My nearly 93 year-old mother saved this recipe for me from her April 2010 Guideposts Magazine because the ingredients "sounded like me." It is from the issue's The Healthy Cook feature written by Rebecca Katz, senior chef-in-residence and nutritional director at Commonweal Cancer Help Program in Bolinas, California. She is also author of The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. I made a batch of these Anytime Bars, which I renamed Nutty Fruity Bars because nuts and dried fruit dominate the mixture, and brought some to my mother. A nutritious delicious treat on this Mothers Day 2010.
Nutty Fruity Bar
1 cup raw pecan halves (I substituted hazelnuts.)
1 cup whole raw almonds
2 tbsp spelt flour
2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour (I used buckwheat flour, but you could use any flour.)
2 tbsp finely ground flaxseed
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cup pitted dates, quartered (preferably Medjool) I used 5 Medjool dates. 1 ½ cup unsulfured dried apricots, cut in half
1 pastured egg
5 tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread pecans in a single layer on baking sheet and toast for 7 to 10 minutes, until aromatic and slightly browned. Watch carefully, as they burn easily. Repeat this process for almonds. Turn oven down to 325°. (I didn’t toast the nuts.) Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan. (I lined the bottom of the pan with unbleached parchment paper instead.) Combine spelt flour, all-purpose flour, flaxseed, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a food processor and process for 5 seconds to combine. Add pecans and almonds; pulse 5 times to coarsely chop. Add oats, dates, and apricots. Pulse 10 to 15 times, till mixture is well chopped but coarse. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, maple syrup, and vanilla until combined. Add fruit and nut mixture and mix well, being sure to spread any clumps of fruit. Spread mixture in pan in an even layer and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until set and golden brown. Don’t overbake or bars will be too dry. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes, then cut into 25 squares. (I cut mine into 16 squares.) Leave bars in pan until completely cool so they’ll hold together when you remove them.