Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mom's Fruit and Nut Bars

My mother and I are on a quest to get her to eat better. After having absolutely no luck getting her to read The China Study, she's currently reading Eat to Live and thinks it makes a lot of sense. I don't think she'll ever go vegan, but in the past month or so, she's definitely become a barelyanymeatatarian, which I think rules (she even ordered her first cheeseless pizza today).

While looking for healthier alternatives to the candy and snacks she usually eats, my mother came across an ad for Mrs. May's Trio Bars and wanted me to order them for her. I refused, saying we can make them better ourselves. I hit the Internet, bookmarked about 473892 different raw bars, figured out what the basic deal was and got to playing with food myself. Thus Mom's Fruit and Nut Bars were born.

Mom's Fruit and Nut Bars
(makes 8 bars, the way I do them, but you can make cubes, balls or whatever you like)

about 16 dry pitted dates
1 cup dried cherries
4 tablespoon shredded coconut
1.5 cups almonds
2 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Line 8"x8" pan with enough plastic wrap to cover it over twice (once under your bars and once above - see photo below).

Throw all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until evenly incorporated. A little chunky is fun and fine, but too much and it won't stick together.

Test to see if the mixture will hold together by squeezing a bit of it in your hand. If not, add more fruit or a bit of water.

Dump your fruit nut mush into the prepared pan and press it with your fingertips, spreading it as evenly as you can and making sure to get it in all the corners.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.

Once hardened, cut into bars and enjoy.

Store in plastic, in the fridge.

This was my first attempt at something like this and my mother said they're very pleasant and they will definitely satisfy her usual sweet cravings. She couldn't recognize the individual flavors, though, so if you make these, you may want to mess with the proportions a bit (I would call this more of a guideline than a real recipe). As you can see, our bars came out wimpy and thin, so the amounts posted are twice what I actually used. The best thing about these is that they were in the fridge less than twenty minutes from the time I entered the house, despite other work going on in the kitchen. I love how fast raw food is to make...when there isn't any dehydrating or soaking involved.

PS: Going forward,  I've shrunk down all the pictures I post, to kind of sort of improve the layout. They're all clickable to larger images, though, and they're all on Flickr in all the usual sizes.


Vegyogini said...

Yay for your mom! I always recommend The Great American Detox Diet by Alex Jamieson. The info is really accessible and easy to follow.

Anonymous said...

Cheeseless pizza is probably the first step to greatness. And I'm definitely trying this recipe soon, I need to stop spending money on Lara Bars.

Seitan Said Dance said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Vegyogini. I'll look into it for her.

These started getting really crumbly a couple of days after I made them, scatterbrainsisagirl, so if you make them, try adding a bit of moisture like water or maple syrup. Or maybe a few more dates.