It’s always more fun to DIY. Every week on Food52, we’ll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.
Today: Jennifer Farley of Savory Simple makes a homemade version of store-bought fruit and nut bars that are filling, flavorful, and just as sweet as you want them to be.
When it comes to healthy snacks, I’m picky: They have to be filling and flavorful. While I love the idea behind store-bought fruit and nut bars, they’re usually too sweet for me. But because the ingredient lists are so appealing — most contain just nuts, dried fruit, and spices — I figured this was an excellent recipe to recreate at home.
I’ve combined some of my favorite ingredients into a no-bake snack bar that is seriously addicting. Cashews provide a delicate crunch, medjool dates add the right amount of sweetness, coconut oil is the binder, and coconut butter…well, coconut butter is my new favorite ingredient. I eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. (If you’ve never tried it, you’re seriously missing out.) Toasted coconut is the final key ingredient that gives these snacks their signature flavor. Make these bars now and thank me later.
More: Before you get started, make a batch of homemade coconut butter.
Makes 8 bars
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups unsalted cashews
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the coconut evenly across a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 3 minutes. Stir well, then cook for another 2 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.
Set the toasted coconut aside and use the same baking sheet to toast the cashews for 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
Combine coconut, cashews, dates, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse the ingredients until they’re crumb-sized. (A few larger pieces are fine.)
Add the coconut butter and 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil to the food processor and continue pulsing until the mixture begins to clump. If it seems dry, add another 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil.
Line an 8 x 8-inch brownie pan with parchment paper, allowing two sides to hang over the side of the pan. Dab a bit of coconut oil on the brownie pan to help the parchment stick.
Press the mixture into the pan, using a piece of plastic wrap to help flatten everything evenly.
Freeze the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, then slice the bars into 8 pieces. Wrap the bars individually and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Photos by Jennifer Farley
This article originally appeared on Food52.com: How to Make No-Bake Fruit and Nut Bars at Home