PB & J bars  ingredients

Vegan, Gluten-free PB & J Bars

  • 2 cups fresh berries (I used blackberries because that was what was at the farmer’s market, but you can mix and match and use 1 cup of one type of berry and 1 cup of another)
  • 1 ripe banana, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp potato starch mixed with 2 tbsp warm water
  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats, divided
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup  water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Gather the ingredients

Preheat oven to 375F. Rub the sides of an 8 by 8 inch glass dish with Earth Balance or other vegan margarine. In a small bowl, mix together the potato starch with warm water to form a paste. You will likely want to stir this mixture again just before adding it to the berry layer to make sure it is well-combined.

berry filling

2. Make the berry layer

In a small saucepan, combine the berries, banana, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 4-5 minutes until the berries start to break down a bit and release their juices. Turn off the heat and stir in the potato starch/water combo. This will make the berry mixture more jelly-like. Set aside.

oat flour

3. Make the “dough”

Place 1 1/2 cups of oats into a food processor or high-speed blender and process until a flour forms (I used the dry container of my Vitamix, and this worked really well). Pour the oat flour, remaining 1 1/2 cups of oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl and stir together. Add in the applesauce, maple syrup, water, peanut butter, and vanilla and mix well.

topped bars

4. Distribute the Dough

Scoop 2/3 of the dough into the glass dish and push down with your fingers or a spatula to create a level base. Next, spread the prepared berry filling over the dough, covering it completely. Finally, crumble the rest of the dough over the top. It should cover most, if not all, of the berry layer.

elijah with bars

5. Bake for about 25 minutes

…or until the top is slightly golden. Let cool and cut into bars. You can cut these after about half an hour and serve them, but I find they are best (and less messy) when made the night before and then cut. Happy snacking!

remy with bar

Vegan, Gluten-free PB&J Bars
Makes 8-12 bars, depending on how you cut them

  • 2 cups fresh berries (I used blackberries because that was what was at the farmer’s market, but you can mix and match and use 1 cup of one type of berry and 1 cup of another)
  • 1 ripe banana, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp potato starch mixed with 2 tbsp warm water
  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup  water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375F. Rub the sides of an 8 by 8 inch glass dish with Earth Balance or other vegan margarine. In a small bowl, mix together the potato starch with warm water to form a paste. You will likely want to stir this mixture again just before adding it to the berry layer to make sure it is well-combined. Next, make the berry layer. In a small saucepan, combine the berries, banana, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 4-5 minutes until the berries start to break down a bit and release their juices. Turn off the heat and stir in the potato starch/water combo. This will make the berry mixture more jelly-like. Set aside.

Next, make the “dough”. Place 1 1/2 cups of oats into a food processor and process until a flour forms (I used the dry container of my Vitamix, and this worked really well). Pour the oat flour, remaining 1 1/2 cups of oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl and stir together. Add in the applesauce, maple syrup, water, peanut butter, and vanilla and mix well. Scoop 2/3 of the dough into the glass dish and push down with your fingers or a spatula to create a level base. Next, spread the prepared berry filling over the dough, covering it completely. Finally, crumble the rest of the dough over the top. It should cover most, if not all, of the berry layer. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is slightly golden. Let cool and cut into bars. You can cut these after about half an hour and serve them, but I find they are best (and less messy) when made the night before and then cut. Happy snacking!