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Blackberry Bars: Recipe 12 of 12

Welcome to Busy Women Mealtime Makeover! Whether you are one of the lovely busy ladies participating in the makeover or just interested in taking your meals up a notch – girl, do I have some rockin’ recipes for you! From now until March 2nd, I’ll be featuring twelve new delicious makeover-friendly recipes. These recipes are from other busy women like me and you! This week, we are focusing on eating more natural sweeteners. (And if you want to join in and get the entire makeover PDF complete with meal plans, shopping lists and recipes, videos and photos of me cooking for added support, weekly emails with additional recipes and kitchen tips and tricks and access to our online forum, you can totally start a few days late – click here and sign up!)
My friend Emily wears many hats. Not only does she do health coaching, she also helps health coaches build their businesses. She helps businesses Propelle to the next level. Very cool. Plus, she can bake a mean dessert. Keep reading, my friends. Keep reading.
Emily, you are busy, right? How do you get a decent, healthy meal on the table? 
Meal planning has been the only thing that works. It literally saves me about 4 hours a week spent on thinking about food, what to make for dinner, and the dreaded 4:30pm phone call from my husband asking me what’s for dinner. Meal planning also reduces my stress, and takes all the guess work out of meal time. When I don’t have a plan, I spend way too much money at the grocery store, have no idea what to make for dinner, and waste a ton of food. It’s a win on so many levels.
Why do you make healthy, real food a priority?
It started out of a real need. I couldn’t actually eat anything else due to several food allergies and intolerances. Now it just plain makes sense — we save money, feel better, have more energy, and just plain feel better. I think the question now becomes why wouldn’t you make it a priority?
What is your favorite thing to make when it is cold outside?
I love making things like hearty soups, lentil loafsbrown rice pilaf, and sweet potatoes galore. I also like to sneak in some flavors of the summer, like in these sinfully delicious blackberry bars.
What is that one thing that busy people can do this winter to eat a little healthier?
Start small! I think we all get in this all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to healthy eating. Adding in one more glass of water each day, or even a handful of kale or spinach in with soups and stews are small changes that can have a BIG impact! Pick one thing that makes sense for you and start there. You can always build upon those changes.
What is your favorite gadget in the kitchen?
This probably sounds lame and incredibly low-tech, but I would be lost without my garlic press. I use it about 20 times a day, since we use fresh garlic in every single meal.
Blackberry Bars
a la Smitten Kitchen
For the crust and crumb:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Earth Balance, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the raspberry filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 pound blackberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbs Earth Balance, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Grease the parchment.
Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the Earth Balance and pulse until loose crumbs form.
Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside.
Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan.
Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar and flour together.
Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss until the blackberries are evenly coated. Feel free to mash a few of the blackberries to make the filling more jam-like.
Spread the blackberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. Hide one or two in a safe place so that no one else gets their grubby little paws on them.
Thanks Emily! 
Learn more about Emily and her business over here
**Check out all the Busy Women Mealtime Makeover recipes by clicking here.**

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    1. Beth, both types of brown sugar are a mixture of sugar and molasses, with dark brown sugar containing more molasses than light brown sugar. If you want to get even more healthy, try Succanat. 🙂

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