Fruit & Nut Bars

14 June, 2011

These fruit and nut bars contain no oil or sugar; they get their sweetness from dried fruit.  They also contain walnuts which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and have been shown to support brain function and possibly even boost mood.  Other studies suggest that eating 4 to 6 halves of these nuts before a meal may suppress hunger, resulting in the consumption of less food during the meal.

They make a healthy and filling snack, and the perfect energy boost when out walking or hiking.

A 40g fruit and nut bar provides roughly 170kcals, is high in carbohydrate and dietary fibre but low in sugar and saturated fat.

These bars are also common wheat and soy free, making them suitable for those with food intolerances.

makes 16 bars

125g (1 cup) whole spelt flour

160g (1 cup) rolled oats

250ml (¼ cup) prune purée or one 70g (2.5oz) container of baby prunes

165g (½ cup) finely chopped raisins

125g (½ cup) dried apricots, chopped fine

125g (1 cup) walnuts, chopped

100ml (½ cup) water

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F).  Lightly coat a 20cm x 20cm (8’ x 8’) tray with nonstick spray and set aside.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead with your hands until a good, stiff dough forms. Add a tablespoon of water if the mixture is too dry.  Press the dough firmly and evenly into the prepared tray.  Cut into squares with a sharp knife before placing in the oven.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until baked through but still soft.  Don’t over bake them or the bars will be tough.  Store leftover bars in the refrigerator as they age well.