Our bounty of fresh strawberries is on its way out. The remaining fruit is starting to get soft, and like most kids mine are not fans of mushy or misshapen berries. I knew I had to transform them into something new before they’d go to waste…
The boy slurped down a strawberry, avocado and banana smoothie after school. Still haven’t tried avocado in your smoothies? I promise, you don’t taste the green stuff but it adds such a wonderful creamy consistency…
While I love a good healthy smoothie, I was itching to get baking today. My inspiration for today’s bars can be found in the jar of roasted almond butter I picked up at Trader Joe’s earlier in the week. While I usually keep only raw nut butters in my pantry, their Crunchy Almond Butter with Flaxseeds is amazingly addictive stuff. Combining it with strawberry brought to mind strawberry pretzel bars, but without the sketchy whipped topping, gelatin and cream cheese. Instead I came up with a treat free of dairy, refined sugar and gluten/grains.
If you don’t have access to a Trader Joe’s, I’d suggest using roasted almond butter and adding 1/4 tsp. of salt to the batter (if your nut butter isn’t already salted). I also thinking using crunchy over creamy is the way to go, but either would work.
I added the chocolate chips as a bit of an afterthought; you could certainly make these without the chips. When the chocolate melted it made the overall taste almost like a blondie/brownie combo. If you wanted full-out brownie you could experiment with adding a little unsweetened cocoa powder too.
Strawberry Almond Butter Blondies
1 cup roasted almond butter
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup natural sweetener of choice (I used palm sugar)
1 cup chocolate chips
1-2 cups chopped strawberries
Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl combine almond butter, baking soda, vanilla, eggs and sweetener. I found that using an electric mixer really helped incorporate the thick nut butter.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread batter into a greased 8×8 pan. It will be very sticky and thick! I actually greased my hands and then used them to press the batter down and smooth it out.
Sprinkle strawberries all over surface of the batter, and push to submerge a bit. Bake for 325 for 30-40 minutes or until set in the middle.
**vegans could use 2 tbs. ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbs. water in place of the eggs
These are best kept in the fridge or freezer, as the almond butter base can get a little soft if left out in June weather