Introduction: Fruitfully Nutty Bars

About: Enthusiastic hiker, quilter and creator with a passion for making the most of every situation and finding the best and easiest way to do anything!

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.


Snacks Contest 2017

Grand Prize in the
Snacks Contest 2017