*Photos Updated June 2012*
Inspiration: Our breakfasts usually involve something like a couple of eggs, maybe an omelet, maybe some bacon. We don’t eat carbohydrates on a day-to-day basis (in the refined sense – I sure love my black beans and cashews and butternut squash!), so variety with breakfast can be a challenge. Why is it that the standard breakfasts in this country are riddled with so many empty carbohydrates and sugars that are going to do nothing in the way of….well, anything? Anyway, we always love finding great protein-filled breakfast options, and these bars seemed the perfect choice.
What We Loved: OK, these are good. When I sat down to eat the first one for breakfast, I almost felt a little guilty, because it seemed like I was eating a rich and indulgent dessert. The main thing that strikes me with these bars is the wonderfully rich and creamy flavors and textures – predominantly the almond butter (which is great if you love almond butter as much as we do) and the coconut flavors from the coconut oil. They both combine so well for a really smooth, rich base for these bars. Layered on top of that, all of the chopped nuts add a great crispy texture, and the dried fruit gives nice little tart and chewy bursts of flavor. And holy cow, look at all of those great proteins and fats! We have both been obsessed with these and looking forward to them every morning (we’re on batch two right now), and they really do provide for a satisfying breakfast that keeps us full until lunch. They’re definitely our newest addiction.
Helpful Hints: It can be a little tough to cut these into bars and remove them from the pan, but it’s really not a big deal if they break or crumble a bit. You can just pat them back together. You can also switch up the nut and fruit varieties for any that you prefer. And as an aside, nut flour is nothing but nuts that have been very finely ground to the consistency of a powder.
Breakfast Nut and Fruit Bars
Source: Adapted from The Cavewoman Cafe, originally from Mark’s Daily Apple
1 cup almonds (I use roasted and salted)
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup nut flour (hazelnut flour is good) or coconut flour
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
Scant 1/4 cup of honey (optional – I leave it out)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup dried fruit
1. Place the nuts in a food processor, and process until they are a coarse meal. Don’t pulse too much – you want pieces of nuts to remain. Place the nuts in a medium-sized bowl with the nut or coconut flour.
2. Place the coconut oil and almond butter in a bowl, and microwave for about a minute. Stir together well, then mix in the honey (if using), vanilla, and salt.
3. Add the almond butter mixture to the nuts, and then fold in the fruit. Smooth into a baking dish. Chill in the fridge for one hour, or until solid. Cut into squares, and keep chilled until ready to eat.
Beautiful pictures!! Aren’t these bars wonderful? I’m glad you found them. Great to find you too. I’ll put you on my blog roll.
That looks delicious. I’ll have to give it a try. Lovely blog! Thanks for stopping by my blog
We made these a few nights ago, and have been going through them pretty quickly. We used dried strawberries. Next time I want to try unsweetened dried fruit, and see how palatable the result is. I really love the combination of almond butter and coconut, so I’m not too worried.
Awesome, let me know how it is with the unsweetened fruit.
I just made these again last night using only half the honey (about 1/8 cup, if that) and they were still great that way as well. I might try to skip the honey next time and see how that goes.
In our last batch, we replaced the fruit with a bar of Lindt 90% dark chocolate, blended up with the nuts. It is ridiculously good! You could definitely serve it as a dessert if you wanted. The 90% tastes better than 85% to us, so go with that if you can find it.
What a great idea to add chocolate instead of fruit. That sounds insanely good. How much did you blend it – almost to a powder, or just into pieces? I think we’ll do this next time and use them for a dessert like you said. Can’t wait!!! I have a ridiculous sweet tooth, so it would serve me well as a dessert lol. Endangered Species brand chocolate 88% (or 89, can’t remember) is also a great brand if you ever see it!
Also, if you put parchment paper in the pan before you pour in the mixture, the bars will come out really easily. We’re on our third batch, and we do double-batches each time, so they’re twice as thick.
Were particular about almond butter – the tastiest we’ve found is the crunchy MaraNatha no-stir, which does have added sugar and palm oil.
Also a great idea on the parchment paper, thanks! I prefer the stir kind of almond butter w/o added sugar, but I still haven’t found one to say is my favorite. I used to like Trader Joe’s brand the best, but I stopped shopping there because they refuse to tell you where their meats come from :/ I didn’t buy meats there anyway, but just the principle of it bugs me.
The chocolate was blended closer to a coarse powder, but there were still a lot of little chunks in it that make it interesting.
I just realized palm oil is healthy like coconut oil, so I am less concerned about the no-stir MaraNatha almond butter. Plus, I just ordered a case of it, so we’ll be using it for a while. :) Maybe next time I will cut down on the honey, to further reduce the sugar.
Awesome, I can’t wait to try the chocolate version!
So we tried these out today with the chocolate and really enjoyed them! You’re right, with the chocolate it would make a great dessert. Though we still ate them for breakfast :)
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