I don’t know about where you are, but where I live, it’s hot. Dang hot. And while I’m not a fan of triple digit temps, I am a fan of summer. Ahh, the long, warm evenings, the lazy afternoons, swimming, camping, playing, and best of all, fresh summer fruits and veggies!!
I typically don’t crave fruit during the rest of the year, but come summer, I can’t seem to get my fill of fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries! With the 4th of July holiday coming up, I knew I wanted to make a dessert that featured some of these beautiful summer berries, but I needed to be able to make it ahead of time so I wasn’t a frantic, sweaty mess come dinner time on the 4th. So I came up with a cross between a bar cookie and a cobbler! Filled with ripe, red raspberries, sweet, fragrant blueberries and satisfying shredded coconut, this dessert is perfect by itself or served with a scoop of soft, homemade vanilla ice cream.
I made two batches of these bars; one with almond flour and one with sunflower seed flour for my nut-free family (is it possible to have family without a few nuts?). They both turned out perfectly in flavor and texture! Be sure to grind your raw sunflower seeds in a high-speed blender to get the finest grind possible. And I like to use tahini for this recipe because it gives the bars a fantastic texture and non-nut-butter flavor. But if you don’t mind the added flavor of almond butter or sunbutter, you can use that instead.
- 2 ½ C almond flour or *sunflower seed flour
- ½ C arrowroot starch
- ¾ tsp baking soda (*If using sunflower seed flour, use 1 tsp baking powder instead)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ C pure maple syrup (or honey or coconut nectar)
- 1/3 C tahini
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 TBSP vanilla
- ¼ C coconut oil
- ¼ C coconut milk
- ¾ C fresh raspberries
- 1 C fresh blueberries
- ½ C shredded coconut, divided
- 1) Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8x8 glass baking dish with parchment paper and grease.
- 2) In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients until combined.
- 3) Add the wet ingredients the dry mixture. Mix well with a hand mixer.
- 4) Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle raspberries evenly over the batter. Sprinkle ¼ C of the shredded coconut evenly over the raspberries.
- 5) Spoon the remaining half of the batter over the coconut/raspberries. With a spoon, gently spread the batter so it’s even.
- 6) Sprinkle blueberries evenly on the top of the batter. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ C shredded coconut over the blueberries. Press down on the coconut/blueberries gently with the palm of your hand to get them into the batter.
- 7) Bake 60-75 minutes or until edges are golden brown and center is firm and springs back when pressed with your finger. Cool 30 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, then place the pan on a potholder in the refrigerator for an hour or so to cool completely.
- 8) When cooled, carefully pull the bars out of the pan by lifting the edges of the parchment paper. Cut into 16 bars.
- 9) Store in an airtight container and enjoy or freeze until needed. To enjoy from frozen, simply remove containers from the freezer the morning you'll be using them and let them thaw on your counter-top. Serve them that afternoon at room temperature.
- 1) Serve with a scoop of homemade vanilla (coconut milk) ice cream.
- 2) Try adding ½ C white chocolate chips over the raspberry layer.
- 3) If you like a crunch, add 1 C chopped pecans, walnuts or macadamias to the batter.