These bars were created to support my incessant snacking addiction. I'm serious, I can't get through 2 hours without a meal or a snack. But there is so very little out there, by way of commercial products, that I can actually eat. So, I've learned to create my own healthy snacks to meet my dietary needs (vegan, refined sugar free, and wholegrain when possible) and these little squares do the trick. The walnuts give them a rich "buttery" flavour, while the oat flakes keep them crumbly, and the apricots add sweetness. They make a great portable snack if you're always on the run like me. —Nissrine @ Harmony à la Carte
Walnut Halves, heaping
Organic Dried Apricots
Organic Brown Rice Syrup or other sweetener of choice
Cold Pressed Sunflower Oil (unflavoured/odourless) or other neutral baking oil of choice
Grind the walnuts into a medium fine meal, a little bit at a time, being careful not to over process and overheat the mixture, otherwise it will turn into walnut butter. Set aside.
Add oats to a food processor and pulse into a flour.
Add walnut meal and dried apricots to the oat flour in the food processor and pulse to combine and break down the apricots.
Add vanilla, rice syrup, oil and a pinch of salt, if using and pulse to combine. By now the mixture should be clumping together a bit.
Press mixture firmly into an 11x 9 baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C (356 F) for about 20 minutes. Baking times vary by oven, so you will want to adjust the baking time accordingly. You could also make these in a smaller pan (8x8 for example) to get slightly thicker squares, but again, be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly. You will know they're ready when the edges start to brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle without burning your fingers, then slice into squares and serve. Store them in an air tight container.