I am getting used to hearing the words “I want some, please” whenever my toddler’s gaze lands upon something sugary and sweet.
One of my little one’s favourite treats is the fruit bar. You may have spotted these under various guises in the baby aisle at your local supermarket. As an avid label-reader, it really bothered me to see that my child’s snacks were laden with preservatives, sugar and unrecognisable additives.
So I decided to make my own healthy version [which my son loves, incidentally!] and, just for a change, I wrote down the recipe to share with you.
Recipe #90: Icky Sticky Nutty Bars. This is a seriously easy recipe that you can make seriously quickly. I made these with my Thermomix, but you can use a food processor, or possibly a conventional blender.
You will need:
► 250g almonds, raw with skins on
► 250g dates, dried and pitted
► 50g sunflower seeds
► 30g shredded coconut
► sesame seeds, for rolling
1. Start by toasting the sesame seeds: pour the seeds onto an oven tray and place them in a 180°C oven for 5-10 minutes, until they just start to colour.
2. Next, roughly blend the dates, almonds, sunflower seeds and coconut with a dash of water, until a sticky paste forms. You can vary the texture by processing the mixture more or less, according to your preference.
3. Roll heaped teaspoons of mixture between hands and fingers to form cigar lengths, then roll in toasted sesame seeds and your icky sticky nutty bars are ready to eat!
While I made these with little people in mind, these bars make an equally delicious and naturally gluten-free snack for adults, and you can vary the ingredients to avoid nut/coconut allergies. They also freeze well, so make them in quantity for a lasting store of healthy treats.
Addendum of 28 June 2010: I forgot to tell you how many little round bars you will get from this recipe! It makes 25-28 bars, depending on how generous you are with your heaped teaspoonfuls.
Addendum of 9 August 2010: Recipe corrected to include the sesame seeds in the ingredient list, and to tell you what to do with the sunflower seeds. Sorry about those omissions!