Thursday, July 25, 2013

Smushberry Sandwiches

Thick and Succulent Smushberry Sandwich
The Time is Right for Berry Smushing

Recipe by Satya

When my friend Satya told me about her smushberry sandwich summer tradition, I thought that it was perfect fare for the Teddy Bears’ Picnic, but more novel than delicious for most humans. When put to the test though, the delight of smushberry sandwiches was not just in the smushing, but in the flavor and texture of the sandwich: light, fruity, moist, with a bit of crunch. What are smushberries? “Blackberries, silly!” says Satya. It turns out that raspberries are equally smushable, and can be used in combination with the blackberries if you like.

Sandwich bread, raspberries and blackberries
Simple Sandwich Prep
One secret to a great smushberry sandwich is wholesome and tasty bread, not too light and not too hearty. In Santa Cruz, Staff of Life natural food store has been baking such breads for over 40 years. My favorite is carrot poppy, slightly sweet and crunchy. It compliments the smushberries perfectly. Or try cranberry flax, recommended by Elizabeth, a Staff employee, as her favorite. A simpler alternative is the popular molasses bread. Gluten-free options include Staff’s sandwich bread, and their best-selling chia bread. I lifted and squeezed both of these loaves at Staff recently, and unlike most gluten-free breads they’re light and soft in texture. Satya, located about 2000 miles too far from Staff of Life, uses rice bread, and when asked why says, “Why not?” (a distinctly teddy bear-like answer). Satya toasts her bread, but if your bread is soft, you might prefer it untoasted.

The second secret to great smushberriness is the smushberries themselves. It is traditional to gather them yourself, although mine came from our CSA (Live Earth Farm) share. If your blackberries are tart, you can add a light schmear of honey to your bread. Smushberry sandwiches are best enjoyed out-of-doors on balmy summer afternoons, but do watch out for hungry teddy bears if you have your picnic in the woods.

Smushberry Sandwich with Cup of Tea
Light Lunch or Afternoon Snack
Smushberry Sandwiches
makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices wholesome, tasty bread
2 half pints blackberries (or 1 each blackberry and raspberry)
honey (if needed)

Toast the bread until golden (or not). Lightly butter each slice.

Taste berries to determine tartness, and add a light coat of honey to one half of each sandwich if desired.

Add as many berries as possible to one side of each sandwich.

SMUSH each sandwich together. If the sandwich is thin, open it again and add more berries. Smush it again. Repeat till your sandwich looks appropriately hearty, with perhaps ½ inch of berry filling.

Garnish with extra berries. Cut sandwich in half and enjoy. Remember not to feed the bears. 

Fingertips smushing sandwich together so berries bulge out
How to Smush your Sandwich

Staff of Life Carrot Poppy Bread
My Favorite Bread is Smushberry Friendly


  1. It looks so nice. I like the idea to spread butter and honey first then squeeze in all the berries. I have try this combination with fruits jam, it taste so good. Or try the combination of cheese or cream with fruits jam or smushberry, should turn out great too. :)

    1. Good ideas, Yung. I'd forgotten that when I was young my mom used to make cream cheese-jelly sandwiches for my sisters and me. I'm going to try a cream cheese-smushberry sandwich soon to remind me of her! :)

  2. What a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without refined sugar! I will have to try this!

  3. You know the Europeans have a habit of putting a chocolate bar between two slices of bread and calling it a sandwich? Might be yummy with berries! :)

    1. That's an intriguing idea, Columba Lisa. I wonder if a chocolate bar is too hard to allow the soft bread and berries to smush together...perhaps shaved chocolate or a schmear of chocolate sauce--or Nutella--or melting the bar slightly onto the bread first--yum!