Apricot, Almond, and Vanilla Snack Bars
February 24, 2015

  Apricot Almond Vanilla Snack Bars // Choosing Raw

Back in the early days of this blog, I was a consummate DIY-er. I made almost everything from scratch: nut milks, crackers, breads, granolas, juices. You name it, I made it.

Times have changed, and I’m not quite as productive in the DIY department as I used to be. It started with my post-bacc; I tried my best to keep up with homemade snacks through the whole thing, but by the time I was studying for the MCAT, I was pretty much relying on packaged bars and snacks to keep me going. Which is fine. I’m a big believer that realism is a part of being healthy. There are a bunch of products that make my life considerably easier in a pinch. These include Pacific brand soups, sunshine burgers, commercial nut milks and/or soy milk, a couple of faux meats or cheeses (Steven and I really like Beyond Meat and Daiya at the moment, though we’re always open to trying new ones, and when I don’t have time to marinate tempeh at home, we also love fakin’ strips from Lightlife), frozen edamame packs, crackers (Flackers and Lydia’s are my faves), and more.

But there’s something undeniably satisfying about making one’s own staples, whether pantry items or snacks. And in spite of the fact that these are busy times for me, I’ve been thinking a lot about how often I grab something store-bought when I really could whip up the exact same product easily at home. Back in the day, one of my weekly DIY staples was a batch of homemade snack bars. Favorites included my lemon kissed cashew hemp bars, my raw cacao snack bars, and my five minute, no bake sunflower oat bars. These were quick and easy to prepare, satisfying, and far easier to customize than any raw snack bar out there.

Apricot Almond Vanilla Snack Bars // Choosing Raw

This week, I found myself with a half bag of dried apricots sitting in the pantry. I decided to break out the food processor, roll my sleeves up, and devote fifteen minutes to making a batch of homemade nut and fruit bars. These sweet and delicious apricot almond and vanilla snack bars were the result.

Apricot Almond Vanilla Snack Bars // Choosing Raw

These are really great. They’re sweet, they’re chewy, and the mixture of apricot and date is a very nice departure from medjool dates alone (which is the basis of a lot of bars and bites that I’ve made). I also love the subtle, yet delicious flavor that vanilla and coconut add to the mix. The bars will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge if you store them in an airtight container and wrap them up well. Which means a whole two weeks of easy, accessible, and–best of all–homemade snacks.

Apricot, Almond, and Vanilla Snack Bars (gluten free)

Author -

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 dried apricots unsulphured is best
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 whole vanilla bean split and seeds scraped out (substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 10 pitted medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons dried unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter

Instructions

  • Line the bottom of an 8x8 square baking dish with a square of parchment or wax paper.
  • Place the almonds, salt, and apricots in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Turn the motor on and process until the mixture is a course meal.
  • Add the vanilla, dates, coconut, and almond butter. Continue processing for about a minute, or until the mixture is sticking together. When you can squeeze a small handful together and it sticks easily, it's ready.
  • Press the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Transfer to the fridge for 1 hour to allow the bars to firm up. Cut into 12 bar shapes. I like to wrap the bars in wax paper and then keep them in the fridge for when I'm ready to eat.

Here the bars are, getting wrapped up for storage:

Apricot Almond Vanilla Snack Bars // Choosing Raw Apricot Almond Vanilla Snack Bars // Choosing Raw

So easy! And so nice to have snacks at the ready for the week ahead.

I hope you’ll enjoy these bars, too, and that they might inspire you to get a little more DIY and hands on with your snacks and staples. It’s definitely a habit I’m hoping to revive.

Apricot Almond Vanilla Snack Bars // Choosing Raw

As I mentioned on Sunday, it’s NEDA week, so my next post will be in that theme. Excited to share. Till then, stay warm!

xo

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    15 Comments
  1. I just bought a bag of dried apricots for the first time since my sophomore year in college (that was only like 7 years ago…) and I have some almonds that I’ve been wanting to use in something–so thanks for putting these together–they look perfect!

  2. Something about making your own staples…it’s just so rewarding! Peter and I have times when we are like, nope not gonna happen but we got a system down now, so we always have homemade almond/hemp milk and protein powder. But the crackers and the bars, kinda fell of the wagon:( I will get back on for these:) I have been using this awesome vanilla bean powder from this place in Sedona, the chocolate tree…it’s amazing and Ibet it would be awesome in these. Thank’s Gena!

  3. I try to make as many foods as I can at home, but sometimes it’s hard because there just isn’t enough time! Right now I’m crazy about making my own nut milk and am super keen to experiment with making my own nut cheeses. I also really enjoy making my own granola. I love how simple and delicious the ingredients are in these bars- I gotta add these snack bars to my to-make list!

  4. This is such a good reminder that a healthy snack really can be made quickly, and that a few minutes of prep can set you up to have access to good stuff when you need it. I love your perspective on realism as a part of being healthy and I wholeheartedly agree. Dried apricots are one of my favourites, and I love them in bars like this!

  5. I absolutely love this recipe and I have yet to make it. The ingredients are not over the top, or expensive to go buy from a special store, and it’s a healthy treat the family can’t help but love.

  6. gena, i love seeing simple (not effortless, but unfussy and approachable) recipes like this. so often, your flavor combinations are perfectly vibrant and thoughtful yet nothing over the top, to which i extend my most appreciative and admiring thumbs up! the pairing of vanilla and apricot sounds delightful. thanks for sharing.

  7. I fondly remember being on the receiving end of a batch of bars not unlike this one on a trip to NYC. Wish we could have that dinner (and these bars) again! <3

  8. They sound delicious YUM! I forgot about this style of snack bar. I’m going to make these when my cousin visits this weekend.