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I used to buy fruit and nut bars (like the packaged brands above) to take on hikes or to eat at work as a mid-morning snack. I wanted to make my own fruitfully nutty bars with ingredients I could control, and save money at the same time. After a few experiments, I developed an easy recipe which tastes great, holds together well, and is pretty healthy.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

  1. 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  2. 2 tablespoons ground flax seed or flax meal, mixed with 2 tablespoons of hot water - this mixture helps to hold the bar together
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
  4. 1 2/3 cups coarsely chopped nuts and seeds (I used a mixture of cashews and pumpkin seeds)
  5. 2/3 cup dried fruit (e.g. raisins, chopped dates, dried cranberries)
  6. 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or coarsely shredded coconut
  7. 1/3 cup puffed quinoa, or popped amaranth or other small puffed grain
  8. 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Note - you can skip the coconut, quinoa or sesame seeds if you don't like them, but make sure you substitute a similar amount of very finely chopped nuts in their place to maintain the same ratio of wet to dry ingredients. These last 3 optional items are small and help to hold the bar together and improve its texture.

Step 2: Combine Liquid Ingredients

Stir together the corn syrup, the flaxseed and water mixture. Stir in the peanut butter.

Step 3: Add Nuts and Seeds and Dried Fruit

Add the nuts and seeds and stir.

Add the dried fruit and stir.

Add the last 3 ingredients (coconut, quinoa and sesame sesame seeds) and stir well until everything is combined.

Step 4: Bake in Prepared Pan

  1. Line an 8" X 8" pan with parchment paper, using paper at least twice as long as the pan
  2. Pour batter into pan and flatten with the back of a spoon
  3. Fold the parchment paper over the batter, and use your hands, or roll a small can, to further flatten and compress the batter, so there are no air holes or empty spaces
  4. Unfold the parchment paper from on top of the batter
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5: Cool and Cut Into Bars or Squares

Cool at least an hour at room temperature, and another hour or more in the fridge.

Cut into 8 bars, or 16 squares.

Step 6: Wrap and Serve!

These bars can be wrapped in plastic wrap to take for lunch or on a hike.

You can also partially wrap them to serve at a party as in the above photo. I used hair elastics with flowers on them to hold parchment paper around the bars. The paper makes them easier to hold.

Enjoy!

<p>Excellent! Congratulations on your well-deserved win. :-)</p>
<p>Thank you! BTW - I loved your native persimmon bread instructable - wish we had persimmon trees in the Yukon - we did get a case of them at the grocery store recently but they are too much of a treat to use in baking.</p>
<p>quiet interesting</p>
<p>Congrats!</p>
<p>Could you use honey instead of corn syrup in these? Btw, great instructable!</p>
I haven't tried it with honey so I can't say for sure how it would affect the texture. It might be fine, or it might be a little bit stickier. It would be great if you could try it with honey and let me know how it turns out.<br>Thank you for your kind comments.
<p>Beautiful instructable! These look amazing</p>
<p>Thanks. They taste great too! I hope you get a chance to make them.</p>
<p>Nice and good looking </p>
<p>Thanks! I just read your mango roll instructable. Beautiful presentation!</p>
<p>Thanks. They are super quick and easy to make so I hope you try and make a batch yourself!</p>
<p>llooks trmpting. </p>
<p>Nice 'ible. I've been thinking of trying to make my own bars.</p><p>Have you tried something other than corn syrup? I'm not a fan, do you think honey would swap in well?</p>
I tried it first with agave syrup and the bars did not hold together well, so I would not recommend agave. I think honey might work and I would be very interested in hearing how this works out if you try it with honey, and what the texture is like. Thanks!

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