Oh my. Pardon me while I salivate over my keyboard. We just made the most delicious fruit bars last night and it took all of about 10 minutes. I couldn't wait to document the recipe and share it with my cyberspace friends. Just a minute...let me swallow.
Okay, first you must know the story behind the bars. I guess you don't HAVE to know the story, but since I'm in charge of this here blog, the story will come first. Neener, neener.
Last year, just about this exact same time of March, I was pregnant with Brighton. We had been running all over the place looking for an OB who would allow me to have a natural birth after having had two previous cesareans. If you've already read our home birth story then you know what happened during that crazy search and you'd probably like me to just get to the point. Patience, darlings. So...I ended up having a very short labor and an amazing home birth yada, yada, yada. You just have to know that these fruit bars are linked, in my mind, to this amazing experience. M'k?
Part of our home birth agreement was to attend the Hypnobirthing class in Rapid City. We only had like two weeks before my estimated due date. Therefore, the instructor, Treese DeBoer, allowed us to do the entire class in one very, very, very long Saturday and helped arrange childcare. While there, she served us bottled water and these delicious, healthy fruit and nut bars. I ate more than my fair share. Mmmm. Then, somehow, I completely forgot all about them until THIS March. It must be a seasonal thing. So I emailed her and she sent me the recipe in, like, just a few hours. And since I'm such a good virtual friend, I'm sharing it with YOU!
What you need (she didn't give measurements so see my notes in parenthesis):
Dried cherries (I picked up a 5oz. bag of these and used the whole bag)
Dates (I picked up an 8oz. box of chopped dates and used maybe a handful)
Walnuts (I used most of an 8oz. bag)
Almonds (I used about a cup or so--I like almonds!)
1 Tbsp of coconut oil (a Tbsp is enough--there's lots of oil in the other nuts)
1) Put the nuts and coconut oil (the oil may be solid, which is fine) in your food processor together.
2) Then add dates one or two at a time (they're very sticky and have ruined food processors before).
3) Add your dried cherries at the end. Keep adding and tasting until you reach your desired sweetness and consistency.
4) Dump the mix into a pan and press/flatten firmly.
5) Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.
They're healthy because:
-Dates are a good source of fiber, iron, and potassium
-Almonds are a good source of fiber, vitamin E, folic acid, and protein
-Coconut Oil is all natural and has 0g of Trans Fat
-Walnuts are a good source of Omega-3 and protein
-Cherries are a good source of vitamin A and carbohydrates
I used salted almonds this time just because that's what I had on hand. It gave the bars a salty-sweet taste. Next time I'll probably use unsalted just to see how different they are.
Also, I wasn't willing to wait a couple hours to cut them, so I popped in the freezer for maybe 45 minutes and they were plenty ready and hard enough to cut into squares.
Thanks to Treese for sharing these!
And here's my shamless plug: If you live in the surrounding area and are planning on having more babies, I HIGHLY suggest her HypnoBirthing class. I felt very knowledgeable about birth BEFORE attending this class, but we still learned SOOOO much about my birthing body, my mind's impact on birth, the spouse's role, and other elements of birth. You get a cool new book and a couple audio CDs when you sign up for the class. I highly recommend it for those who want to gain all of the glorious benefits of a truly natural birth. Needless to say, not all "natural" births are created equal. Why not prepare for the best experience?!
Here's her contact information:
Treese Morford DeBoer, MSW, CSW-PIP, QMHP, HBCE
Clinical Social Worker-Private Practice
Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner
Wellness Home Consultant/Certified CA
If you don't want to contact her, but still are curious, feel free to e-mail me at teachertools at gmail dot com if I can help answer any questions.
“There is a secret in our culture. It’s not that birth is painful, it’s that women are strong.” -Laura Stavoe Harm