2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons warm water
2 cups finely diced strawberries
1/4 cup pure maple syru
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
Oatmeal Base + Topping
2 and 1/4 cup quick oats (not whole rolled oats)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted almond butter (or peanut butter or sunflower seed butter)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup apple butter*
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup sliced almonds
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1. Make the strawberry filling first: Mix the cornstarch with the warm water until it all of the cornstarch has dissolved and there are no more clumps. It should resemble milk. Set aside. Combine the strawberries, maple syrup, and sugar together in a small sauce pan over medium heat. While stirring occasionally, bring to a boil then allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the pre-mixed cornstarch. Whisk until all clumps are gone and set aside to thicken and cool.
2. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line an 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides for easy removal. Set aside.
3. Make the oat crust/topping: In a large bowl, combine the quick oats, cinnamon, almond butter, maple syrup, apple butter, and beaten egg. Mix until all of the oats are moistened and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of the oat mixture. Press the remaining oat mixture into prepared baking pan. Make sure it is firmly pressed down and even. Spread the strawberry filling on top. To the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture, add the sliced almonds. Crumble this over the strawberry filling and, using the back of a spatula, press the topping down firmly into the strawberry filling. You want to make sure it sticks well.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The topping will be lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.