Monday, March 7, 2016

Cherry-Dark Chocolate Pistachio Bars

This is a basic mixture to make those fruit and nut bars that cost an arm and a leg!
Use any mixture of nuts and fruit that your imagination can dream up.
The nuts are a bit costly, but there are no preservatives in these bars and once you buy the basics, you can make them for a lot less.

The brown crispy rice cereal and brown rice syrup are readily available in the organic section of your supermarket.
1 cup roasted & salted pistachios
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almond or raw cashews
1/2 cup cherry craisans
1/2 cup crispy brown rice cereal
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon whole golden flaxseeds
1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp. almond butter
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
Pinch of salt
Dash of vanilla
1 tsp. honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the syrup, almond butter, salt and vanilla until combined.  Gently fold into nut mixture until completely incorporated.  This mixture is very sticky.  Spray your hands lightly with cooking spray to help manage the mixture.  Transfer mixture evenly into prepared baking dish.

Spray the bottom of a drinking glass with cooking spray.  Press down mixture and pack into the pan.  Be sure there are no air pockets.

Bake 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow bars to cool completely in pan on a wire rack.  Refrigerate or freeze for faster cooling.

Lift cooled bars from pan with the parchment paper.  Cut into 12 rectangles with a serrated knife.  Remove bars from parchment and wrap individually in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Enjoy!

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