Dried-Fruit and Nut Health Bars
Oats bring a pleasant chewiness and an old-fashioned goodness to these nutrient-dense bars. Pureed dates lend just enough sweetness to this convenient breakfast or snack. Nuts, ground flax, and dried fruits add antioxidants, vitamins, good fats, and flavor.
Martha Stewart Living, July 2008
- 1 cup (9 ounces) pitted dates
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, finely ground, or 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 4 1/2 ounces (1 cup) pecans, toasted, 1/2 finely ground and 1/2 coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted macadamia nuts, toasted, 1/2 finely ground and 1/2 coarsely chopped
- 2 1/4 ounces (1/3 cup) dried papaya, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 3/4 ounces (1/3 cup) dried cherries, chopped
- 2 ounces (1/3 cup) dried blueberries
- 2 tablespoons oat bran
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons wheat germ
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons brown-rice syrup or honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dates in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer. Drain. Puree in a food processor until smooth.
- Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Mix oats or quinoa flakes, nuts, papaya, cherries, blueberries, bran, flaxseed, wheat germ, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix in date puree and brown-rice syrup or honey. Press mixture into pan.
- Bake until center is firm and edges are golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 8 bars.
Protein-rich quinoa flakes, which have a nutty flavor, also work well in this recipe.
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