Yeah for Spring! We are FINALLY getting into some warmer weather. We are finally seeing some green leaves on trees and flowers blooming. It seems like winter has lasted forever!! Such is life in the mid-Atlantic states I guess.
Now. If I lived in Florida, the weather would be warmer, the trees would already be in bloom, and the produce would be plentiful!! Getting in the 5 fruits and veggies would be so easy in Florida. There’s a range of fresh food options there 24/7/365. We’re dying for winter to be over but Floridians are already noshing on a range of fresh produce that’s in season right now!!
Take blueberries for instance. I have to either shell out almost $5 ($6 at Whole Foods) for a half pint or purchase them frozen, but not in Florida! They’re enjoying fresh blueberries IN SEASON as I type this. I’m sure I’ll have to wait another month at least before they’re in season here. It’s not fair. As a food blogger, it’s not fair that peeps in Florida are already creating recipes with these little blue beauties. They have a head start on me! How am I supposed to stay up on the trends when I’m a month or two behind in food season? *sigh*
I could be whipping up some Florida Blueberry Cheesecake for a delicious Easter dessert. Or baking up some How about a Florida Blueberry Smoothie? They’re so popular now a days. I crave a sweet and luscious Florida Blueberry Cobbler or Blueberry Biscuit Cookies to share at work! YUM! Or even a sweet and tangy Florida Blueberry Key Lime PIE!! YUM!
Since I’ve had brownies and bars on the brain, I think I’ll whip up some Florida Berry Snack Bars. Now those I could easily sink my teeth into. These bars are like a slab pie with a cookie crust. Stop licking the screen! You can easily make these beauties in your own kitchen.
I thoroughly enjoy the easy to follow recipe and the tasty ingredients that make up these scrumptious looking bars. They’re almost a one bowl recipe! All the work is done in the food processor for the crust. Then simply simmer the berries with some sugar and cornstarch, assemble, bake, and voila! Berry Bars!
Make sure to browse all the delicious recipes on the Fresh from Florida website. And don’t forget to link them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. You won’t want to miss all the other tasty vittles they have to offer!
Florida Berry Snack Bars
- 1 cup pecans, chopped, separated
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup natural sugar
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- pan-release cooking spray
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
- 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup natural sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For crust: Combine 3/4 cup chopped pecans, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse ingredients together until the nuts are finely ground. Add the cold butter to the pecan mixture and pulse until well incorporated.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg, oil, vanilla and almond extract together. With the motor running on the food processor, add the egg mixture to the pecan mixture. Continue to pulse mixture until it begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds.
- Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped pecans, and set it aside to be used for the topping. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with pan-release cooking spray.
- Combine 2 cups strawberries, 2 cups blueberries, orange juice, sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened (about 4 to 5 minutes). Stir in the remaining fresh fruit and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Transfer the crust mixture to the sprayed baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form the crust. Evenly spread the fruit filling over the crust. Sprinkle the top of the fruit filling with the reserved topping mixture.
- Bake the bars for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let the bars cool completely before cutting. Serve with fresh fruit.