Some things I know to be true for me:
-Summer is the busiest time of the year, and has been even busier this year.
-I spend most of my free time volunteering for various things.
-I love having a garden and being able to just walk outside and get various veggies and some fruits when I want to, thanks in large part to my husband.
-July usually means our raspberry bushes are going to be producing some yummy berries very soon, and that makes me happier than anyone can imagine. That last truth is kind of important for this month’s column. When I was thinking of what I wanted to do for a recipe, I suddenly realized it was almost July and that berry season is upon us! Ironically, I also found out that July is National Berry Month. How do I plan to celebrate this fantastic occasion, you ask? With a couple of new raspberry recipes, of course!
The first recipe is for Fresh Raspberry Crisp. Serve it with some ice cream while it is still warm and you have a great after-supper dessert. The berries called for in this recipe are interchangeable – you could use strawberries instead, or blueberries even, but raspberries always win in my book.
The second recipe (because why stop with one) is Raspberry Oat Bars. This is a new recipe that I found, and it is simple, yet delicious. The bars make a great snack; I imagine they would be great with coffee in the morning. You will have to let me know on that one, since I am not a coffee drinker. Enjoy your summer and enjoy National Berry Month. I know I will!
Fresh Raspberry Crisp Ingredients: 1 qt raspberries, 1/3 cup sugar, 1⁄4 cup margarine, softened, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 3⁄4 cup rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place raspberries in the bottom of a 9 in square baking pan and sprinkle sugar over the fruit. In a medium bowl blend together the margarine, flour, brown sugar and oats, until it resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle over the raspberries.
Bake 30 minutes or until slightly browned.Serve hot. Variations: Can use berries of your choice.
Raspberry Oat Bars Ingredients: 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed (can use fresh also), 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 1 cup quick-cooking oats, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in raspberries until blended. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in extract. Cool.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, wheat flour, salt and vanilla. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press 2-1/2 cups crumb mixture into a 9-in. square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Spread with cooled berry mixture.
Sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
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