Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sweet Snacks for Apricot Day!

As if we needed an excuse to enjoy these wonderful, golden orbs! Today is Apricot Day (I'm serious!), and I for one endorse it. Apricots are an excellent source of Vitamin A (almost 19% per fruit!), a tremendous source of vitamin C, has dietary fiber and contains potassium as well. The apricot is a wonderful addition to the diet, sweet, dripping with juice beneath a thin skin when fresh and wonderfully chewy when dried. I love eating them as a snack, or baking them into muffins, but in this case I'm using them in something a little different, just as easy and a LOT more nutritionally sound... a low-fat, all natural energy bar, lacking only the chemicals and preservatives that lie under those foil wrappers! That said, I'm sending this on over to Cate at Sweetnick's for her ARF / 5-A-Day roundup!
This bar is a gluten free, lowfat, vegan and finally easy to make bar for kids and parents who are on the go and don't have time to fix breakfast or a midday snack. These bars can be made in bulk and frozen for future use, and if you never seem to have any time with the kids it's a great family activity - the little ones can measure out the ingredients and guess what is what, taste some of the fruits and even help wrap the cooled bars after they're cut!

Gluten-Free Fruit n’ Nutbars
32 servings
1 cup dried apples
½ cup dried chopped apricots
2 cups apple cider
1 cup water
½ cup dried kasha
1 cup Craisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup apple butter
1 cup sultana raisins
1 ½ cups buckwheat flour
2 cups sliced almonds
2 cups sweetened coconut
1 egg replacer
½ cup applesauce
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Put dried apples, apricots, and Craisins in a pot with kasha, water, apple cider, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  3. Bring contents of pot to boil and stir until mixture is creamy.
  4. Add the apple butter and stir until well blended. Remove from heat.
  5. Blend in raisins, flour, almonds, coconut, egg replacer, baking powder, apple sauce, brown sugar, and maple syrup to pot, stir until well combined.
  6. Place mix in two well greased 9 x 13 inch pans.
  7. Bake 25 minutes.
  8. Cut immediately, place bars on cooling rack.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 158.2
Total Fat: 5.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 7.0 mg
Total Carbs: 28.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g
Protein: 2.8 g

2 comments :

VeggieGirl said...

I eat organic Turkish dried apricots almost everyday; and when fresh apricots are in season, I those in abundance as well :0)

oooh, those bars sound so scrumptious!!

Ricki said...

These look terrific, and I love the healthy ingredients in them. They appear pretty solid in the photo--are they soft and cookie-like? Or chewy? The addition of both the dried buckwheat and buckwheat flour sounds intriguing, too.