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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fruit Bars

Yesterday I made my first fruit bars. This whole-fresh-raw thing is scary to me. I have shied away from making anything that looked like baked goods for fear of difficulty and disastrous results.

After spending my usual two hours surfing the internet, I found enough information to make me dangerous—an informed neophyte. This was what I learned.

Raw fruit Bars are a combination of dry ingredients and wet/damp ones in equal proportions.

Dry—Choose a mix of two items up to a total of 1 to 2 cups
Sprouted Almonds finely chopped, sprouted flax seed ground, sesame seed ground, chocolate nibs lightly ground, or pecans chopped.

Wet— Choose two items place in food processor till thoroughly mixed for a total of 1 to 2 cups
Medjool Dates pitted, dried cherries, dried cranberries, fresh cranberries, raisins, dried figs reconstituted, fresh figs.

Mix—1 cup dry and 1 cup wet together. I have a small one cup food processor plus a coffee grinder I use exclusively for nuts and nibs. So I made these batches in small groups. You can do the same with a larger food processor.

Add—Spices. I like allspice and cinnamon. You pick your favorites about a teaspoon of each.
1 tablespoon of Meyer lemon juice or orange juice
1 teaspoon of citrus zest.

Taste.

Add—2 to 3 tablespoons of honey or Agave syrup to taste.

Taste.

If the texture is very wet add more dry ingredients. If dry add more wet.
I found using reconstituted figs and fresh cherries caused my mixture to be wet.
Press the mixture into a greased or lined pan to be cut into bars. Or roll into balls. Top with finely chopped nuts or coconut. Refrigerate for an hour then eat. Delicious.

If you want very dry more portable bars, you can dehydrate them in a warm oven for about two hours. Calories per bar depends on the combination of ingredients. Each bar is packed with vitamins and minerals. Fruit bars are great snacks in the winter.