Chewy, Crunchy Seed and Fruit Bars – Gluten Free and Vegan
Hi Friends! How are you hanging with the Unclutter Your Nest Boot Camp? I thought that the process would monopolize my January and I wasn’t wrong. It’s been pretty much all I’ve been doing, but I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s invigorating to get rid of so much clutter (800 pounds so far!) and rather fun to find items that I had thought lost or had completely forgotten about.
In uncluttering my kitchen, I came across quite a stash of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and started noodling a way to use them up. I was inspired by several recipes that I found on the internet and put together this recipe using what I had in the hopes that would use up a good bit of my stash.
I had in my mind something crunchier than a lara bar, but still made just from fruit and nuts. I love a Kind bar, but some of them have added sugars (honey and glucose) that I wanted to see if I could avoid. In case you’re wondering why my dried apricots are not the pretty yellowish color you used to seeing it’s because I bought ‘unsulphured apricots’.
I tried two different variations of this recipe. In the first one I pureed the dried fruit and combined it with the liquid and nuts. While tasty, it was rather unappealing looking. For my next variation, I diced the fruit rather finely so that you would get a bit in every bite, but did not puree it. The second version was much more appealing looking and tasting. I like to get little bit of sweet to balance out the salt I added. I am all in for the ‘sweet and salty’ thing and this recipe for chewy, crunchy seed and fruit bars fit the bill perfectly.
Not only do these help use up some of my stash, but these are perfect for healthy eating, both at home and on the go, as they are free of added sugar and fats. When I’m going to be out running errands, I like to keep a little snack in the car so that I’m not tempted to buy a bag of the ubiquitous peanut M&Ms which seem to be present at every check out counter, whether its the grocery store, the hardware store, the drugstore or the craft store.
- 2 cups sunflower seeds, toasted
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1 cup cashew halves and pieces, toasted
- 1 cup diced, dried apricots (or other soft dried fruit like figs or dates)
- 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cups water
- 4 Tablespoons chia seed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350'
- While oven is preheating, combine water and chia seeds and let sit for 10 minutes
- Combine seeds, nuts and diced fruit with chia seeds and water in bowl and combine well.
- Spread mixture evenly into a parchment lined 9 X 12 baking dish
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Take baking dish out of the oven.
- Place a lightweight cutting board on top of baking dish and flip baking dish over so that bars are on cutting board.
- Put parchment back in baking dish and put bars back in baking dish, upside down so that the part that was on top is now on the bottom.
- Put back in oven and back for an additional 15 minutes.
- Cut into squares and keep in air tight container.
- I toasted the seeds and nuts at 350' for 7-10 minutes.
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