Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Easy Fruit and Nut Bars

I recently discovered Lara Bars and I'm almost mad I did because - why are they so expensive?  I usually buy them when they are on sale at Target or my Kroger for a $1 a piece.  Then, I discovered that you can make your own!  And it's TOO easy! 

Three ingredients - almonds, dates (preferably Medjool) and another dried fruit.  I used raisins.  But apricots, cherries, even cranberries would be great and give you all sorts of different flavor options!  The dates I found at Publix, they have these shelves underneath their produce and I just happened to be looking down.  $3.99 for a nice size plastic tub - I was able to make bars 3 different times with that amount and have about 1/2 cup leftover!

 Yields 8 bars

Easy Fruit and Nut Bars

1 cup almonds
1 cup raisins
1 cup pitted, dried dates (Medjool dates)
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (optional)

Combine the almonds, raisins and dates in a food processor.  Pulse a few times to break them up.  Process continually for 30 seconds. Scrape the edge of the bowl.

Process continually for 1-2 minutes until a ball is formed.  If using chocolate chips, add with about 30 seconds left so they don't get completely chopped up.

Dump mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking pan and press down firmly to form an even layer.  Chill for 1 hour or overnight.  Cut into 8 large bars or 16 squares.  Keep bars in fridge for a few weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

(Source: Adapted from the kitchn)

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