A few years ago I spent a summer living on Bainbridge Island, Wash., where I was the editorial intern for YES! Magazine.
Many days were full of the stereotypical rain that you would expect out of living so close to Seattle. But as the locals say “when it’s sunny, it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth.” And I couldn’t agree more. Aside from the rain there was nothing not to like about Bainbridge. Chain businesses were restricted on the island and as a result a local community had flourished, giving the island a certain charm not afforded to most cities these days.
During my short three months on the island, I even became friends with one of the local shop owners, Lisa of Bon Bon Candies. Lisa inspired me because she had opened up her own fudge shop, against all odds. I cannot wait to return to Bainbridge someday so I can see her now upgraded storefront (congrats m’dear!).
If the shops weren’t enough to captivate me, then the natural beauty captured the rest of my heart. Bainbridge is surrounded by the calming waters of the Puget Sound, and all around the island you can see mountains and other islands.
Toward the middle of August (aka right now), blackberries begin to grow wild on the island. At this time of the year, people do not buy blackberries on Bainbridge — they pick them! Sadly the blackberries had just begun to turn the day before my flight left for me to return to Indiana. At my going away party, my dear friend Laura was sweet enough to find a few on the side of the road for me. I will forever remember her friendship and the taste of those blackberries. They were a real treat.
These Paleo Blackberry Bars are also a real treat. And although they are not made with Bainbridge blackberries, they are grain-free (thanks to a tasty substitution of coconut flour and almonds!) and they’re loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. Prepare these delicious, fruity bars each weekend for a healthy weekday breakfast on-the-go! (And if you haven’t been to Bainbridge, book a trip today!)
- [b]For the crust:[/b]
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup coconut flour
- [b]For the blackberry filling:[/b]
- 12 ounces blackberries
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- [b]For the crumble topping:[/b]
- ½ cup almonds, processed into a meal
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease an 8 x 8 inch pan with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, beat together honey, coconut oil, and pinch of salt until well-combined.
- Add the coconut flour and mix until dough forms.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about eight minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
- Reduce the oven to 325° F.
- Place the blackberry filling ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until the filling is slightly chunky, about 20 seconds.
- Pour the filling over the baked crust and use a spatula to spread evenly.
- Mix together the almond meal and shredded coconut in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly on top of the filling.
- Bake the bars for another 15 minutes, until topping is slightly brown and filling is set. Let cool completely then cover and refrigerate for at least six hours. (This is very important! If you do not let the bars cool, the crust will be too soft and they will fall apart.)
- *Baker’s tip: Use a 9 x 9 inch pan for a thinner crust.
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