I am a snacker and so I always make sure that I have some sort of healthy snack stashed in my purse. One of my favorite snacks are Kind bars, but at $2.50 a pop, it can get a little pricey to stock up. So it was time to figure out a healthy option that combined the goodness of fruit and nuts (minus the added sugar), and that was less costly. Introducing fruit and nut bars! The great thing about this recipe is the versatility. You can stick to the original recipe, alter the quantities of each ingredient or even choose a few add-ins (like coconut, cocoa nibs or unsweetened cocoa powder).
Makes 6 bars
10 dried pitted dates
1 cup of raw almonds
1/4 dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds on a baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
2. Place cooled almonds, dates and dried cranberries in a food processor and blend for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. The mixture should still have larger chunks of fruit and almonds but be sticky.
3. Tear a large piece of plastic wrap and set flat on the counter. Place the fruit and nut mixture on the counter, pull plastic wrap over the sides and begin to form a large bar that’s about 1/4-inch thick. Wrap entire bar tightly in plastic wrap.
4. Place the wrapped bar on a cookie sheet and in the freezer for about an hour. This will make it easier to cut it into smaller bars.
5. Remove from freezer, unwrap and place on a cutting board. Cut the large bar in half and each half into three. (Note that you can make these as big or as small as you want).
6. Store uneaten bars in an airtight container in the fridge using wax paper to separate each bar and prevent them from sticking together.
[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]