Fruit and nuts granola bites


As the wave of health consciousness is gathering momentum and moms are being ever so careful to watch what their kids put in their mouths more innovative snack options , the grab and go kind are evolving.

Fruits ,nuts,seeds must form a part of our daily diet in some form so this is a very good way to include it in our daily intake.

This is much better and healthier for kids who are so prone to reach out for the buttery,baked goodies and cookies. While there is nothing wrong in having them once in a while it is always better to stock up o such healthy bites and bars to introduce a different way of snacking.

This is a good backpack handy snack to munch on and in one bite you get the wonder benefits of so many ingredients. The most delightful part is the way you can customize the ingredients that go into the bites and choose your ingredients you are partial to.












Method


Ingredients

3 cups of oats
11/2 cups of mixed nuts and dry fruits. I chose toasted almonds,golden raisins, chopped dried figs and sunflower seeds. Other suggestions are dried apricots, dates and any dried sticky berry.

2 tbsp of melted butter .
2 or 3 tbsp of golden syrup/honey

Procedure

In a large heavy bottomed pan toast around 3 cups of oats with 2 tbs of melted butter till golden and a fine aroma wafts. Toast separately almonds and other nuts if you choose and add these to the toasted oats. Add a handful of sunflower seeds, dried figs ,apricots bits and golden raisins. while the oats is still hot in the pan add 2 tbsp of golden syrup and mix all the ingredients till they are sticky with the syrup and quickly shape into small balls while still hot.
The alternate is to spread the sticky mixture of oats and nuts on a parchment on baking sheet and press firmly .cut into small bars .Refrigerate to get a firm bar or round bites.

An alternate is to toast all the dry ingredients and pulse the dried berries and fruits with the nuts in the mixie to get a mass of sticky mixture , which  can be mixed with the toatsed oats and then made into bars or pressed in tins.

The pics will give an idea.




 In this recipe I have used a mix of dried berries like cranberries, some dried dates, figs, apricots and some mixture of nuts like walnuts, almonds. The pulsed nuts and berries will look like this
 Coarsely powder the ingredients in the mixie  jar and you will get a little sticky mixture which is now easier to handle.
 Line a baking tin, a loaf tin  with  a ziploc or a parchment

 Press firmly and refrigerate for some time.Makes it easy to slice into neat bars.Keep butter paper in between bars while storing to keep from sticking.













Suggestions

1. I have been making these bars and bites for many years now as my husband gets me all kinds of dried fruits, nuts and seeds from his travels.These are available locally  also these days so we can make them easily.

2 Earlier we would have a huge stock of Trail Mix both the crunchy and chewy kin with different mix of nuts and seeds with muesli. But I noticed they were too sweet and loaded with more sugar thus not necessarily healthy especially if kids are going to take it almost every day.
So I decided to make my own, choose the ingredients . I make different batches.

3. I am also not very comfortable using golden syrup too often so I use dried cranberries, dates, dried figs, dried apricots which become kind of thick and pasty when pulsed in the food processor . This is good enough to bind all the dry ingredients together to a ball or pressed into a tin and refrigerated to harden a bit.
Makes good bars this way doing away with golden syrup. So we do not add any extra sugar but the natural sweetness of the fried fruits.

4. Be sure to include dried figs, dried dates, dried cranberries in your bars as they give good texture and great to bind all the ingredients.

Slivers of almonds, pistachios, pecans give a nice nutty crunch to the bars. 
If making as energy bits by rolling them as balls, a final toss in some desiccated coconut gives a good non sticky finish. 

Serve or store in individual paper cups.

5. If you plan to make this as energy bars, then you need to press them into a tin lined with a parchment or even a ziploc bag with sufficient overhang ,and spread the warm sticky mixture on the lined paper or plastic and press with a spatula. Then refrigerate to keep it cold and it will further harden the mixture well.

6. Lastly when it looks set, you just need to pull out the plastic or the parchment from both sides and keep on a plate. Now it will be easy to cut into neat even bars. Use individual lined papers in between the bars if storing them in fridge .

7. The step is much easier if you decide to roll them up as round bites, as it is like making our ladoos. Toss in desiccated coconut to give a good finish.
Enjoy Guilt free snacks !!