In my hunt to find acceptable healthy snacks, I stumbled across this recipe. It appears to be a granola bar, but in fact, it’s just nuts and fruit all stuck together with coconut oil and almond butter. So really, you needn’t feel too badly about eating this one. And, I was pleased at how full I felt after eating one of these delicious snacks. Definitely a winner. Remember, nuts and coconut oil are healthy fats that your body needs to keep cell walls healthy and working!
*Excuse the half eaten picture. It was just too good to sit there on it’s own without a bite.
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup flaxseed meal (or almond meal)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried apples (chopped) or other dried fruit
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
Rectangular Baking Pan
Parchment Paper (recommended)
Food Processor (recommended)
Start by chopping the almonds and walnuts. It’s easiest to chop them in a food processor, but you could crush them or chop them with a knife if you don’t have a food processor handy. This is an unusual situation where you want to end up with different sizes. Some should be almost whole, and some should be almost dust.
Add the nuts to a large bowl with the flaxseed meal, coconut, and salt. Chop the apples into small pieces and add them to the bowl as well.
Mix all the dry ingredients to get them evenly distributed.
Put the almond butter, coconut oil, and honey into a microwave-safe bowl and heat them for 30 seconds to a minute, until the everything has become more liquid and can be mixed together easily. Add the vanilla extract to the bowl and mix the wet ingredients together.
Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl, and mix everything together so that the dry ingredients are evenly coated with the wet ingredients.
Add the mixture to a rectangular baking dish lined with parchment paper (if you don’t have parchment paper, grease the baking dish very well before adding the mixture to it.) Press the mixture into the dish as tightly as you can. If you have a second baking dish of the same size, you can put it on top of the mixture and press down on it to help you get everything packed tightly. It is very important to pack everything tightly, or the bars will fall apart. Go ahead and pre-cut the bars now. This will make them easier to cut later.
Put the bars into the refrigerator for at least an hour. When they’ve cooled down, remove the whole mass of bars from the pan and cut them along the pre-cut lines.
Notes from the Author:
- I like dried apples a lot, so I used them. You could substitute any dried fruit that you like. Just make sure that the pieces aren’t too big.
- I pulsed the almonds and walnuts a total of about 20 times in my food processor. Some were dust and some were almost whole.
- I stored these by wrapping each one in foil and putting them in a plastic bag in the fridge. They keep their bar shape at room temperature, but will start to soften if they get hot. I wanted to guard against that by having them cold to start.
- When I say “press the mixture into the dish as tightly as you can,” I mean go nuts. I put a second pan on top of the mixture and used most of my weight to push down on it to really pack everything tight. The tighter you can pack it, the better the bars will hold their shape.
- Pre-cutting the bars in the baking pan helps keep them from cracking when you do the final cut after they’ve cooled in the fridge.
- A standard baking dish is about 9×13 inches. That’s probably too big for this recipe – the bars will be too thin. The one I used is about 8×10. If you’ve got one that’s 9×9, that should work too. If not, you could multiply all the quantities by about 1.5 and use a 9×13 inch pan.