Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for grapefruit-juice.pngWelcome to the final week of the Florida Citrus Feel Better Challenge! At the end of this week we will crown the Top Citrus Chef. Will it be Cayla, or Carol? Read both Cayla and Carol’s recipe reviews, compare the pictures, and then let us know whose dish looked best!



During cold and flu season, eating right is essential! Florida Citrus is an easy and delicious way to help you get your 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Comment below and share how you pamper yourself to help feel better when you’re under the weather for your first second chance to win a $250 WaySpa gift certificate and products from The Body Shop courtesy of the Florida Department of Citrus.To enter your third ballot in the contest share how you pamper yourself to help feel better . For another ballot, upload your own citrus-infused recipe the Florida Citrus Feel Better Recipe Swap.

Visit the Florida: Feel Better facebook page for more tips, recipes & daily smiles from the growers of Florida Citrus.

This week’s recipe is: Raspberry Citrus Bars

This bright refreshing dessert can be served casually as a bar or dressed up with a dollop of whipped cream and mint for any special guests.

Makes 24 bars

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) cornstarch
3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, softened
2 cups (500 mL) fresh raspberries

Citrus Filling:
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups (325 mL) 35% whipping cream
3/4 cup (175 mL) Florida orange juice
3/4 cup (175 mL) Florida grapefruit juice
1 tbsp grated grapefruit rind
Whipped cream for garnish
Grated Florida grapefruit rind and fresh mint leaves for garnish

Directions:
1. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar and cornstarch.
2. With fingers work in butter until mixture clumps together.
3. With floured hands, press dough evenly into parchment paper lined 13 x 9 inch (3 L) baking pan.
4. Bake in 350 F oven for about 25 minutes or until firm to the touch and edges are light golden.
5. Let cool slightly and sprinkle with raspberries.

Citrus Filling:
1. In bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and flour until smooth; set aside.
2. In saucepan, heat cream, orange and grapefruit juices and grapefruit rind over medium heat until bubbles start forming around edge.
3. Gently pour some of the cream mixture into egg yolk mixture and whisk to smoothen and combine.
4. Pour in remaining cream mixture and whisk until well combined.
5. Pour back into saucepan and return to medium heat.
6. Cook, whisking gently for about 5 minutes or until thickened.
7. Pour over raspberries and gently shake pan to even out and remove air bubbles.
8. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until firm and set.
9.Cut into bars to serve.

Tip: Whip cream and dollop onto bar and garnish with grapefruit rind and fresh mint for an extra special treat.

Recipe provided courtesy of the Florida Department of Citrus.

See what our Chef #1, Cayla of The UrbanMoms Kitchen, had to say:

On the night I had planned on making the Citrus Squares, there was nothing I felt like doing less than baking.  It had been the kind of day when you leave before the sun comes up and don’t come home until after dark.  The kind of day where you go to work, drive the kids everywhere, and then go to work some more.  The kind of day that had not one second of “me” time. 

When work was finally done, I felt like doing nothing more than crawling into bed.  But then I heard a little voice, “Mommy, when are we making the squares?”

“Now.” I sighed as I started to assemble the ingredients.  I don’t know if it was the smell of the grapefruit zest or the fun we had squishing butter between our fingers, but within minutes, the smile had returned to my face. 

Between the buttery crust and the rich filling, these bars are decadent!  But after a week of hard work, a few great workouts and lots of healthy eating, I felt I deserved a treat.  Not only that, I didn’t have to work for it. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to prepare.  So fast and easy, in fact, that I almost didn’t have enough time for the crust to cool before topping it with the filling before it set.

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Overall, Maya and I had a great time making this dessert…even if it was a bit of a comedy of errors.  We forgot to put the parchment down under the crust, we spilled grapefruit juice all over the kitchen, and when it came time to serve, almost dropped the entire thing on the floor.  But, really, who cares?  Especially when being imperfect is so much fun!

After (im)patiently waiting for the squares to cool, here’s what the crew had to say about them:

Maya: So yummy!  I love the raspberries!

Billy:  Can I have more? I like that there’s fruit, which is healthy, but it doesn’t taste healthy.

Husband:  Wow!  They’re sweet, but not too sweet.  Sometimes this kind of thing is too sweet.

Best friend (and master baker): It tastes really good.  Like a lemon square except the citrus taste is more complex.  The filling is really rich, almost like custard.  These would be really good baked as a tart. 

These bars were a little ray of sunshine on a dreary day.  They were a great reminder that sometimes it’s ok to spill grapefruit juice on the floor, get flour on your nose and not worry when your dessert doesn’t look as pretty as it was supposed to. Because, man, does it taste good!

See what our Chef #2, Carol, UrbanMoms staffer, had to say:
Are you a dessert fan? Some, like my husband, are chips and nut lovers.  Others prefer cheese and crackers.  I must admit that there is nothing I love more than a delicious dessert. While I do my best to prepare well-balanced, healthy meals I still enjoy including the occasional treat. Small indulgences are important to our overal
l health.

My weeks can get hectic, running the kids around to their sport practices, extra curricular activities, and my own appointments. Every week I try to find ways to regroup and recharge. Date night with my husband is one of my favourite ways to recharge.  When I have even less time I enjoy taking a bath, or reading a great book. I also love to bake and find it to be a great stress reliever.  Finding new and exciting recipes to prepare is so much fun. You should see the stack of recipe books I have in my kitchen.

I was thrilled when the Florida Department of Citrus asked me to try out their Raspberry Citrus Bars recipe. I found myself with another intriguing recipe that combined the unique flavours of grapefruit and fresh raspberries.


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Well let me tell you that these bars are now one of my new favourites! What makes this recipe so interesting is the addition of grapefruit. I love serving my guests desserts that stand out and are a departure from the expected. This recipe will definitely create a long-lasting impression with your friends and family. No need to be intimidated by this recipe as it has simple and easy to follow steps. The grapefruit flavour nicely offsets the sweetness of the filling. The shortbread base was absolutely divine. My husband and daughter absolutely loved this dessert.  They both really enjoyed the creamy rich filling and loved the addition of the fresh raspberries.

Here is what they said:

Husband: Yum! Love the creamy centre and crunchy base. The squares have a really great taste, not too sweet and I especially love the fresh raspberries.

Carol: The recipe makes a large batch of squares, the perfect amount for a party. It’s a great dessert to bring to a friend’s house. They transport well and stay fresh and delicious in the fridge. My family thought they tasted just as great on day 1 as day 3.

Nicky: The squares are really gooey and yummy.

Rachel: I love the crust! They taste a lot like lemon squares, only better.
 
So don’t forget to take time out to pamper yourself and include small indulgences weekly in your life. 

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! VOTE AND COMMENT BELOW.

TO ENTER THE CONTEST share how you pamper yourself to help feel better when you’re under the weather. For an additional ballot add your favourite citrus
recipes to the Florida Citrus Feel Better Recipe Swap application. The new “easy-upload” feature allows you to share your recipe with ease.

(The content on this post is sponsored by Florida
Department of Citrus. Click here for
more information)

Click here for contest Rules and Regulations.

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