I’ve been wanting to get this recipe up on Fit and Fed for a while, finally it’s here! I’ve made these apricot almond bars several times for friends and family and they’ve been well liked. Tangy apricots blend with sweet dates, ground almonds, chia seeds, and warming cinnamon and cardamon, while a touch of almond extract brings out the almond flavor. In case you wonder what the white seeds are in the bars, they are chia. Sometimes I use white chia seeds instead of black ones when I think that will look better in the final product.
Rather than try to make these treats look even and manufactured, I played with the dough and made not just bars but also thin strips, balls, and cookie shapes. I especially liked the looks of the little cookies with an almond pressed in the middle.
Afternoon sun was streaming into my kitchen when I took this photo of the almond-apricot creations on the cutting board. The sun was very welcome after our March deluge (the rainiest ever here in the Seattle area) and its associated disasters and gloom.
Next time I make these (it won’t be long) I’ll try to get a photo of these goodies stacked on a plate. I wasn’t fast enough this time!
- 1 slightly scant cup almonds (5 oz.)
- ¾ cup shredded coconut (2.5 oz.)
- ⅓ cup hemp hearts (1.7 oz)
- ⅓ cup protein powder (I used Soy-Free Veg)
- ¼ cup (4 Tbsp.) chia seeds
- 1.5 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. cardamom
- 9 oz. Medjool dates, pitted (13 dates)
- 9 oz. dried apricots (1.75 cup not packed)
- ¼ tsp. almond extract (I used Frontier almond flavor)
- Blend dry ingredients into a fine meal in a blender or food processor.
- Transfer the meal from the blender to a bowl and set aside.
- For chopping the wet ingredients and for blending them with the dry, I recommend a food processor, not a blender. The mixture is too thick and wet for my Vitamix to handle. Process the dates, apricots, and almond extract until the mixture begins to form a ball.
- Then add about a third of the dry ingredients and blend until a ball begins to form again, continue until all the dry ingredients have been added.
- Using a Cuisinart, the final product will be moist, shiny, and fairly homogenized though the chia seeds will not have blended.
- Place a parchment paper in a baking pan or on a baking sheet.
- Roll/pat the mixture out to a flat sheet.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
- Cut into bars. (alternatively, shape into balls or cookie shapes).
- Yield: about 1# 11 oz. (perhaps slightly more, there was a little snacking involved before I got out the scale)
- This will make about 27 0.8 oz. small bars or balls of about 100 calories each, or 16 1.7 oz. bars of 200 calories each.