Sunday, November 25, 2012

Homemade Fruit and Nut Bars

I feel like there are TONS of recipes for granola bars and energy bars out there, and yes, this is another one.  But what I love about this recipe is the ease and versatility of it.  This recipe is one that my mother found (found here) and adapted to her tastes.  Unfortunately for me, I cannot eat them due to a tree nut allergy, but every time she makes them while I'm home, I enjoy the aroma they put off in the house.  And they are also pretty.

Now you can buy these energy bars but making these guys is pretty simple.  Additionally, these have bigger pieces of fruit, nuts, and seeds, which I feel gives them more substance.  According to Mother, they taste fresher and hold her over until lunch.

Homemade Fruit and Nut Bars
Adapted from Enlightened Cooking

1/3 cup Toasted or Raw nuts, used roasted mixed nut blend, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Seeds, used pepitas
1/2 cup Dried Fruit, used dried cranberries and golden raisins
1/8 tsp fine sea salt (omit if using salted nuts)
1/3 cup Brown Rice Syrup or Lite Cane Syrup (honey will not work, bars will be sticky instead of crispy)
1/4 cup Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick spray (do not skip this step!).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and salt.
  3. Add the syrup and stir to coat.
  4. Scrape mixture into prepared pan.  To press it out evenly use a sprayed piece of foil the size of the pan and spread evenly into pan. 
  5. Bake for 18 minutes.  The bars will not be hard at this point. 
  6. Place pan on cooling rack and let cool for 15-20 minutes until partially set up.  Use the sides of foil to lift the bars from the pan.  Do not try to remove from foil because they will stick like crazy.  Cut into 12 bars.
  7. Flip bars over to let the syrup seep back into the bars. 
  8. Once cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.  
Makes 12 bars

Nutrition Content
Calories: 116 Total Fat: 6.1 g Sodium: 15 mg Total Carb: 15.2 g Fiber: 1.1 g Protein: 2.3 g

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