Home-made mulberries granola bars. Superfood on the silk road

[NUTRIgastronomie] You may know blackberries, but what about mulberries? The first time I heard of it, it was through a Lebanese friend . She used to climb up a mulberry tree to munch these white berries. My curiosity was picked. She told me that the leaves are used to feed silkworms. Later on I discovered that these trees were traditionnaly cultivated In China, then spread all over Japan, India, Middle East to Turkey, following the Silk road. Their berries are really superfood.

In Chinese traditional medicine mulberries are used for their tonifying properties. They soothe anxiety and calm down insomnia, lessen rhumatisms and cold sensations. From an occidental standpoint they contain a lot of iron, vitamin B and  resveratrol, a powerful antioxydant (belonging to polyphenol category). Resveratrol is also in grape’s skin and is the very reason why wine is considered  so healthy..When you’ll know that resveratrol quantities in mulberries are much higher than in grape you will add these to your superfood list.

It tastes like dried  figs, although less sweet. Inspired by the Silk road I went for a recipe combining mulberries, sesame, orange blossom water, honey, along with oats and a selection of nuts.

Most of the granola bars recipes are too rich, packed with oil , butter, honey and sugar. I twisted a bit the approach and chose to bind all ingredients with pureed fruits and almond cream instead: tasty and flavourful, nutritious and lighter..

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Honey, almond cream , orange blossom water and rapsberries lend a subtle fruity floral scent.

Mulberries and oats make for a mellow texture. Interesting contrast with the crunchier nuts. These granola bars can be kept for a week  in a hermetic box, or so I guess since -to tell you the truth- they were all swallowed before..

For gluten free bars, replace oats by puffed rice.

The recipe (for 10 small cakes or bars)

– 2 cups of oats

– 1 cup of mulberries

– 1/2 cup of sesame grains and 1/2 cup of mixed nuts (flax seeds, poppy, sunflower seeds…)

– 2 ss of almond cream (in organic stores)

– 3 ss of orange blossom water

– 2 handful of rapsberries (I always have some frozen ones)

– 1 ss of honey

1. Mix the oats, grains, almond cream, 2 ss of orange blossom water

2. Prepare the pureed rapsberries: gently heat them with some water (2-3 ss) , honey and the remaining orange blossom water

3. Pour the liquid. You should have a somehow compact texture. Split up in cupcakes molds or pour everything in a big plate. Thickness should not be more than 2,5cm .

4. Preheat the oven at 4. Bake the bars for 20-25 minuts. Unmold and let them cool.

These bars are so fragrant and reminiscent of a crumble.. You now have super healthy bars to take away.

olé 004I was asked where I could find these mulberries : Gaylord Hauser carries them in their range along with cranberries and goji berries (in Monoprix…). Enjoy! Now that I discovered that granola bars were so easy and versatile I’ll make sure I have a stock at home. Next time I’ll make variations with puffed rice, sesame cream, almonds,.and cacao!

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