THE BLOG
03/11/2014 04:44 pm ET Updated May 11, 2014

How to Make No-Bake Fruit and Nut Bars at Home

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week on Food52, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Jennifer Farley of Savory Simple makes a homemade version of store-bought fruit and nut bars that are filling, flavorful, and just as sweet as you want them to be. 

When it comes to healthy snacks, I’m picky: They have to be filling and flavorful. While I love the idea behind store-bought fruit and nut bars, they’re usually too sweet for me. But because the ingredient lists are so appealing -- most contain just nuts, dried fruit, and spices -- I figured this was an excellent recipe to recreate at home. 

I’ve combined some of my favorite ingredients into a no-bake snack bar that is seriously addicting. Cashews provide a delicate crunch, medjool dates add the right amount of sweetness, coconut oil is the binder, and coconut butter…well, coconut butter is my new favorite ingredient. I eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. (If you’ve never tried it, you’re seriously missing out.) Toasted coconut is the final key ingredient that gives these snacks their signature flavor. Make these bars now and thank me later.

More: Before you get started, make a batch of homemade coconut butter

Toasted Coconut, Date, and Nut Bars

Makes 8 bars

2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cups unsalted cashews

1 cup medjool dates, pitted

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the coconut evenly across a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 3 minutes. Stir well, then cook for another 2 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. 

Set the toasted coconut aside and use the same baking sheet to toast the cashews for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. 

Combine coconut, cashews, dates, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. 

Pulse the ingredients until they’re crumb-sized. (A few larger pieces are fine.) 

Add the coconut butter and 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil to the food processor and continue pulsing until the mixture begins to clump. If it seems dry, add another 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. 

Line an 8 x 8-inch brownie pan with parchment paper, allowing two sides to hang over the side of the pan. Dab a bit of coconut oil on the brownie pan to help the parchment stick.

Press the mixture into the pan, using a piece of plastic wrap to help flatten everything evenly.

Freeze the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, then slice the bars into 8 pieces. Wrap the bars individually and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Save and print the full recipe on Food52.

Photos by Jennifer Farley

This article originally appeared on Food52.com: How to Make No-Bake Fruit and Nut Bars at Home

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