Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunny Jungle Bars


I'm in my third week of classes now. Last week we were learning about salmon and had to gut and can them. Thankfully I didn't have to do the gutting. Now that I'm back in school I'm recalling the great lack of time for food blogging. I do love being part of the food blog world but if I only have a bit of free time I'd rather spend it baking (as I'm sure most/all of you would, well for some of you it's cooking). But hopefully I will still be around often enough and won't miss out on too many yummy things on people's blogs. I found some amazing looking easy cinnamon bun bread on Baking Bites this morning - must make that soon.


Alright onto the food! As with many other things, I've wanted to make granola bars for a long time. And I've also wanted the Nurture cookbook for a long time. These granola bars are more effort than others I'm sure, as they involve making a fruit pulp that you spread in the middle of two granola layers. But they are delicious, if a bit soft and crumbly. Mind you I reduced the oil so maybe that's why. I've been keeping them in the freezer and just eating them directly from there. This recipe can be played with a lot, using different combinations of fruit, nuts, seeds, nut butters and natural sweeteners. I wonder what it would be like if I just mixed it all together instead of making a separate fruit pulp layer hmm.


Other healthy snacks:
Mini Pear Loaves
Pomegranate Smoothie
Applesauce-Oat Bran Muffins
Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread


Sunny Jungle Bars
Adapted from Recipes to Nurture

1 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp apple juice
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup flaxseed, ground
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F and line a 9x9 (or 8x8) baking pan.

Place the dates, apricots and apple juice in a saucepan and bring a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and mix well with a spoon to form a pulp.

Meanwhile, in a food processor combine walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Pulse into a "meal" (very finely chopped) but not so far it becomes a butter. Add rolled oats, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds and sea salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add this mixture to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Press half the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the fruit pulp evenly over top, then finish with the remaining oat mixture. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes.

Allow to cool in the tin on a rack before slicing into squares.

24 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Those bars!!! Oh-so-scrumptious.

Good luck with classes!!!

Erin said...

These look good! The combination of flavors and ingredients sounds delicious. Good luck with classes; I hope they go well!

ttfn300 said...

oh my, delish!!

zhengning said...

These bars looks so good!

Hannah said...

These seem so hearty and filling, a set above your average granola bar. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Parker said...

These sound really delicious. These are perfect for my hiking days. Going to have to try them.

Ricki said...

They do look yummy. Love the fruit filling!

Best of luck with school, fish, etc.!!

Steph said...

Wow, those bars look delicious! They have everything in them that I would enjoy. I've always wanted to make my own granola bars, but ended up with granola or burnt each time because they just don't stick together. I find storebought is just way too sweet and taste kind of funny too, especially the Quaker bars.

That food technology program you're in sounds like a lot of fun and interesting!

Katrina said...

I love whole grainy, nutty things--YUM!

Deborah said...

I love the name of these, and they sound so delicious!!

Grace said...

what a sneakily healthy treat!
meanwhile, thankfully, i never had to gut any fish for any of my classes, but my office was right down the hall from where the meat processing class slaughtered their projects. not fun. i was usually mysteriously absent on those days. :)

Snooky doodle said...

hmm these bars look dangerously delicious, I consider them as a healthy choice too :-)

Usha said...

These are so healthy and delicious looking....will try these...good luck with your classes...

Indigo said...

Oh, I love granola bars! And I'm just in the mood for one of these, mmm.

Maria said...

I love the looks of these bars! They look healthy and tasty!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

These bars look fabulous - way better than anything store bought!

Sarena Shasteen said...

I have yet to find a great granola recipe. I will have to give this one a try! It looks really good! As for the cinnamon bun bread...I highly recommend it! I made it last weekend and it was gone almost immediately!

Sophie said...

I've been wanting to make these for awhile too! These look so much better than the average granola bar, so much more moist. The ingredients sound amazing! Saving this. Good luck in school :).

Johanna said...

I keep thinking I should make some of these - love the idea of a batch in the freezer for when I need a snack - maybe if the fruit pulp was mixed through that would help them hold together

Helene said...

I tried to order the cookbook from the library and they don't have it. To make these I don't know where I would find almond butter, so I would have to follow your substitutions. I wonder if I can replace the dried apricots with something else.

Sarah said...

Ooooooh...

Last time I made granola bars they wouldn't stay together either. I love the fruit pulp idea! May have to try making granola bars again! :)

Mansi said...

pack me a bunch of these and I could keep hiking for the whole day!:)

dessertobsessed said...

sunny jungle bars! what an interesting title!!

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed said...

How fabulous! Love the ingredients list. Will definitely be trying these.
Heidi xo