Growing up, many of us likely experienced the pure delight of a good ol' PB & J sandwich: the perfect ratio of peanut butter to jelly, all smooshed between soft white bread. Well now, you can have your PB & J and eat it, too! This twist on the classic favorite gets a healthier makeover (they're gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and if you use a seed butter can even be nut-free!) and a brand new look!
A buttery shortbread crust is topped with creamy nut butter, and the shining crown of glory is in the "jelly", made simply of fresh fruit and quality grass-fed gelatin. Throw it back to those childhood memories with these delectable bars. You'll never want a regular PB & J sammie again after trying these bad boys!
"Peanut" Butter and Jelly Bars
(Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, egg-free, Paleo)
For the shortbread crust:
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1/4 cup coconut or maple sugar
- 1/2 cup ghee, butter, or coconut oil, solid/chilled (you'll get a crispier "shortbread" type crust with the ghee or butter)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder ( I like to make my own corn-free version using this recipe)
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the nut butter layer:
- 1/2 cup nut or seed butter of choice (my personal favorite is this truly raw, sprouted almond butter)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbs raw honey (can be omitted altogether for less sweetness)
- 1-2 tsp coconut flour (use less for nut butter that is thicker, and more for more oily nut/seed butters)
- pinch of salt, varying based on saltiness of your nut or seed butter
For the jam layer:
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered, or raspberries
- 1 Tbs (or less) maple syrup
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1.5 tsp grass fed gelatin
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In the bowl of a food processor* (easiest option), add cassava flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pulse to combine. *Alternatively, you can combine all ingredients in a bowl, whisk to combine, then incorporate step number 3 with a fork or pastry cutter.
- Add ghee, coconut oil, or butter. You want it to be solid, not melted (just freeze or refrigerate for a few minutes if it's not). Pulse slowly until just combined and forming a crumbly consistency. Don't over-mix!
- Dump your crumbly crust into a square 8x8 or 9x9 pan and press down with your fingers to distribute evenly to about 1/4" thickness (varies depending on pan size used)
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until brown. Remove and let cool completely. Once cooled to room temp, place in the fridge to firm up completely.
- Rinse your food processor bowl and add in all ingredients for the nut butter layer. Pulse to combine until smooth. Again, you can do this step without a food processor! Just add ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
- Add nut butter layer to cooled shortbread, spreading to all corners of the crust and smoothing. Refrigerate or freeze.
- In a small bowl, add approx. 3 Tbs water and sprinkle your gelatin on top. Whisk with a fork and let set aside to "bloom."
- Add sliced strawberries or raspberries to a small saucepan over medium heat. Once berries begin to sizzle, reduce heat to medium low.
- Add maple syrup and stir. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash your berries until they're an even consistency. Let simmer for a few minutes.
- Add lemon juice and bloomed gelatin. Whisk to combine, then turn off heat and let sit until completely cooled.
- Remove crust and nut butter layers from the fridge and add cooled berries. Refrigerate until firm, approx. 30 min.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy! Keep uneaten bars in a sealed container in the fridge.
These tasty treats are perfect for sharing! Whip up a batch for your next backyard bbq or just to share with friends and family. They're sure to be loved by all!
In loving health,
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