Natural Fruit and Nut Bars

from Janice Welch

There are some great snack/dessert bars available at health food stores. They are uncooked, so they are full of raw nutrition. The sweetness comes from dates, so there is no processed sugar added. They have lots of fiber and no trans-saturated fats. Sounds great, right? Well they are until you realize that one bar is $1.50 to $2.00. That can get pretty expensive when your child wants one for dessert every day.

So, why not make them? A trip through the Whole Foods bulk aisle and you will be set. Everything you could possibly need is right there. The great thing about these bars is, every time you make them you can add different dried fruits and nuts for different taste combinations. A few tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa will give you a nice chocolaty bar that goes especially well with dried cherries or cranberries thrown in. The only necessary ingredient is the dates (actually figs might also work) and almond flour (or other nut flour) for the base. Almond flour can be purchased at Whole Foods, but is much less expensive when ordered in larger quantities online at or After that the sky is the limit in terms of flavor combinations! So have fun and enjoy.

The following recipe is my daughter’s favorite so far:

Fruit and Nut Bars (Cinnamon Apple)

8 oz dates
4 oz dried apple
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup almond flour
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup roasted nuts ñ any kind (gives a little bit of crunch)
1 cup flaxseeds (grind them to a powder in a coffee bean grinder)
Approximately 2 Tablespoons applesauce to achieve good consistency

Combine the dates, 1 tablespoon of applesauce, almond flour, ground flaxseeds, and cinnamon in a large food processor. Process until well mixed. Add the dried apples and roasted nuts and process to your desired consistency, adding more of the applesauce if necessary. Press the mixture out on a parchment paper-lined pan and cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

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