Golden Energy Bars
These fruit bars make a handy snack when you’re in a hurry or for travelling—especially for hiking!  They are loaded with essential nutrients, very low in fat, and have slow-burning carbs and protein to stick with you until your next meal. After eating these power-packed snacks, you'll almost feel like you've eaten a meal! Or, try our Chocolate Protein Bars . . .
Golden Energy Bars

If you have a large, powerful food processor, these bars are very easy to make: simply grind the ingredients starting with dry, then adding fruit, and ending with the moist ingredients.  If your processor is smaller, you can grind in batches, using the flour and oats with the fruit to prevent clumping.

Fruit bars keep well in an airtight container and actually improve in flavor over the first few days.  They may be individually wrapped (Press 'n Seal works well) and frozen for those spontaneous outings we all love in the summertime . . .

1 cup dried apricots, chopped

½ cup dried pineapple, chopped

¼ cup coconut (or more)

¼ cup candied ginger, chopped (or less)

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup wheat germ and/or wheat bran

½ cup skim milk powder

1/3 cup liquid honey

½ cup chopped nuts

1 tbls sesame seeds, optional

6 tbls canola oil (1/8 cup)

6 tbls natural peanut butter (1/8 cup)

2 eggs

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Place a pan filled with water on the bottom oven rack.  Preheat oven to 350° F.

If you have a smaller food processor, the ingredients can be ground in batches and then transferred to a mixer.  I use a small Cuisinart and a 5 quart stand mixer; this combination works out quite well.

Process the oats until fine, then add the apricots and continue to process for a fine consistency.  Process the flour in batches with the rest of the fruit.  Grind the nuts and the wheat germ/bran with the coconut and sesame seeds.

Place finely ground ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl if you will be mixing by hand.  Stir on low for a few minutes to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients along with the milk powder, then begin adding the moist ingredients beginning with the eggs.  Add the oil, honey, corn syrup, and peanut butter.  As soon as the ingredients come together, remove from the stand and check that all is thoroughly combined, especially on the bottom.

Line an 8”x12” baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper with canola oil.  Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan with a lightly oiled tumbler or spatula, using a little flour sprinkled on top to prevent sticking if necessary.  Bake in the center of the oven at 350° F for 20 minutes and remove from pan to cool on a wire rack.

Cut into bars using a sharp knife or pizza wheel.  I prefer to remove the edges first.  Makes 10-12 bars.  Store in an airtight container lined with the parchment paper, or individually wrapped with plastic film, if you prefer.

Try some variations on this basic recipe, including a chocolate Energy Bar!  Chocolate has many valuable nutrients, and even helps to keep your teeth clean.

Chocolate Fruit Bars

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup wheat germ and/or wheat bran

½ cup chopped nuts and seeds (sunflower, sesame)

½ cup raisins

½ cup chopped dates

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup non-fat milk powder

1/3 cup chocolate syrup

1/4  cup canola oil

2 eggs

Process as for recipe above.  Some of the milk powder may be replaced with cocoa powder for a more intense chocolate flavor!
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