These healthy mouth-watering bars are based on a recipe by Karen Ansel and Charity Ferreira, from Weldon Owen’s cook book, Healthy in a Hurry. That first bite will tell you it’s a delicious combination of lightly crunchy Crispies and an eclectic savory Italian fruit cake. This recipe will make 20 delightful bars, and will require only 20 minutes to create. What’s more, there’s no baking involved!
Serves: 20 bars
1 cup of dried tart cherries
1 cup sliced raw almonds
1-1/2 cups of puffed brown rice cereal – It can be found in a Whole Foods Market or a natural foods store
2/3 cup chopped and dried apricots
½ cup of brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons of packed light brown sugar
¼ cup of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons of butter
¼ cup creamy almond butter
¼ teaspoon salt
*You can substitute the brown rice syrup with organic maple syrup. It is just a thinner consistency.
1. Place foil in an 8-inch square pan. Be sure to butter the foil. Next, in a large bowl, mix the cereal, almonds, tart cherries, dried apricots, and bittersweet chocolate thoroughly.
2. Place the 2tbsp. butter, syrup, almond butter, and salt in a small saucepan and cook, stir over medium heat until the butter melts, and you have a smooth mix. Bring it to a simmer and cook only one minute as you stir to prevent scorching. Once bubbling, pour the mixture over your cereal mixture. Then stir until it’s all well mixed.
3. Press the mixture into a the foil-lined pan with your hands lightly buttered for non-sticking. Chill the mixture for one hour. Then, drop the chilled mixture from the pan onto a surface. Peel the foil from your mixture. Cut into 20 bars. No baking involved on a hot summer day! You now will have smiling faces soon as they devour this tasty treat.
Note: you can make the bars up to one week ahead if you keep them cold and airtight between layers of waxed paper.