School has started again and it’s time to make snacks for the girls to either bring in their backpacks or to enjoy after school. These delicious granola bars and walnut coconut bars are packed with healthy nutrients and energy. They are also great for breakfast if you are in a hurry in the morning which is what happens on most days for Angela and Audrey.
I had made the walnut coconut bars with dates before, but I made today’s with prunes, which are lower in sugar and higher in vitamins compared to dates. You can use other nuts such as macadamia, cashew, almonds or pecan, but personally I think walnuts taste the best in this recipe.
2 1/2 cup oatmeal (not quick cook)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds dry roasted no salt (If you cannot find them you can use raw and toast them with the walnuts)
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar or xylitol
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter or coconut oil
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 325F. Spread oats onto a sheet pan. Place walnuts on a separate sheet pan. Toast @325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Stir oats after 10 minutes. Take walnuts out after 10 min.
While oats and walnuts are roasting, add sugar, honey, butter, vanilla and salt to a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil.
Prep a clean sheet pan with parchment paper and non-stick spray
In a large mixing bowl, add dried fruit, the hot oat mixture, walnuts, and sunflower seeds and the hot syrup together. Mix well.
Place mixture on prepared sheet pan. Spread evenly. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and then another sheet pan. Press firmly.
Cool for at least 1 hour and the refrigerate for another 4 hours or overnight.
Cut into desired size and wrap each in plastic wrap.
The recipe makes approx. 12 bars.
Walnut Coconut Bars
3/4 cup soft dried prunes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped
1 heaping cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut + more to sprinkle on
Knead all ingredients together like kneading a piece of dough.
Sprinkle shredded coconut on a sheet of saran wrap on a cutting board. press and fatten the fruit and nut dough on it. Cover with another sheet of saran wrap and flatten it further with a roll pin.
Remove the top saran wrap and cut into desired shape and size.