Dried Fruit, Nuts & Seeds make these bars tasty & nutritious!
Well, late last night I finally gathered all of my ingredients and got around to making those wonderful fruit and nut breakfast bars that I read about in the January 2008 edition of Sunset magazine! It only took me 6 months to get around to making these. Sheesh! The mag has been sitting on my dining room table all of this time just waiting for me to make this recipe.
These tasty snack bars are chewy, moist and also crunchy. Not too sweet either. They are made with dried fruit, nuts, seeds, a little fruit juice and pinch of salt. That's all. No cereals or grains, although I suppose adding some oatmeal might make a nice taste variation, if not a drier texture.
The recipe called for dried apricots, dates and prunes, raw almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Some orange juice and a little salt. You mix it up in the food processor and then shape the bars and bake them for a few minutes. Bake them longer if you want a drier bar. An easy and quick recipe. I was pleased with the taste and texture of the snack bars.
Although I did have all of the ingredients on hand, including the prunes, I also had some very nice black mission figs that I had just purchased. So I used the figs instead of the prunes in the recipe. They tasted fine in there and the texture was similar. I think you could substitute dark or light raisins, dried cranberries, cherries or blueberries for the prunes and they would still be a very tasty treat with some flavor variation. Using raw walnuts or pecans in place of the raw almonds would also work, however I believe it would increase the fat content some.
The "sticky-ness" of the dried apricots and plump Medjool dates are what hold the bars together, so I probably wouldn't substitute anything else for them. Besides, I really like their taste!
These little bars are great with coffee or tea in the morning and I think they would work well as a hiking trail energy snack or in your lunchbag to satisfy those afternoon sugar cravings. Better for you than a candy bar from a vending machine. (Yes, I used to do that too when I worked in an office environment)
Check out the recipe. I think you'll like them.
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