I used to work with someone that would bring her own trail mix to work. She bought walnuts, dried cranberries, almonds, etc in bulk and mixed it up in baggies for her daily snack. Of course, nuts and dried fruit can be costly, and doing it that way, you spend more money up front – however, you are making your own unique blend of what YOU want in your trail mix, and you get a lot more out of it. The best part, is that you can really get creative and just mix whatever you may have on hand
The same goes for these fruit and nut bars. It’s just another way to mix your favorite dried fruit and nut mixes together. These do have a bit of added sugar to hold them together into bars, but by making them yourself, you know exactly what ingredients you are putting in.
The Jewish holiday of Purim is coming up on March 24th (also happens to be my last work day before my maternity leave) and traditionally, Jews give out “machloach manot” or literally “sending of portions” to emphasize the importance of friendship and community by sending gifts of food to friends. These bars work well for part of these baskets.
I have to confess that I did not find brown rice syrup – so decided to wing it with what I DID find, which was cane sugar syrup. While it did impart an amazing nuttiness, unfortunately – they did not stay hard completely. The parchment paper did help with the stickiness, and also to look really cute as a gift, but I do recommend using brown rice syrup to get it done the way it is intended! Also, a couple things to point out: I used this puffed rice cereal and these coconut flakes.
Overall, these were a delicious, sticky mixture of goodness! I hope you try them!
- Two thirds cups almonds, roughly chopped
- One third cups chopped pecans
- Two thirds cup puffed rice cereal
- One third cup dried apricots
- One fourth cup raisins
- One eighth cup prunes or dates
- One fourth cup dried cranberries
- Half cup coconut flakes
- 1 heaping tablespoon ground flax seeds
- One third cup cane sugar syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line an 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside
- In a bowl, mix everything except cane sugar, honey and vanilla Set aside.
- Meanwhile, stir cane syrup, honey and vanilla together in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Let boil for 4-5 minutes,
- Pour it evenly over the fruit and nut mixture and very quickly stir the mixture until it is evenly coated.
- Transfer the mixture to the lined baking dish, and press it firmly and evenly. Stick in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Lift up the parchment paper from the baking dish and transfer it along with the bars to a cutting board and allow to sit for about 5 minutes, until pliable and cut into whatever size you like.
- Wrapping with parchment is recommended for stickiness! You can also roll them into little power balls!