Simply Fruit and Nut Bars

by on January 23, 2011

The yogurt and kefir making class was awesome! I wasn’t able to take any photos but I learned quite a bit and plan to do a post on making homemade yogurt as soon as I perfect the process. I made a batch yesterday evening that didn’t turn out but I know what I did wrong so I’m trying again tonight. If it’s a success, I’ll definitely share the details.

So yogurt was a no-go but I did have one fortunate venture in the kitchen this weekend…

simply fruit and nut bars.JPG

You might remember that Jesse made some healthy fruit and nut bars last week at the Whole Food’s cooking demo and jokingly said they were “Bird Food” bars. I agreed and knew right away I wanted to make a batch of my own. This weekend I had some free time to bake so I grabbed the ingredients and got to work.

Simply Fruit and Nut Bars
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup pitted prunes (around 11 prunes)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao nibs
  • ⅓ cup water + approx. 1-2 Tablespoons
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Cover an 8-inch x 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place prunes, raisins and apricots in a mini-chopper or food processor and pulse until well chopped.
  3. Combine flour, oats, chopped fruit mixture, nuts, cacao nibs and ⅓ cup water in a large bowl and knead with your hands until a ball of dough forms. (Add more water if the mixture is too dry.)
  4. Press dough firmly and evenly into the prepared pan. Cut into squares with a sharp knife before placing in the oven.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, until baked through but still soft (don’t over-bake them or the bars will be dry and tough).
  6. Store leftover bars in the refrigerator.

simply fruit and nut bars.JPG

I love that these bars are oil free and contain no added sweeteners yet still taste incredible! Isaac said they were the best bars I’ve ever made! I’ll take that as a compliment because I think my chewy oat squares were quite good!

If you decide to try out the recipe, remember that they aren’t super sweet but they are super versatile – I’m sure different dried fruits like cranberries, figs, dates, currants, cherries or blueberries would work great if you wanted to substitute ingredients. And, I liked the cacao nib addition, but I bet they were would be spectacular with a few chocolate chips in the mix.

That’s all I have for you tonight. Time to get ready for the work week!

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] January 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I really want to make these, but I don’t have a food processor – grrr.

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Eating Bird Food January 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

You could just chop the dried fruit by hand. It would take a little while but it’s definitely doable. :)

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Leah January 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Oh goodness- you NEED to get one! I can’t live without mine… but you can use a blender if you have one.

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Maddie (Healthy Maddie) January 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Yum! Those look great and I love how you can substitute different dried fruits to make a variety of flavors. I am definitely trying these soon! :)

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Chetney (Czesia's Adventures) January 23, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Thank you so much for the recipe! I can’t wait to try them out! I’ve been in a bet of a complex situation with college (6 hours in the class room with only a 5 minute break in between) so I’ve been needing something healthy and filling to make sure my tummy doesn’t go crazy in class!

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hippierunner January 23, 2011 at 11:09 pm

These bars look so cute and yummy! I can’t wait to make them!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm

those look awesome! I make no-bake granola bars that are the same concept.

i love making my own bars…that way i can put in extra choc chips and whatever else i want :)

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Christine January 24, 2011 at 12:31 am

Ahh these look so good — every time I try to make bars they fall apart. Do these stick well?

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Eating Bird Food January 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm

When mixing the ingredients for these bars they seem a little on the dry side but after kneeding for several minutes (and adding a little water if needed) they stick together well.

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kate@ahealthypassion January 24, 2011 at 12:49 am

those look delish! do you think I could sub dates for prunes?

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Eating Bird Food January 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Definitely!

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Toronto Girl West January 24, 2011 at 1:03 am

I make yogurt on a regular basis (I have a yogurt maker) and I LOVE it!!! It’s heaps cheaper than buying it in the store and I love that it’s so pure.

Besides, in Canada we don’t have Oikos so until then I’ll make my own! :P

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Lauren January 24, 2011 at 6:40 am

These sound delicious!!

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brandi January 24, 2011 at 8:50 am

Can’t wait to see your homemade yogurt! I had so much fun making it this summer in my crockpot – I should do it again soon.

These bars look great! Nick likes having stuff like this on hand – I should make them at home more often.

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lisa @ early morning run January 24, 2011 at 10:31 am

while I was reading the ingredients I immediately thought to myself that it was great/interesting that there weren’t any oils or added sugar! This sounds like a pretty easy recipe so I definitely will try it out. Thanks so much for sharing!

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emily (a nutritionist eats) January 24, 2011 at 11:46 am

Home-made granola bars has been on my list for so long now, I need to get to it! I love having the control over the ingredients (and omitting things like sugar, oils, preservatives, etc.)

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emily January 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm

i am going to make this recipe this week with some different dried fruits. i have been trying to find something to replace my luna bars, which i think contain too many ingredients. thanks!

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Kristen January 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Those sounds so good for you. I love finding snacks that let fruit shine without a lot of added sugar.

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Kori January 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Homemade granola bars are sooo much better than store-bought! And I love how there’s no oil in these. I’ll have to try them next time!

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Sandra January 24, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Awesome recipe, looks so tasty, and wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing!

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Sheila January 24, 2011 at 8:57 pm

These look soooooo amazing! I made a rendition of my own granola bars this past weekend – have you tried dried apricot and cardamom? My recipe has honey in it, so it plays nicely with the other ingredients :)

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Stephanie January 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

I made these last night because they looked soooo delicious and i’m always looking for no-sugar added treats for my office (theres a few diabetics and i try to bring in good for you treats for them)- but when I baked them they were still not really incorporated. I am wondering if the (very) small amount of water is a typo? I added 1/3 plus 2 T and it was not nearly enough to incorporate them all…but I am excited to try about because the baked bar that was falling apart WAS DELICIOUS!

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Eating Bird Food January 25, 2011 at 11:26 am

Oh noooo Stephanie. I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out! The 1/3 cup of water is correct, however you really have to knead the dough with your hands for a good while to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated and the bars stick. If they are way too dry, you could try adding more water, but they turned out perfectly for me with the 1/3 cup + 2 T of water.

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Natalia - a side of simple January 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm

These are a perfect snack for those sprints between classes, thank you! I’m jealous of your class. It sounds like so much fun! I’m always looking to learn new techniques, especially if it means cutting back on buying processed foods and making my own goodies.

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Erika @ FoodFitnessFun January 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Ever since I got a food processor for Christmas I have been seeing a lot more recipes that require food processors! Thank goodness! I’m definitely adding this to my list of things to make! :-D

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Jenna @ Healthy. Happy. Well. January 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I love the simplicity of the ingredients! And most bars have almonds in them, which my bf has an allergy to so these are a great alternative! Can’t wait to try them out. Thanks for sharing, and I love the print option =)

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Christine (The Raw Project) January 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm

These look wonderful, great ingredient list.

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redkathy January 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I have been wanting to make homemade granola bars for a long time, my dad loves them. I will definitely be trying yours out first, they look fabulous! Thanks you for sharing them with us.

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Elizabeth January 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm

This sounds delicious! I think I will try it. It would be great if you could add the nutrition facts as well though. Like the amount of calories, carbs, and sugar, per serving!

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Eating Bird Food January 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Hey Elizabeth, here are the nutrition facts if you make 8 bars:

Calories 303
Total Fat 11.38g
Total Carbohydrate 46g
Dietary Fiber 7.26g
Sugars 21.53g
Protein 4.4g

Remember the fat is a healthy fat and all the sugar is from fruit. :)

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Rachel February 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

My family is gluten intolerant but I was dying to try this recipe so I used a gluten free flour mix from http://www.artofglutenfreebaking.com/:
1 1/4 C (170g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205g) white rice flour
1 C (120g) tapioca flour
1 C (165g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour.

Gluten free flour mixes tend to be a bit drier than regular flour’s so I had to use a little extra water but so far so good. I’m trying them with a little agave syrup just as an experiment. I’ve got some picky kid eaters and I think this is a brilliant way to sneak things like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and other super nutrient rich foods in.

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Lena February 5, 2011 at 10:26 am

Has anyone made these yet. (Besides EBF) I made them with whole wheat and they were really “wrong” i could taste it was meant to be good. All the ing. sound fabulous to me but they DEFINATELY didn’t look like the photo. They actually looked greyish and uncooked instead of the nice color on your photo. Help, I have a bar that I buy that I would like to replace with these but I have to “fix” whatever went wrong.

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Karen March 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I made these today and they turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

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Eating Bird Food March 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm

So glad you enjoyed this recipe Karen! Did you use spelt flour or whole wheat?

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Karen March 14, 2011 at 9:19 am

I used Spelt Flour. It was my first time trying that flour and it worked out great! Can’t wait to try and make the Chewy Oat Squares next weekend!

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Eating Bird Food March 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

Okay great! Thanks for responding!!!

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Joanna June 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

Thanks for this recipe! I’ve been searching for a granola bar recipe that’s not full of sugar and oil. This is just what I wanted. I made them last night (with whole wheat flour) and they turned out great. I’m sure I’ll be making these regularly to keep in my purse for emergency snacking.

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Eating Bird Food June 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm

So glad you like them Joanna! They are great for emergency snack situations. :)

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Matthew October 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm

These rock. Used dried pineapple instead of apricots and wheat flour instead of spelt flour

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Brittany Mullins October 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Woo-hoo! Glad you enjoyed them Matthew.

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Ariane December 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Delicious. Not too sweet, I loved them. Next time I will try with some dried figs! Thank you for a great recipe.

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Brittany Mullins December 6, 2012 at 8:53 pm

So glad you liked them Ariane!

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