Thursday, October 6, 2011

Homemade Oat & Fruit Bars

I've been wanting to make my own 'larabars' for a while, and since I just got a new package of Medjool dates, I figured now was the time to do it! 

Recipe inspired by the banana bread bars from Kabocha Fashionista
  • 3/4 cup Trader Joe's blueberry muesli (you can sub with plain oats)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup chopped, pitted dates (I used fresh Medjool) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp roasted flax seeds (optional, for added protein)
  • 1 medium, ripe banana 
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (you can sub with cinnamon)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (I used salted, store- bought, but you can always make your own)
Ingredients for paste
Fruit paste
Oat & nut flour
Pre-cut bars

  1. Add the muesli, oats, seeds, and nuts to a food processor and blend until they make a coarse 'flour.' Transfer into a bowl so you can use the processor for the other ingredients. Optional: Leave out about 1/4 cup of the muesli from processing here, for a little added texture to your bars. I recommend! 
  2. Add the dates, banana, raisins and spices to the food processor after removing the flour, and blend into a paste. You may need to scrape the sides during the process.
  3. Mix the paste & flour well. You may want to add extra muesli or oats here, depending on the paste:flour ratio (I did; the original recipe only called for 3/4 cup oats - I upped the ingredients above to a total of 1 and 1/4 cups oats +muesli, but you can always edit as you go by adding more dry ingredients at this stage).
  4. Line a baking sheet or flat pan with some wax or parchment paper, and form the dough into a large rectangle. Store overnight or 24 hours.
  5. Check the hardness of your bars- if too moist, you can try putting in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10-15min, and then putting back into the fridge for a few more hours. I'm not sure the baking actually helps to solidify them, so it may be best to just leave in the fridge longer. 
  6. Cut into bars & wrap in tin foil to save for later. I store mine in the fridge. I also cut mine into little bite-sized squares, rather than full-bar sized, so that I can grab them for a little snack whenever. 

    It's hard to go wrong with the flavors here. These are easy to make and delicious! I love the addition of the pumpkin seeds too. These could easily be altered to different flavor varieties- using figs, golden raisins, dried cherries, etc! I liked using the blueberry muesli here because it has dried blueberries in it, which go very nicely with the other fruits. If you are looking for something packed with even more nutrients, you could always add more flax seeds, or add bran, chia seeds, almonds... the options are endless!

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