I often find myself needing an energy hit in the afternoon, like most people, and I try as hard as I can to avoid unhealthy quick fixes. These dried fruit and nut bars are a terrific go-to snack. Full of healthy Omega-3 fats that are readily found in nuts, these bars will give you a steady flow of energy, versus a quick sugar hit that is often followed by a devastating low. The addition of rice malt syrup makes all the difference.
I love my food to have texture and these are super crunchy when enjoyed straight from the fridge, or you can break up the bars and scatter them over some stewed fruit as a crumble topping for dessert.
½ cup dried fruit (craisins, apricots, prunes, apples, sultanas etc.), chopped roughly
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pepitas
½ cup whole almonds
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons shredded dry coconut
1 tablespoon whole or ground flaxseeds (optional)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons rice malt syrup
- Pre-heat oven to 200c.
- In a large mixing bowl add the dry ingredients and combine well.
- Stir through the coconut oil and rice malt syrup. The mixture will be very chunky but it’s important you moisten all of the ingredients.
- Line a small-medium sized baking dish with baking paper and press the mixture very firmly down. Using the back of a spoon helps.
- Sprinkle the top of the mixture with the reserved tablespoon of flaxseeds.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to thoroughly cool before slicing into preferred sizes. It will get crunchy as it cools.
* These fruit and nut bars refrigerate well for up to a week when kept in an airtight container.
** You can play around with your favourite dried fruit, nut, and seed combinations.
*** If your coconut oil has stiffened over winter, place the oil in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it easier to mix with.
Rice malt syrup
Rice malt syrup is gluten free, suitable for vegans, and it’s made from brown rice and is therefore a complex carbohydrate that is low GI and provides energy over a slow and consistent period of time. It’s a great alternative to honey and it has a delicious natural caramel flavour. The best bit is that rice malt syrup has an amazing ability to make ingredients become crunchy when baked. This ingredient is one of my favourite baking discoveries.