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As I looked through my recipes, I realized that we haven’t made much in the terms of candy bars or “candy” actually. Mainly because I really never ate it much growing up. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy candy… but, chocolate was just one of those things that I could take or leave. If a bowl of fresh fruit was sitting next to the chocolate, the fruit would be the first to go. What kind of woman am I? hehe
A few weeks ago, I ordered some mulberries and some jungle peanuts. When the order came in, in the fridge they went. I have a habit of putting all nuts and dried fruits in the fridge or freezer to further preserve them. Then just a few days ago, I started creating some raw treats for my parents, who were going to be visiting. I opened the fridge and started unloading all sorts of ingredients. Hoping inspiration would hit me once I saw them all sprawled out on the kitchen island.
That is when I spied the forgotten mulberries. I opened the bag and popped one in my mouth, it was totally crunchy with a mild, sweet taste. I then got caught up in another recipe idea and set them aside. About an hour later I opened the bag again to taste just one more and it was chewy. Fridge – crunchy, warm – chewy. Hmmm, quite different from a raisin which is chewy regardless of where it is stored.
If room temp meant chewy, and fridge meant crunchy… what would freezing them mean? I am all about experimenting in the kitchen, so the test began. In the freezer they went to get them nice and chilled. After several hours, I tested one and they were even more crunchy than just the chilled ones and would almost shatter under pressure. I then put them in the food processor and they ground up to a nice “flour-like” texture.
I always thought of mulberry’s growing on bushes… But I found out that they actually grow on trees. Not only does a Mulberry tree offer lush shade on a hot day, the mulberry fruits are a great source of protein, antioxidants and other nutrients. In Chinese medicine, they are considered as a blood tonic. Not only do they cleanse the blood, which in return improves its circulation, but they help in strengthening the entire system, and calming the nerves.
Then I just had to know how they were harvested. During harvest time, the trees are shaken to remove the fresh mulberries from their branches and the falling fruits are collected into soft cloth nets. Now you know too. Well, off you go… time to get busy in the kitchen. Blessings, amie sue
Yields 8×8 pan
Candy bar batter: