I have always said that dates are like nature's caramel. These Fruit Bars are literally like the Picnic/Snickers/Mars Bar of the health world, but better. They are condensed wonders of the modern world, great for the gal-on-the-go or the hungry child's lunchbox. The energy in these bars is found naturally in the dried fruit and honey, so there are no added nasties, just pure unadulterated natural bliss. I use merdjool dates, as they are the plumpest, tastiest dates on the market. It's best not to waste your time with the cheap ones, they probably won't call you back.
Dehydrating at temperatures under 43C/110F will preserve the enzymes, retaining all the nutrients that puts a much needed spring in your afternoon step. And of course, they are completely free of gluten, dairy and processed sugars.
⅔ cup dried apricots
¾ cup merdjool dates
¼ cup honey
1 ripe bananas
1 tbsp pure vanilla
1 ¼ cups almonds with skin (soaked overnight)
¾ cup shredded coconut
¾ cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup pepitas & sunflower seeds
¼ tsp sea salt
Place apricots, dates, honey, bananas and vanilla into a food processor and blend until it has become a paste.
Add the rest of the ingredients and chop for 3-5 seconds, keeping the nuts fairly coarse.
Line an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) baking dish with waxed baking paper and press the mixture firmly and evenly into the dish.
Place into the dehydrator for 12 hours. Take out the fruit bars and cut into 10 individual bars. The place back into the dehydrator and leave for another 12 hours.
Remove from the dehydrator and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.