Berry bars for errryybody

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Internet friends!

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How goes it? Things here are pretty bueno – it feels like fall, with the snappy air and all the squash in the markets! I have yet to make any squash this season, but I’m sure it’ll happen SOON; we can just chalk it up to being super busy at work and opting for quick dinners (hello eggs & black beans, you’re the bomb) or meal prep that can turn into a quick dinner.

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Weekends have been productive and lovely, with lots of urban hiking and pretty views of my beautiful city. The sunsets have been off the HOOK – this is the time of year for cotton candy skies in this part of the Bay, and I’m loving every minute.

Looking back down the hill; I never ever get tired of the views on my walk home from work:

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I love that I can get these amazing sunset panos from my roof!

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And of course, there was dessert! A low-key one for this last weekend; C and I may or may not have eaten this all in two sittings. To be fair, there was a hike in there also that was nearly 6 miles and a lot of stairs, sooo…. ahem.

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This is rapidly becoming one of my staple desserts, along with my go-to cookies. It’s SO easy and flexible, and super delicious. It reminds me a bit of a grown up pb&j – only with almond butter and a lack of cloying jammy sweetness. Not to mention that it’s great for so many dietary preferences or allergies! Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free (it’s nearly sweetener free; only 2 tbsp of maple in the whole thing), dairy free, vegan, paleo! Woooohoo for inclusive desserts!

I find that I love it best straight out of the fridge for maximum chewy coldness, but it’s still great at room temp. Of course for science research C and I had to eat it with ice cream – highly recommend. Its nutty base dough/crumble tastes very reminiscent of an almond cookie, and is complemented perfectly by the sweet-tart chia jam in the middle. Suffice it to say, we’re big fans over here, and I hope it brings you as much joy :)

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I can feel myself starting to gravitate towards more involved baking projects as the nights come earlier and the days get shorter… it makes me turn inward and seek out cozy things like blankets, tea, and the oven. Not that I don’t usually seek out the oven, but you get the idea.

Happy October!

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Berry & Almond Butter Crumble Bars

Gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, grain free / paleo, vegan! A direct riff off of the blueberry bars that I posted a few weeks ago, here, where were in turn inspired by the Roasted Root, here! Yield: 1 8″ pan of bars, round or square, your choice. Super simple; these come together in about five seconds and bake up in just over 30 min, so they make a perfect last minute snack, dessert, or breakfast ;)

For the berry filling:

1 raspberries (I used frozen)*
1 c blackberries (I used frozen)
splash of yuzu or lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla

*can be made with all raspberry (or all blackberry!) – I was just trying to use up what I had

In a small saucepan, heat berries, sea salt, and tapioca until just barely boiling, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds & vanilla; let cool.

For the crust & crumble:

2 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp maple
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 c almond butter
1/3 c chopped almonds
Black sesame seeds
Coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 8” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 8” round cake pan. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, salt, maple, almond butter and coconut oil together. Reserve half a cup and stir in the almonds, sesame seeds & coconut (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and top evenly with berry mixture. Crumble the rest of the reserved topping on the berries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)

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