A super healthy mix of fruits, nuts and seeds is packed into these oven-toasted snack bars, and they are totally irresistible. Why spend money buying prepackaged snack bars when homemade bars like this are so much tastier and healthier?
There are an insane number of snack bars on the market, all of them touting healthy magical powers. I say, make your own. It's surprisingly easy to do. Pack them with nutritious ingredients of your own choosing, cut them into any size bars you like, eat them for breakfast, take them to work, use them as gifts, or freeze them for a rainy day.
I spend a lot of time thinking about and cooking food but I rarely give much thought to snacks. And yet I'm a snacker. I seem to need a little something every three hours or so.
If there isn't a healthy appealing snack in house, at the ready, I sometimes find myself dipping tortilla chips or left-over noodles into mayonnaise (please don't judge me). I have learned that when hunger strikes, especially in the afternoon, in conjunction with work-weariness, it's crucial to have something satisfying and nutritious within reach.
When I studied nutrition at Leiths school of Food and Wine in London, one of my assignments was to develop healthy snack recipes for potential clients. Snacks had to be 100-200 calories and had to contain some protein because protein helps curb the appetite and keep you feeling satisfied for a longer stretch of time.
These healthy fruit and nut snack bars were part of our cooking curriculum. After making them in class I came home and immediately made another batch. Now they've become a healthy habit.
What I love about these homemade snack bars
- It's way more economical (and ecological) than buying individually wrapped cereal bars or nutrition bars.
- I love knowing that I've loaded up my snack bars with nothing but fresh wholesome ingredients.
- Snack bars are great to have on hand for a portable breakfast or to grab when you're hungry between meals. Or even before dinner, as my husband does occasionally.
- They're fun to make!
How to make homemade snack bars
Heat your oven to 275ºF and line a small baking pan with parchment.
Measure out your dried fruits and nuts, placing them into a big bowl as you go. For the base of these snack bars, I chose dried cranberries, dried apples, dried apricots, walnuts, pecans and ground almonds. This is a great recipe to experiment with. Choose equal amounts of your favorite dried fruits and nuts.
How to design your own healthy Snack Bars:
Use these approximate measurements to make delicious healthy snack bars using your favorite ingredients.
- 2⅓ to 2½ cups of dried fruit
- 2½ cups of nuts
- 4-5 tablespoons of seeds
- 4 ounces of almond flour
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon of salt
- ⅓ to ½ cup of raw honey
Whizz the fruits and nuts in your food processor until they're very finely chopped but not powder.
Pour the mixture into the big bowl and add sesame seeds, chia seeds (which have been soaked in water), pine nuts and raw honey. Use your hands to mix everything together.
Don't worry if the mixture seems dry at first. The moisture from the honey and the soaked chia seeds is enough to hold all the ingredients together.
A quick note about why you should soak Chia Seeds before eating them:
Chia seeds have loads of health benefits. They're high in fiber, protein, minerals and Omega 3s. Soaking them in water turns them into a gel, which makes them much easier to digest and their nutrients are better absorbed in your body.
Once the fruit and nut mixture is well combined, press it into the prepared baking pan with wet fingers.
Bake for 55-60 minutes until dry and just starting to turn golden brown on the top.
When cool, cut into bars. You'll get anywhere from 16 to 24 bars per batch, depending on what size you decide to cut them into.
If you like having healthy homemade snacks around, you might also enjoy these tasty No-Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites.
Here's the recipe for Healthy Fruit and Nut Snack Bars. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a rating and comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print