Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
This is a current favourite recipe in my household, we just can't get enough of it!
½ cup (55 g) raw walnuts (or pecans)
⅔ cup (125 g) dried apricots
1 cup (90 g) oats (GF if desired)
½ cup (95 g) almond flour*
½ tsp cinnamon
zest from 1 orange
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (250 mL) almond butter (any nut butter works here)
1/2 cup (250mL) tahini
1/4 cup (125mL) maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup (75 g) dark chocolate melted (use your favourite chocolate, milk chocolate would work too and best to melt using a bain marie)
½ tsp (3 g) flaked sea salt, coconut flakes or orange zest
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Toast the walnuts (or pecans) in a pan on medium-heat for 3-5 minutes until they become aromatic. Stir to prevent any burning.
Add the walnuts and the apricots to a food processor and break them up into little pieces.
Put the mixture from your food processor into a large bowl, add in the oats, almond flour, cinnamon, orange zest, and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon.
Now we add our wet ingredients to the mix. Add the nut butter, tahini, maple syrup and vanilla to your mixing bowl and stir until everything is well mixed.
Line a 26 x 17 cm (10 x 7 inch) oven dish with parchment paper and move your mixture into the baking dish.
Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until the top has gone slightly golden.
Allow it to cool for 5 minutes, and then take it out of the baking dish to let it completely cool.
In the meantime, melt your chocolate and drizzle it over the bars.
Sprinkle on some sea salt, coconut flakes or add extra orange zest if you wish (or any other topping that you like).
Cut into 8 squares or about 10 bars, and enjoy!
* If you don't have almond flour, use about ½ cup (100 - 110 g) of raw whole almonds, and blend in a food processor until you achieve a flour-like consistency.
Storage: store in an air-tight container for up to three days, it will keep in the fridge for up to 6 days, and in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Variations: replace dried apricots for dried mango, or substitute pecans for hazelnuts, walnuts, or cashews.