Ok so this post is really just for fun and the title has little to do with lulu lemon gear, even though I am a lulu lemon lover! I rarely cook with lemongrass but my grandmother always has fresh lemongrass tea in the fridge starting in the spring, and now I’m hooked. While lemongrass has numerous of nutritional benefits and is widely used as an herbal remedy for common ailments, I love it for the delicate and subtle sweet-lemon flavor it can add to any dish. Commonly used in Thai cuisine, it has been showing up in progressive restaurant menus all over the US.
The Cliffs Notes of Lemongrass:
- Contains essential oils, chemicals, minerals and vitamins that have antioxidant and disease preventing properties
- Contains the chemical Citral that is anti-microbial and anti-fungal characteristics
- Leaves and stems are high in folic acid
- Vitamins: pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, thiamin, vitamin C and vitamin A
- Minerals: potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper and magnesium
- Medicinal uses: synthesis of vitamin A, anti-cancer properties, helpful in relieving colitis, indigestion and gastro-enteritis ailments and relieves symptoms of daily aches
I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit which called for a coconut shortbread crust, but being that my sister is allergic to coconut, eighty-sixed that idea rather quickly. I thought that an almond crust would pair nicely with the lemongrass and in terms of flavor, it definitely did. However, the crust turned out a bit chewy. The recipe below is slightly altered from my original recipe to make it more crust-like, however you may want to stick to the coconut crust or opt for a plain crust.
Lemongrass squares with Almond Shortbread Crust
Makes 12 bars
¼ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup All-purpose flour
¼ cup shredded almonds (or ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut)
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened apple sauce
¼ teaspoon almond extract (non-alcoholic)
½ c plus sugar
3 lemon grass stalks (bottom 4 inches only, tough outer layer removed, finely chopped), less than
¼ cup sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ lemon zested
2 medium eggs
⅛ cup AP flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 8x8x2 metal baking pan with parchment paper
In an electric mixer, beat flour, almond, powdered sugar and pinch of salt in a large bowl until well blended (30 secs).
Add apple sauce and beat on low speed until moist clumps form.
Press dough onto bottom on parchment lined baking pan and ½ inch up sides of pan.
Bake crust until golden (edges will be darker) about 25-30 minutes.
Add sugar and lemongrass in a processor and pulse until lemongrass is finely ground (about 1 minute). Add lemon juice and process until well blended. Then add eggs and process for 10-15 seconds. Add flour and a pinch of salt and pulse until smooth.
Reduce the oven to 325 degrees. Pour filling over hot crust and bake until filling is firm (~22 minutes). Cool in a pan on rack.
Cut into 12 pieces and dust with powdered sugar! Serve!
Nutrition Info: Each square is 107 calories, 2.6 g of fat, 2.6 g of protein, 20 g of carbohydrates and 1 g of fiber.
How to handle lemongrass link: click here!