Some of my favorite memories with my Grandmother are those from our times spent picking raspberries together in my backyard. Maybe it is because of these memories (or perhaps just the fact that raspberries are unbelievably tasty) that I always crave these bright little fruits around this time of year. Lately I've been making Raspberry Butter Bars as a quick and easy way to enjoy this season's berries. Between the perfectly tart raspberries, sweet cherries, slightly bitter walnuts and crisp shaved coconut, the balance of flavor and nutrition in this dessert is just right.
The house I grew up in had a large, tangled patch of prickly berry bushes in the backyard. For most of the year it sat there untouched; an unkempt and messy piece of our otherwise tidy landscaping. Midway through the summer though, the branches would suddenly burst out in vibrant decoration—dotted with deep pink raspberries. Every year my Grammy would make sure all of the kids were out there with her, buckets in hand, precisely in time to collect all of these delicious little fruits. Then we would make our way into the kitchen, to rinse and lay our harvest out on large sheets to dry. Over the following weeks we would find raspberries mixed creatively into almost all of our meals: muffins, tarts, salads, dressings, marinades...you name it.
So, given this tradition, I guess it is really no wonder that I like to experiment with raspberries in my summer cooking. This year the overwhelming favorite has been these fruit filled dessert bars. Technically they are grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and paleo-approved...but I prefer to call them just plain delicious.
These bars can also be made quickly and without turning on the oven. I created them this way intentionally because raspberry season usually means hot weather around here. And hot weather means I do not want to be standing inside of a sticky kitchen. If at all possible, I'd much rather be sitting somewhere with my feet in the grass and a book in my hand.
If you are making these bars at another time of year though, or can't find fresh raspberries or cherries at your local farmers market or grocery store, you can certainly experiment with using frozen or dried fruit instead. Overall the recipe is very simple and lends itself well to many variations.
No-Bake Raspberry Butter BarsBy Kayla- Radiant Life
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sprouted walnuts, chopped
4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
8 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons sprouted almond butter
1/4 cup coconut chips
Line standard pie pan with parchment paper. Spread raspberries, cherries and walnuts evenly in single layer. In a saucepan over low-heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of coconut oil together until you reach a nice smooth consistency. Whisk in cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla. Pour mixture over raspberries, cherries and walnuts. Melt together almond butter with remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Mix until smooth. Pour over your chocolate and berry base. Sprinkle on coconut chips for topping. Place in freezer for about 25-35 minutes. Cut however you prefer and enjoy! Store in freezer or refrigerator afterwards.