Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Cheese Shortbread Bars
Recipe

Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Cheese Shortbread Bars

Published on Friday, May 17, 2024
by
Taylor Janulewicz

Low-FODMAP
Acid Reflux
GERD
IBS
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Celebrate National Strawberry Month with Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Cheese Shortbread Bars!

It's National Strawberry Month, and what better way to celebrate than with these delicious strawberry cream cheese shortbread bars! Made with a gluten-free crust, these bars are perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the taste of spring without sacrificing dietary restrictions. But wait, there's more! Strawberries also have health benefits (read below for details!). 

The Wonderful World of Strawberries: A Burst of Flavor and Health

With Spring in the air, strawberries are in season. So, run to the store to pick up all things strawberry, but first, let's look into why strawberries should be a part of your diet. These vibrant red gems are packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants:

  • Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, meaning your body cannot produce it independently, so you must consume it through your diet. This vitamin plays an important role in our immune health, helping us fight colds and viruses. In rare cases, when someone does not consume enough vitamin C in their diet, they are at risk for Scurvy. Scurvy can lead to bleeding gums, loosened teeth, and bleeding under the skin.
  • Fiber is important for our gut flora, and research has shown that a diet high in fiber reduces one’s risk of developing colon cancer in one's lifetime. 
  • Antioxidants are molecules that help protect the body from free radicals, which can damage our cells and, in turn, increase the risk of cancer. Did you know antioxidants also give fruits and vegetables their bright pigment? For strawberries, the red color comes from the antioxidant Anthocyanin

Choosing the Perfect Gluten-Free Flour for Your Bars

Here are some things to consider when selecting a gluten-free flour:

  • Binding: Gluten is what gives dough elasticity and chewiness in regular flour. Many gluten-free flours require additional ingredients to achieve a similar texture. Xanthan gum is a common binding agent used in gluten-free baking. Even though this is considered safe for a Low FODMAP diet, everyone is individual regarding how much fermentable fiber they can tolerate. 
  • Texture and Flavor: Different gluten-free flours have distinct textures and flavors that can impact your recipe. For instance, flour made from nuts or chickpeas may taste stronger. Coconut flour is lighter and airier, perfect for muffins, while almond flour is denser and ideal for cookies. Almond flour is high in galacto-oligosaccharides and may not be a choice if this FODMAP triggers symptoms. The downside of coconut flour is its absorbent nature. It should not be used as a 1:1 wheat flour replacement in baking, and the recipe will need to be adjusted for the fluids in the recipe. Coconut flour is high in FODMAPs and is not a recommended alternative for someone following a Low FODMAP diet. 

Considering these factors, you can choose the best gluten-free flour for your baking project! Krustez Gluten Free Flour made a perfectly dense and crumbly bar for this baking recipe to make everyone happy at the picnic. 

Crafting the Strawberry Filling: Convenience Meets Flavor

This strawberry filling was made conveniently using strawberry preserves mixed with creamy cream cheese. However, if store-bought preserves are unavailable or not a preferred method, consider making a strawberry compote. Making your own strawberry compote is easy! Simply cut up fresh strawberries and simmer them for 8-10 minutes. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, add your favorite sweetener to the strawberries as they cook down. 

Tips and Variations for Your Perfect Strawberry Bars

  • If strawberries are not your favorite berries, consider swapping them for a different type of berry for the topping (e.g., blueberries, raspberries).
  • Consider drizzling the cooled bars with melted chocolate for an extra decadent treat.

Conclusion: Embrace the Season with Gluten-Free Strawberry Delights!

Celebrate the season, enjoy the health benefits of strawberries, and indulge in these delightful gluten-free strawberry cream cheese shortbread bars. They're perfect for potlucks, bake sales, or a delightful springtime treat!

[[ recipeID=recipe-8lvgszztw, title=Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Cheese Shortbread Bars ]]

  1. Lopes da Silva, F., Escribano-Bailón, M. T., Pérez Alonso, J. J., Rivas-Gonzalo, J. C., & Santos-Buelga, C. (2007). Anthocyanin pigments in strawberry. LWT - Food Science and Technology, 40(2), 374-382. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2005.09.018 
  2. Scurvy: Symptoms, causes & treatment. Cleveland Clinic. (2022, October 20). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24318-scurvy 
  3. So, D. (2018, February 5). More than fodmaps: Fermentable Fibres & IBS. Fermentable fibres and IBS - Monash Fodmap. https://www.monashfodmap.com/blog/more-fodmaps-fermentable-fibres-ibs/ 
  4. Thanikachalam, K., & Khan, G. (2019). Colorectal Cancer and Nutrition. Nutrients, 11(1), 164. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11010164 

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Taylor Janulewicz

RDN

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Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Cheese Shortbread Bars

Sweet strawberry bars with a gluten-free crust, creamy filling, and fresh taste. Easy recipe, perfect for spring.

Servings: 9

Keywords:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup room temperature unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup strawberry preserves or compote
  • 2 oz cream cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Combine in a large bowl or stand mixer with gluten-free flour, sugar and salt. 
  3. Add egg, vanilla, and unsalted butter to the flour mixture until the dough comes together.
  4. Save ¼ of the dough and place the remaining dough into the ungreased pan.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the cream cheese and strawberry preserves or compot together until smooth.
  6. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough in the 9x9 pan. 
  7. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the cream cheese mixture. 
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1

Serving Per Recipe: 9

Amount Per Serving
Calories 294
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 8.1g 40%
Trans Fat 0g
Sodium 62mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 36.2g 12%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 17.6g
Protein 3.4g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Notes

If following a Low FODMAP diet, please ensure all ingredients are free of FODMAP-containing ingredients, such as high-fructose corn syrup.