HEALTHY LITTLE VITTLES is a food blog created by certified health coach and published author, Gina Fontana, that focuses on gluten-free + vegan + plant-based recipes. Here you'll find simple, flavorful meals, many made in 30 minutes or less! All eaters are welcome, there is a little something here for everyone!
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These delicious Caramel Apple Crumb Bars aren’t your average apple crumb bars that you may have been seeing all over Instagram! Homemade vegan caramel is infused right into the gluten-free crumble and then drizzled over top for the perfect finishing touch.
Since officially Fall, my family and I are doing what everyone else is doing… we’re getting out of the house and enjoying the last warm, sunny days of the season. And that means going to pumpkin farms and apple orchards and doing all the fun outdoorsy Autumn happenings.
We discovered a new apple orchard in our area, much closer than the previous one we have been visiting, so it sure made the trip extra fun (because I don’t know about your toddlers, but mine are not great on car rides). It was a gorgeous sunny and 80 degree day, didn’t quite feel like Fall, but there was a light cool breeze and all the leaves are starting to turn those beautiful warm tones. And quite frankly, I was just excited to get to an orchard this year when it wasn’t freezing and about to snow.
We had so much fun picking apples as a family, it was my daughter’s first experience and of course she loved it because this girl loves anything where food is involved, lol. A girl after her momma’s own heart.
I’ve dabbled in pumpkin already this season, as you can see with my Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Fudge and these delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, and maybe I did it backwards, but now I’m moving into apple spice and everything nice. The first recipe I made with the delicious apples we picked was my Naturally Sweetened Instant Pot Apple Butter (uh, like so easy and SO delicious!) and I have a few other apple recipes jotted down on a sticky note to make this season, I hope that this trip to the orchard will be sufficient enough to get me through them all, and hoping I have the motivation to really get them done is the real deal here, haha.
So now that I’ve reminisced about the fun family day at the apple orchard, let’s chat about these Caramel Apple Crumb Bars, shall we?! They aren’t your typical crumb bars loaded with sugar, and although they are most definitely sweet enough to call dessert, I’m gonna tell you that you can also enjoy these for breakfast if you so choose.
The caramel is made with almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla (that’s it!) and of course farm fresh apples. And the crust is made with half of the vegan caramel, oats, sweet potato flour (say WHA?!), cinnamon, allspice, coconut sugar, vanilla, and plant butter then the bars are drizzled with the other half of vegan caramel sauce. #areyoudroolingbecauseimdrooling
So why sweet potato flour? Let me guess, you’ve never heard of it! Me neither until this year, but I sure do love sweet potatoes and it’s such a great pairing with apples. Edward and Sons introduced me to Let’s Do Organic Sweet Potato Flour and I think I’m in love! I like it because it’s plant-based and grain-free, besides, I think one of my favorite foods is… sweet potatoes!
You could swap out the sweet potato flour for regular gluten-free baking flour, but if you’re up for it, I totally suggest you try it! The flavor is sweet and not overly sweet potato-ey.
Crumb bars seemed to be the theme of this summer’s baking excursions, Triple Berry Tahini Crumb Bars and Berry Crumb Bars both made appearances on the blog this summer, so why not keep this trend going as we enter Fall and add a Caramel Apple Crumb Bars recipe to the recipe box as well?! And of course, drizzle more caramel overtop, even serve with a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream if you’re feeling fancy. Maybe that would pass this recipe off as more of a dessert 😉 Either way, no judgment, I just hope you enjoy!