It’s never too early to start planning what you’re going to do when the raspberry crop is ready! Although typically not ready to harvest until late summer raspberries can be found year round.
Raspberries are high in fiber, low in sugar and contain no starch. Raspberries can be used in desserts, sauces, in savory dishes and smoothies or just right from the bush with some fresh cream or a spoonful of local honey.
However you choose to enjoy raspberries know that your eating an antioxidant filled fruit with vitamins and nutrients!
This week’s recipe is one of my favorites. All can enjoy these raspberry bars, as a school snack, something to pack when going on bike ride or as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They are best when eaten within a 2 days of preparing, but they can be frozen.
Raspberry Crunch Bars
For the crust:
1 ½ cup flour (can be a mix of white and wheat or gluten-free)
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ sticks melted and cooled butter
For the filling:
4 Tbsp. light brown sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. flour (for thickening-can use gluten-free flour)
4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
Juice of 1 lemon
In a food processor combine all ingredients for crust, but the melted butter. Pulse the food processor a few times, don’t over process. Transfer mixture to a bowl; add melted butter and mix to combine.
Reserve 1 ½ cups of the crumb mixture for topping and press the remainder into a parchment lined 9 x 13-inch baking pan (glass is preferred). Bake in a 350-degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before filling with berry mixture.
Spoon the raspberry mixture evenly over bottom layer of crumb mixture. Top with reserved 1 ½ cups of crumb mixture making sure to cover as much of the raspberry mixture as possible.
Bake an additional 35-40 minutes rotating half way through or until top is golden brown and sides are bubbling.
Let cool completely before cutting into bars. The bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 2 months.