Fruity granola bars… and a challenge

I love granola, I really do… especially in the form of highly snackable granola bars.  In fact, we eat a lot of granola / kashi / cliff / power bars at my house.  So, in an effort to take another small step away from packaged food… and a step towards whole food goodness… I bring you, fruity, nutty homemade granola bars!!

Fruit and Nut Oat Bars

These bars are sweet and chewy with dried fruit, crunchy nuts, and just a touch of dark chocolate.  I used what I had on hand… these would also be delicious with dates, figs, dried cranberries or other types of nuts.  Oh, and be sure to look for dried fruits without added sugar… otherwise, they can pack a mean little sugary punch.  I get mine in the bulk bin at the grocery or health food store.

  • 1/2 cup prunes
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (of course I use my own)
  • 1/2 cup chopped or crushed walnuts
  • 1 cup oat flour (just pulse oats in your blender or food processor)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (I like the texture of the thick cut rolled oats)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (the good stuff, aim for > 70% cocao)
  • about 1/2 cup water (see explanation below)

Preheat oven to 325F.  Combine all of the dried fruits in a mini-chopper or food processor and pulse until well chopped… you could try to do this by hand, but trust me, it will be hard to achieve what can be done 1-2 minutes with the processor.

Transfer to a bowl and add the almond butter, nuts, oat flour and oats.  Start by adding 1/4 cup of water and mix by hand.  Slowly add more water until you have a dough.  I used 1/2 cup… excess water will cook out, so it’s better to add a little more rather than have a dry dough.

Line an 8x8in baking dish with parchment paper.  Press the dough into the pan and bake at 325F for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, cool, cut and serve.  Makes 12.  I like to cut bars into different sizes… because sometimes you just want a little bite, and sometimes you need more!

fruity granola barsfruity granola bars up close

I recently received an email from Deepak Chopra (well… okay, I’m on a mailing list… it wasn’t from him personally)… his center is doing a FREE 21-day meditation challenge starting on March 11th.  You just sign up, then you receive a daily email and have access to a new guided meditation for 3 weeks… and did I mention that it’s free?  Oh, and as if this could get ANY better, guess who is co-hosting with Deepak.  No silly, not me… Oprah!!  It’s bound to be fantastical!  Plus, developing a mediation practice is one of my goals, and this sounds like a perfect way to start!  Who’s with me??

xox,

Kristen

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8 thoughts on “Fruity granola bars… and a challenge

  1. Whoa, this looks good. I could use one right now! Having a major sweet craving at work and there is nothing but a vending machine nearby. I need to make these!

    • Yes they are delicious! A great afternoon ‘sweet’ for when the cravings hit!! Let me know what you think! Jonathan likes them with almond butter 😉

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Kristen do you have any idea how much sugar is actually in those bars? As you know I’m watching my sugar intake carefully, but these looks so good! I really want to make these as a snack for work. What do you think?

    • Hi Tanya – great question! Even though there’s no added sugar, dried fruit has some natural sugar. I plugged in the recipe and here are the stats: 190 calories, 8g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 3.7mg sodium, 205mg potassium, 4g fiber, 12g sugar, 4g protein. Hope that helps! xox

    • Thank you Celeste! I bet these would be delicious with dates. My husband gaves these a thumbs-down and I think it was because of the prunes. Let me know how the dates work out… I may try the same thing!

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