Berry, Apple, and Rosemary Shortbread Bars

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9 x 13″ pan, about 24 squares
for shortbread:

  • 4 cups (560 gr) AP flour
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1 1/2 tspn freshly grated meyer lemon zest
  • 2 – 4 Tbspn fresh rosemary, finely chopped*
  • 4 sticks (1 lb.) butter
  • 2 cups (400 gr) sugar
  • 4 egg yolks

for filling:

  • ~330 gr crisp tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 tspn lemon juice
  • 2 tspn sugar
  • 1 tspn AP flour
  • 1 cup blackberry + wild blueberry jam (Recipe Below)
  • powdered sugar, optional

METHOD:

  1. Make the shortbread. Whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and chopped rosemary. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until light. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Divide the shortbread dough in half. Wrap each half in parchment paper or plastic wrap and freeze until hard, at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with foil, leaving overhang at the sides.
  7. Prepare the filling. Toss the chopped apples, lemon juice, sugar, and flour together and let sit for a few minutes.
  8. Heat the jam briefly until it reaches a somewhat liquid, spreadable consistency.
  9. Remove half of the shortbread dough from the freezer. Grate using a coarse grater or the grater plate of a food processor. Spread the grated dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  10. Spoon the jam over the first layer of shortbread dough and distribute the apple chunks in one layer on the jam.
  11. Remove the second half of the dough from the freezer and grate. Pour the grated dough evenly over the jam and apple layer.
  12. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the edges and top are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  13. Using the foil, lift the shortbread out of the pan. If using, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares.

Note: for a strong rosemary taste, use up to 4 Tbspn of chopped rosemary. For a more subtle rosemary flavor, use just 2 Tbspn.

Blackberry and Wild Blueberry Jam
makes about one cup of jam
INGREDIENTS:

  • 125 gr wild blueberries
  • 195 gr blackberries
  • 17 gr freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 160 gr sugar

METHOD:

  1. Place a few spoons on a plate in the freezer.
  2. Mix the berries together in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Let sit for a few minutes to macerate. Divide the berries in half, and set half aside.
  3. In a non-reactive saucepan over medium low heat, combine half of the berries with the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the juices run. Increase heat to medium high until the berries boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the remaining berries. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and stir every thirty seconds or so. Cook for 10-15 minutes more, testing for doneness after 10 minutes.
  5. To test for doneness, remove the pan from the stove. Retrieve a spoon from the freezer and scoop a small amount of liquid and berries. Return the spoon to the freezer for a few minutes. Once cooled, hold the spoon vertically. If the jam does not run off the spoon and is a thick, spreadable consistency, the jam is done. If not, return the pan to the stove and continue to cook for a few more minutes before testing again.
  6. Cool the jam completely, preferably overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator, before using in the bars recipe.

OrangeBerry Shortcake Cookies

Orangeberry Shortcake Cookies

Orangeberry Shortcake Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into ¼-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 1 tbs. juice from an orange (or lemon)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon orange zest (or lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ⅔ cup fat free cream half and half

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the strawberries, juice, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the zest and remaining sugar. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until moist and fragrant.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the zest/sugar mixture and whisk to combine. Using a pastry cutter (or your hands) to cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have coarse crumbs. Add the cream to the bowl and stir until the dough starts to come together, then gently fold in the strawberry mixture.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop (about 1½ tablespoons) to drop dough onto the prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool. The cookies are best the day they’re made, but can be kept in an airtight container for 1 day.

Berry Green Smoothie

Smoothie

Smoothie

INGREDIENTS:

Serves 2

  • 3 small bananas
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • ½ cup bran cereal such as All Bran original
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweetener (sugar, honey, Truvia, agave, etc.)
  • ice cubes (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Blend bananas and milk until smooth. Add spinach and blend on a high setting until most of the spinach has been broken down into small pieces. Add the frozen berries and blend until the smoothie mixture is all one color.
  2. Add the bran and sweetener; blend until desired consistency. Add ice cubes and blend again until smooth (optional).

Very Berry Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

(makes 6 extra large or 12 standard-sized muffins)

In a medium-sized bowl combine:

  • 2 over-ripe bananas, well mashed
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In another bowl, sift:

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Also needed:

  • 1 heaping cup berries
  • Icing sugar for dusting the top, if desired

METHOD:

  1. Combine wet and dry until just mixed.
  2. Gently stir in 1 heaping cup fresh berries (blueberry and raspberry make a nice combination).
  3. Spoon into baking cups until 2/3-3/4 full. If desired, brush the tops lightly with water and dust on sanding sugar.
  4. Bake at 175ºC (350ºF) for 35-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean (watch carefully at the end so as to not over bake – this timing is for fewer larger muffins, standard-sized muffins might cook more quickly).
  5. Cool on wire rack (take muffins out of tin or rings as soon as possible so that they do not continue to cook).

Pomegranate Berry Smoothie

Pomegranate Berry Smoothie Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup water

PREPARATION

  1. Combine mixed berries, pomegranate juice, banana, cottage cheese and water in a blender; blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 206 calories; 1 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 3 mg cholesterol; 49 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 6 g protein; 6 g fiber; 133 mg sodium; 625 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (39% daily value), Potassium (18% dv)