Berry Bars

Snacks | August 8, 2014 | By

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I am officially a New York City resident! I have been spending every waking hour walking around the city taking in every moment. It still hasn’t hit me that I actually live here … I feel like a crazy tourist most of the time! There are so many amazing hole-in-the-walls right around my apartment, and I’ve been keeping a running list on my phone every time I walk by something interesting.

Unfortunately I have a feeling I won’t be cooking as much as I had hoped … when there are about 50 restaurants within 2 blocks of my apartment, it’s just too easy to eat out. Last night, my roommate ordered a thin crust, whole wheat pizza from Vezzo (review to come) near our place; I picked it up on my way back from Equinox, and it was incredible!

Everyone who has lived here for awhile probably thinks it’s crazy how excited I am about walking everywhere. In LA the only decent food I could walk to was Churros Calientes, and it was still a good 20 minute walk. In addition to the plentiful food options around, we unfortunately also have a very small kitchen with a half size oven. I’ll do what I can guys! But for now, enjoy these whole wheat, oat-berry bars–the last thing I made in LA before I left. :)

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Berry Bars

Filling

1 Heaping Cup Blackberries

1 Heaping Cup Raspberries

2 Tbsp Grade B Maple Syrup

2 Tbsp Warm Water

2 Tbsp Corn Starch

Base

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1 Cup Rolled Oats

1 Large Egg

1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/3 Cup Grade B Maple Syrup

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Tsp Cinnamon

Topping

1 Cup Rolled Oats

1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

Directions:

Filling: Whisk corn starch and warm water together until no lumps remain. Set aside. Pour blackberries, raspberries and maple syrup into a medium sized pot and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until desired consistency is reached. (Some like it very smooth, I prefer with chunks of fruit). Remove from heat. Stir in corn starch mixture and set aside to cool.

Base: In a medium sized bowl, whisk egg, vegetable oil and maple syrup together until smooth. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir until no lumps remain. Press the mixture evenly into a 9×9 in pan. Pour fruit filling evenly on top of base.

Topping: Mix oats, wheat flour, vegetable oil and brown sugar together. Sprinkle evenly on top of fruit filling, and press down slightly. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes at 350 deg F.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Mojitos

Drinks | August 5, 2014 | By

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My ole’ enemy humidity came visited Los Angeles this weekend. In his bags, he packed muggy weather and a constant, sticky sweat that lingered in places you never knew could sweat before. I paint a lovely picture, I know.

Even though I’ve lived in extreme dry heat my whole life with temperatures sometimes reaching 120 degrees, I’ve never got a hang of the humidity thing. So, imagine my struggles when my girlfriends and I made grand plans to get our fill of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman at an outdoor cemetery screening of Casablanca on a Saturday night. The only way I decided I could combat such a heat was with a cool, refreshing mojito.

I’ve been itching to make something with rhubarb ever since I first spotted a beautiful red stalk in the grocery store a few months ago, but wanted to steer clear of generic pie recipes and ones that ask for cups of sugar. While I was looking for some recipe inspiration, I decided to do some research on this striking red vegetable.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Rhubarb is a perennial veggie that’s in season from April through August. (I made it just in time. 😉 )
  • When you pick rhubarb, only choose stalks that are firm to the touch, crispy and predominantly red.
  • Don’t eat the leaves of this tart veggie. They are poisonous.
  • Rhubarb is a vitamin and mineral treasure trove. Not only does it contain B-complex vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin K, it boasts of healthy levels of various minerals.
  • You probably will burn more calories by sitting on the couch watching The Big Bang Theory than is in a stalk of rhubarb…Okay. Probably not true, but you get the point.

Healthy and tasty!? That’s a winning combination in my book.

Cheers!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Mojitos (adapted from The Roasted Root)

Rhubarb Simple Syrup*

1/2 Cup of Fresh Strawberries

3 Sprigs of Fresh Mint Leaves

Limes

White Rum

Sparkling Water

Directions:

Rinse and dice strawberries and mint. Set aside. In a glass, mix 4 parts sparkling water, 1.5 parts rhubarb simple syrup and 1 part white rum. Squeeze a half a lime and garnish generously with mint and strawberries. Mix and serve. Makes 1 cocktail.**

*Note: To make rhubarb simple syrup, wash and dice four stalks of rhubarb and place them in a pot with 1/2 cup of agave nectar, 3/4 cup of sugar and 2 cups of water.  Boil on low for 20 minutes or until all the sugar dissolves and mixture starts to thicken. Let cool and strain. Makes about 2 cups.

**If you are making more than one cocktail, you can still use the same ratio– 4:1.5:1. I prefer my cocktails to be fresh, so I’m liberal with the lime juice and sparkling water.

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