Crunchy Grain, Seed, and Dried Fruit Bars

These nutrient-packed dried fruit bars bake low and slow in the oven, but the active prep time is relatively short, and the end result will be a hit with kids and grown-ups alike. A hearty blend of oats, millet, quinoa, pepitas, and sunflower seeds form the base of these crunchy snack squares, while dried apricots and raisins add bursts of tart fruity goodness. Applesauce and date paste add natural sweetness and act as binders, ensuring everything holds together. Keep a batch of these bars on hand to eat as an afternoon snack or to take with you on an outdoor adventure. Pro tip: They taste better the second day and store very well for about a week at room temperature in an airtight container.

For more snack bar inspiration, check out these tasty ideas:

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon dry millet, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup raw pepitas
  • ½ cup unsalted sunflower seed kernels
  • 1 cup Date Paste
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup finely chopped dried figs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large skillet toast millet and quinoa over medium 5 to 7 minutes or until completely dry and toasty, stirring occasionally.
  • Add oats, pepitas, and sunflower seeds to skillet. Cook 10 minutes or until seeds are lightly browned. Transfer toasted grains and seeds to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients; mix well. Spread mixture on prepared pan into an even 10×8-inch rectangle.
  • Bake 2 hours or until firm and crisp on top. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 20 squares.

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About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com and follow her on Instagram for more.
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