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Clean Chewy Apricot Almond Snack Bars

Clean, as in Clean Eating. I’ve gotten this magazine for years and though I’ve never followed their strict meal plan, I use TONS of their recipes. Clean basically means whole grains, no white flour or sugar, generally lower calorie, and chock full of veggies, fruits, lean protein and dairy. These snack bars fit that bill.

You know how usually when something goes into the freezer, it becomes frozen (um, hellooooo)? Well, I don’t know why, but these freezer bars just get nice and chewy (and very cold, obviously). They almost have the consistency of fruit leather, but thicker and softer. I’m sure you could experiment with different dried fruits and you could swap the almond for vanilla extract if that’s more your thing. I like to have a grab and go snack on hand at all times and these kid approved as well.

When I first pulled them out of the freezer to show my husband he stared blankly at them, obviously unimpressed by their blah color (hence why the food we buy at the store is riddled with food dyes). He pronounced them delicious upon tasting them but the true test was later that day when I saw him get the container out himself. You see, he’ll eat anything I present him with because he has learned that I take offense when he doesn’t try something, but it’s the “independently going back for more” that really shows me whether a recipe is a winner.

Clean Chewy Apricot Almond Snack Bars

Makes 8×8 inch square pan

1 c. pitted dates

1 c. dried apricots

1 c. unsalted walnuts

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3 tbsp. ground flaxseed

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1. Process dates, apricots and walnuts in a food processor for about 1 minute.

2. Add remaining ingredients and process until mixture is finely ground, soft, and sticky.

3. Line an 8×8 inch square pan with waxed paper, parchment paper or foil. Dump mixture into pan and press with finger tips (moistened if sticky) evenly into edges. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze about 1 hour. Cut into bars and store, frozen, in airtight container.