This is a no-mess snack you can eat with one hand — a lifesaver for new parents! Breastfeeding and worried about caffeine? You can easily leave out the espresso in this recipe. If you can make a double (or triple!) batch of these before baby comes, you’ll be grateful you did.
Tip: Reconstituting the dried fruit with water will plump it up, stretching it out in the recipe and keeping it from burning in the oven.
1 cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (cherries, cranberries, raisins, blueberries, dates, dried figs or apricots, or any combination)
¼ cup hot water
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup ground flax seed
2 tbsp chia seeds
3 cups rolled oats
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup water, room temperature
2 tsp instant espresso powder dissolved in ¼ cup hot water, if desired (see note above)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts or almonds
½ cup raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line a 9”x13” baking pan with parchment paper, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine dried fruit with hot water and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, flax seed, chia seed, oats and cinnamon. In a separate medium bowl, add maple syrup, espresso, olive oil and eggs and mix well. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Fold in the reconstituted fruit, coconut, nuts and seeds. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes to absorb the liquid.
Wet hands to prevent sticking. Press mixture into prepared baking dish, taking care to spread the mixture evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating pan in the oven halfway through baking. Let cool completely and cut into 16 even bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.
Servings: Makes 16 bars
approx. Per Serving