Photo by Tom McCorkle and food styling by Marie Ostrosky; for The Washington Post
These energy bars — made with dried fruits, nuts and seeds, and with no flour, egg or added sugars — are slightly chewy, with nutty crunch and the lovely flavors of the whole, simple ingredients.
Storage Notes: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 3 months.
Fruit and Nut Energy Bars
Oil or oil spray, for the pan
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/3 cup (80 milliliters) water
1 cup (95 grams) almond meal
1 cup (150 grams) raw whole almonds
1 cup (125 grams) whole pitted dried dates
1/2 cup (70 grams) shelled raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (60 grams) hulled hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
1/2 cup (90 grams) dried apricots
1/2 cup (70 grams) raisins
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Brush or spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with oil.
In a small bowl, cover the chia seeds with the water, stir and set aside to soak.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the almond meal, almonds, dates, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, apricots, raisins, cinnamon and salt and process until everything is finely chopped. Add the chia mixture and pulse until the everything is thoroughly combined and resembles a coarse paste.
Transfer the mixture to the baking pan and spread out evenly to cover the bottom. (The easiest way to do this is to place a piece of wax paper on top, and using your hands over the paper, press the mixture out evenly; discard or reuse the paper.)
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until fragrant, browned on the edges and lightly browned and set in the center. Let cool completely, then cut into 18 bars.
Makes 18 servings
Serving size: 1 bar
Per serving: Calories 170; Total Fat 10g; (Sat Fat 1g); Protein 6g; Carb 16g; Fiber 4g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 10mg; Total Sugar 8g