Friday, March 7, 2014

Raw Apricot Bars - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Raw Vegan Apricot Bars

Whether fresh, dried, in smoothies, desserts, jams or savory meals, we love apricots!

One of Mark's favorite treats is my Raw Apricot Bars.  Like many of my other recipes, this has expanded from a few ingredients to several.  Coming up with different recipes depends on what I have on hand and my taste buds at that moment.  For the most part I like to keep it simple, but then there are times I want to be more creative and use a variety of ingredients. 

These apricot bars are chewy right off the bat with loads of flavor!  I can't go on without mentioning the nutritious side of this delicious bar.  Besides Vitamin C, apricots are a good source for Vitamin A as well as potassium and fiber, just to name a few.  I don't want to overlook all the other ingredients in this recipe, but I would be writing a short novel on each one if I did.  I'll just say that this is one healthy raw vegan treat.

Raw Apricot Bars - Vegan and Gluten-Free

1/2 cup cashews
1 cup dates
1 cup dried apricots
2 Tbs dried coconut shreds
1/4 cup hemp heart seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

In food processor:
- add cashews and process until semi-small bits
- add in the dates and apricots and process until broken down somewhat
- add in the remaining ingredients and process until well combined and can hold its shape - form into a firm ball to check then pop it in your mouth.

In an over lined 8x6 dish (or size of choice) scoop mixture in - it may appear that the dish is too small, but hang on we're not done yet.  Pat down enough so you can take the over wrap of the lining and cover the mixture.  Use your hands, spatula, small cup or other item and press/roll firmly down on the mixture until entirely evenly flat and firm. 

Put dish into freezer for at least 60 minutes.  Cover the dish, but not sealed.  Remove from freezer, lift out with the lining and onto a cutting board.  Discard lining and cut into desired size bars. 

I keep them stored in the freezer and we take one out when we want a snack.  They don't freeze like an ice cube, so you can eat them as soon as you take one out or let it sit on the counter for a few minutes if you prefer a more softer bar.  You can store them in the fridge as well, but I believe they last longer in the freezer - hidden behind the bananas so Mark can't find them.


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