Have I told sometime about the huge amount of nuts and dried fruits I am munchin at work? They’re such a great first aid against sudden low sugar and something you can easily nibble in between while talking with colleagues, making copies, drinking coffee, running from room to room…
it’s just a bit boring over the time … so I thought about alternatives. And why not simply bring the dried fruits and nuts into another shape and texture? The idea for the fruit nut bars was born and as christmas is coming nearer and so wafer paper is all around in the supermarket I practically had all ingredients at hand.
I remember similar bars from my childhood, when we were regular customers in the “Naturkostladen” (organic food shop). And although I may have talked a lot about traumatic childhood experiences with whole food – those bars I loved from my first visit in the organic food shop. My favourite where the ones with dried red berries which where not only sweet but also had the right amount of sourness.
So, no wonder that for my first homemade fruit bars dried cherries and cranberries where the first set ingredients, that I combined with dried apricots and grounded almonds. I left away any additional flavour like vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest or the like – for this time I wanted it pure. But when I had blended everything – by the way ruined my hand blender – kneaded the fruits and nuts together with some agave syrup to a dough that could be formed into a ball, I missed this bit of sourness I liked so much about my favourite fruit bars. As I didn’t want to add any more liquid, I added a bit of citric acid … and now they were perfect!Of course those bars are open for all kinds of variations: different fruit and berry mixtures, hazelnuts, cashew nuts,…..it is totally up to your taste!Fruit nut bars (makes 2 12×20 cm pieces)
80g dried cherries, 80g dried cranberries, 200g dried apricots, 200g grounded almonds, 5 tablespoons agave syrup, 4 pieces of square wafer paper, (½-¾ teaspoon citric acid)
Blend dried fruit (After my experiences I suggest to first chop the fruits roughly with a knive and then work in small portions.). Knead together dried fruit and grounded nuts, adding agave syrup bit by bit. If you’ve ended up with a coherent firm dough, try if you would like to add some more acidity. If your dough is too sticky, add some more grounded nuts or oats that soak the moisture.
Divide dough into two equal parts and roll them out into retangles in the size of the square wafers. You can do this by hand or use a rolling pin – in any case it works best between two layers of plastic wrap. Place fruit nut dough between two pieces of wafer and gently press. Also press overlapping dough between the wafers. Repeat steps with remaining dough and wafers.
Now press for another few hours to let everything settle and stick together. Therefor place filled wafers between plastic wrap and lay a heavy book on them.
Remove book and foil after a few hours, and cut filled wafers into smaller pieces (retangles, squares, rhombes, triangles,….it’s totally up to you).
I’m not sure how long they will keep, and I’m not sure if I will ever find out. But in an airtight container they should keep at least a few weeks I guess.