Sunday, February 5, 2012

Apricot Snack Bars

As a girl on the go, I am always looking for satisfying, tasty treats that are easily portable that I can eat on the ferry or in the car. It's an unfortunate circumstance when I find a Quaker granola bar in the bottom of my purse, chow it in 3 bites, and I'm end up even hungrier than when I started because it only wakes my stomach up even more.

As the wife of a gluten-intolerant husband, I also need to be aware of how many quick and easy snack we have on hand in the house. If there are slim pickings, the bag of shredded cheese will be gone. Or the most recent cookie batch. Not that there's anything unbalanced (cough) with those selections....but it's nice to throw in some variety sometimes.

That's where these babies come in. I've experimented with making date bars lately, using flavors based off the popular brand of Larabars. They're good, but easy to get sick of. Dates are great (ooh dang, she rhymes) but the flavor is strong.

Dried apricots, on the other hand? TOTALLY the way to go. These taste like cake. I think it's a mixture of the sweetened fruit combined with the salty cashews that just throw a big delicious party in your mouth.

Apricot Snack Bars
adapted from Shutterbean
Makes 8 bars (although I strongly encourage you to double this recipe)

1/2 cup cashews
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried coconut
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons flaxseed (not ground)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Line your 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

2. In a food processor, chop the cashews until they are in small pieces. Take out and set aside in a bowl.

3. Process your apricots until they are jelly-like - this took me about 2 minutes. They all just kind of turned into a sticky, orangy ball that twirled with the blade and I called them good.

4. To the apricots in the processor, add in the coconut, oats, syrup, olive oil, flax seeds, ginger, and salt; process it all together.

5. Add in the cashews and process until it's all thoroughly combined.

6. Press the mixture into your parchment-lined dish, using the bottom of a measuring cup to flatten it out. Place in the freezer overnight, or at least an hour to harden. Take out using the parchment paper and cut into bars.

7. Repeat, because they'll be gone before you know it.

*Store these in the fridge so they maintain their shape.

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