slightly golden and fragrant.

8. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, combine coconut milk and powdered sugar in bowls. Puree freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor or blender and add to one batch of frosting.



9. Ice cookies using an angled spatula or knife and place on parchment paper to dry. Sprinkle with sprinkles for an extra fun pop.

10. Enjoy!



5 Easy and Healthy Ways to Feel Like You’re Eating Dessert for Breakfast


Here are 5 super yummy, super fast breakfasts that taste like dessert. Which I’m a big fan of. This article was originally written for and published on NYU Spoon. You can check it out here.



Breakfast Cookie for One

“Cookies for breakfast?” Yes! No, it’s not Cookie Crisp cereal; in fact, it’s much more delicious and has fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats that, unlike the sugary cereal, will actually keep you full until lunchtime. This is a base recipe that can be jazzed up with whatever fruits, nuts, jams and nut butters you have around your apartment. Use flavored oatmeal packets for an extra flavor kick (maple brown sugar flavor with almond butter and pecans makes for an excellent combination) but if you do, reduce or omit the additional sugar. The possibilities are endless!

1/2 cup rolled oat or one packet of flavored oatmeal
1 tablespoon nut butter or coconut oil.
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg whites
mix ins: chopped fresh or dried fruit, nuts, a teaspoon of jam

1. Place oats in a small bowl. Add nut butter or coconut oil (coconut oil will need to be melted in the microwave), baking soda, brown sugar, and honey. Mix well.
2. Add egg whites to oat mixture.
3. Add mix-ins of your choice. Mix.
4. Gather into a ball of “cookie dough” and place on a small plate. Smush down the dough to make a flat cookie shape. Spritzing the plate with non stick spray (optional).
5. Microwave on high for 1-3 minutes until browned and fluffy. Allow to cool briefly and enjoy.  


Banana Cream Pie

Bananas and Greek Yogurt are a match made in heaven. Topped with a warm crispy toaster waffle as the “pie crust,” digging your spoon through this twist on a classic parfait is like just like digging through a personal banana cream pie. Make it your own with your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt (recommended: vanilla or coconut).


1 6oz vanilla, plain, or coconut Greek Yogurt
1 banana
1 toaster waffle
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon honey
optional: coconut shreds
1. Place toaster waffle in the toaster.
2. Remove lid from yogurt. Slice bananas and half of it add to yogurt. Mix.
3. Add coconut shreds or nuts if desired
4. Spread almond or peanut butter on waffle and top with remainder of sliced banana, honey, and coconut shreds (if desired).
5. Place toaster waffle on top of yogurt cup.
6. Eat by spooning through the waffle “crust,” and dolloping with the “pie filling” below. Yum!



Chocolate Breakfast Pudding

Pudding is delicious. Unfortunately, dessert pudding is often high in fat, and store-bought pudding is often full of sugar and preservatives. So, when you wake up craving something smooth chocolatey, make this recipe instead. The Greek yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, and B vitamins. The cocoa powder helps thicken the already rich-tasting Greek yogurt, creating a consistency somewhere between pudding and frosting. A surprisingly small amount of sweetener is all that’s needed to make this taste like a treat. Goes great with fresh berries or bananas.

1 6oz plain Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoons of sugar or honey
raspberries or strawberries to top (optional)

1. Add cocoa powder to Greek Yogurt and mix thoroughly until the powder is well dispersed in the yogurt and yogurt is free of clumps.
2. Add sweetener and mix again.
3. Top with fresh fruit. Enjoy!




Apple Crisp for One

With the weather getting colder, sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than a warm breakfast. This recipe is an easier but just as delicious play on apple crisp, and takes only a few minutes to prepare. It’s also healthy enough to enjoy every day, and can work as a great study snack or dessert.

1 apple
1 packet of flavored oatmeal (recommended: apple cinnamon or cinnamon spice)
a dash of cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey, and/or brown sugar to top (optional)

1. Chop apple into small pieces. Place in a microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon and mix.
2. Empty flavored oatmeal packet directly over the chopped apples. Drizzle one tablespoon of water over the top of the oatmeal. Do not add any more water (the moisture of the apples will be plenty).
3. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, until apples are tender and oats on top appear crispy.
4. Allow to cool briefly, then top with honey or brown sugar and enjoy.



Waffles’n’Dinges Spinoff

Sure, everyone at NYU knows exactly when and where the Waffles’n’Dinges truck parks on campus (Mondays, right in front of Stern), but let’s face it: the Wafles truck, while delicious, is a bit pricey and perhaps not the most nutritious breakfast option before a long day of studying. Fuel up with this healthier version (which even includes a healthy homemade version of the famous Speculoos cookie spread!) and be able to walk by those wafting waffle scents on Washington Square South without a second thought.


1 toaster waffle
For the “Speculoos”:
1 graham cracker
1 tablespoon almond or sunflower butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey or agave
1 tablespoon greek yogurt
“Dinges” of your choice (ie: sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, whipped cream)


1. Place waffle in toaster.
2. Assemble the speculoos. Start by crushing the graham cracker. This can be done by breaking it into small pieces, placing it in a plastic bag, then smashing it with a large spoon until into small crumbs. A food processor can also be used for this. Place in a small bowl.
3. Add almond or sunflower butter, greek yogurt, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice to the bowl. Mix until well combined into a paste. If the spread is to thick or crumbly, add a bit more greek yogurt and/or honey until paste reaches desired consistency (look for a peanut-butter like spread consistency).
4. Top waffle with “Speculoos” and add your “Dinges” on top of that.
5. Dollop with whipped cream on a test day.