Keeping on track with my diet requires eating at least two snacks a day. I am always looking for wholesome and easy snacks to take with me to work or to pack in the kid’s lunches. I was buying a lot of cereal and protein bars. My criteria for acceptable bars to purchase was bars that were under 200 calories, contained less than 12 grams of sugar, costs less than $2 a piece, and didn’t contain a bunch of crap. I found myself spending way too much time in the snack bar aisle reading labels. There were only a couple of brands that fit into my criteria, and even those all contained “soy lecithin.”
Apparently, soy lecithin is an emulsifier, and apparently it is a necessary ingredient in just about EVERYTHING. I had also heard and read a couple of articles about soy containing a compound that mimics estrogen, and that consuming large amounts of soy can trigger early puberty. (Yikes!) Now, I try and take everything I hear and read with a grain of salt, and I’m not afraid to serve my family some tofu every now and then, or sprinkle some soy sauce on my rice. I’m not kidding, however, when I say that soy lecithin is in everything, it is. Start reading some labels, it’s even in the “healthy” foods. So, I decided to save myself some money (and to hopefully spare my kids from early puberty), and make my own snack bars.
FRUIT SNACK BAR RECIPE
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup oat bran
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup almond milk
1 cup dried fruit of choice
1/2 cup water
Note: Our favorite is blueberry which can get a little pricey. I’ve also tried fig, raisin, apricot, and cherry. Be careful to buy dried fruit without a lot of added sugar.
1. Place flours, oats, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine ingredients.
2. Add the coconut oil. Pulse the food processor five or six times to cut the oil into the flour mixture. Note: I love baking with coconut oil. It is solid at room temperature (like butter but better for you) and it gives your baked goods a nice flavor.
4. Dump dough mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.
5. Pulling up the sides of the plastic wrap, form the dough into one large rectangle.
6. Wrap the dough well with the plastic wrap, and set aside.
7. Place the dried fruit and water in a saucepan. Simmer slowly over low heat until the fruit incorporates most of the water. Place fruit in the food processor and process until smooth. Place the fruit mixture into a container with a lid.
8. Place the dough and the fruit mixture in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours.
9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap, and cut into two equal pieces. Dust your work surface with flour, and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour as well.
10. Roll each piece into a 13 by 4 inch rectange.
11. Spread half of the fruit mix evenly down each rectangle. Chef tip: Get these little pastry spatulas, they come in real handy. I have them in several sizes.
12. Fold one long side of the dough over the fruit mixture. Brush the edge with water, and fold up the other side. Press gently to seal the dough together.
13. Turn the whole package over, so it is seam side down. Cut each package into seven rectangles, trimming up the edges.
14. You should get fourteen bars. Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
15. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. They should be golden brown and firm to the touch. Enjoy! Calories = 145 per bar.