Gooseberry upside down crumble bars


As you're sure to know if you've visited Sneaky Veg before, I'm keen on reducing the amount of sugar in my children's diet and love experimenting with different ways of sweetening baked goods that we are used to making with sugar.

These gooseberry upside down crumble bars are made with Tate & Lyle agave nectar, a natural sweetener, made from the Blue Agave plant. The bars were a massive hit with all three of my kids, and with us grown ups too. I made them with vegan margarine but you can use butter instead if you prefer. Either way, they're refined sugar free and are perfect for an after-school snack or even as dessert. The oats and nuts provide some lovely energy and protein and anything that gets my six-year-old eating fruit and asking for seconds gets a thumbs up from me.

I mustn't forget to give my dad a shout out as he grew these gooseberries in his garden - thanks dad! 

Tate & Lyle offer lots of different types of sugar but if you're interested in reducing the sugar in your family's diet, take a look at their Better Balance products. As well as agave nectar they offer sugar mixed with stevia, fruit sugar, and sugar mixed with sweetener.

Here's how to make the gooseberry upside down crumble bars.

360g gooseberries
125g oats
100g almonds
100g butter or vegan margarine
1 small banana, mashed
4 tbsp Tate & Lyle agave nectar

First prepare the gooseberries. Wash them then snip off the ends if there are spiky bits. Place in a small non-stick saucepan, cover and cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until starting to break down. Stir occasionally. If you prefer you can add a couple of spoonfuls of agave nectar to the gooseberries at this stage. We (yes, even the Sneaky Veg kids) quite like the slightly tart taste of gooseberries so I don't add any sweetener at this stage.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan. Prepare a 20cm square cake tin by lightly greasing the sides and lining the base with greaseproof paper. 

Grind the oats and the almonds in a food processor until you have a powder. Add the butter or margarine, the banana and the agave nectar. Pulse until combined.

Scrape out into the cake tin and level the surface. Pour the gooseberries over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.

Gooseberry upside down crumble bars, refined sugar free, can easily be vegan. Healthy after-school snack or dessert for kids. Delicious for grown-ups too.

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post with Tate & Lyle.