Saturday, March 2, 2013

fruit & nut energy bars (vegan | gluten-free)

I couldn't NOT post this recipe for you guys, because I've been living off these for the past week. They're vegan and gluten-free, have some serious staying power, and best of all they're delicious.

After they set in the fridge, I popped them into a baggie and stored them in the fridge for easy access. Whenever Scott or I need a quick snack, there they are. I also ate them after dinner one night with a huge glass of orange juice, and called it dessert. Who have I become?

You can use any mix of fried fruits and nuts for  these, just make sure to chop them up nice and small. The original recipe called for honey (not vegan) and barley malt syrup (what the heck is that?), so I subbed that out with a combination of molasses and maple syrup.

Fruit & Nut Energy Bars
adapted from Jean Enersen
makes one 9x11 pan

2 cups oats (ensure they're certified gluten-free if necessary)
1 cup nuts (I used cashews and almonds)
1 T cinnamon
1 cup dried fruit (I used prunes, apricots and cranberries)

1/3 cup  maple syrup
1/4 cup  molasses
1 cup peanut butter
2 T oil
1/2 t  sea salt

To do
1. Toast the oats and nuts in a baking pan for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

2. While oats and nuts are roasting, combine all wet ingredients and salt in a sauce pan on medium to low heat on the stove and stir until well blended about 10 minutes.

3. In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped fruit, cinnamon, toasted oats and nuts, and the liquid and thoroughly combine.

4. Transfer mixture to a 9x11 baking pan and push down evenly with your hands. Pop into the fridge for at least 2 hours, then cut into squares.

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