Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Fruit and Nut Bar

Sous Chef J has been losing weight... not a good thing when you're "a growing lad" so, in conjunction with a trip to the dentist who said "don't eat sugar" and the GP who said "eat healthy fat and calorie containing foods" we needed ideas.  Calorie filled food, that's not bulky, has the 'right' texture and doesn't have too much (if any) sucrose within.  Nut bars came to mind... with fruit... and perhaps a drizzle of dark chocolate.

We assembled 200g mixed nuts, 100g mixed fruits, 75g dessicated coconut, 90ml apple juice, some pumpkin seeds and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.

The nuts we used were pecans, walnuts, flaked almonds and hazelnuts.

It was a simple matter of putting all the dry ingredients in the food processor, pulsing til chopped and then adding half the apple juice and blending.  Once the mix was starting to come together, it was turned out into bowl and mixed, by hand, with the remaining apple juice.

A ready greased baking sheet was then covered with the mix, it was flattened out as evenly as possible, scattered with flaked almonds and sunflower seeds.  The bars were marked out into the mix before the tray was placed in a 180ÂșC oven to bake for 10-12 minutes.  The length of time it will take to bake depends on the size of tin used/thickness of your mix so you'll need to check.  If you add nothing more to than this to the bars then, when they come out of the oven, they make a good sugar free snack.

However, Sous Chef J liked the idea of drizzling chocolate over the top.  So he melted a handful of dark chocolate pieces in a bowl and then 'artfully' covered the top of the bars, whilst still on the baking tray, with the chocolate.  The bars were left to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before being moved to a cooling rack to cool completely.


The cooled bars were stacked in an airtight container and will last for a few days - assuming Sous Chef J doesn't eat them all before then.

You can make these bars using your choice of nuts, fruits and liquid - you can use nut milk, coconut milk or other fruit juice to make the dough... it's up to you.  Have fun, try different mixes and see which you like the best. 

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