Some days you just need a quick grab-n-go snack. And some days you just gotta use up random leftover pantry items (lest your pantry be overrun with bits of this and that... I don't know anyone that happens to... ??...). And some days your combined effort to create a quick snack out of stuff that needs to get put to use results in something mega simple and delicious. Such was precisely the case with these apricot (and oat, chocolate, tahini...) bars.
What could be simpler than processing a bunch of stuff into a sticky mixture, smooshing it down into a flat brick, freezing, and then slicing into mega-satisfyingly-straight-edged squares to have on hand during a busy week? (Other than buying store granola, of course, but that would kinda kill the magic of it all wouldn't it ? ... plus all that pesky sugar in most breakfast bars... I'll take these and a freer pantry any day instead).
You can customize these to your liking of course. I used apricots and chocolate and tahini because
that's what I had around that combo is always awesome, but I'm fairly certain most nut or seed butters would work (provided you like their flavor). Apricots and dates can be swapped around... Chocolate chips can be switched to carob chips, or chopped raw chocolate. Orange zest or a bit of orange flavor would be pretty sweet in this too... options :).
The main thing is to compress things very firmly, using all your strength to pack the mixture down into the pan as much as possible. And also slice the bars while the block is frozen for the most even slices. And keep them frozen until ready to eat (the apricots keep the bars from becoming rock solid in the freezer, so they're chewy straight out of there or thawed out slightly -- just don't thaw out too much or they get a tad sticky on the fingers).
P.S. I don't know why they're called breakfast bars... as they've certainly been an all-day snack kind of a thing around here ??.
Super simple gluten-free breakfast bars made with oats, tahini, apricot and chocolate. Perfect vegan grab-and-go snack. Refined sugar-free.
- 2 ½ cups sofr dried apricots (ideally unsulphured)
- 1 ½ cups instant gf oats
- 2 tbsp tahini (or another nut-butter if you prefer)
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped raw chocolate
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- Process all ingredients into a fine sticky crumble in a food processor. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking dish (I used one that's roughly 6" x 4", but anything of a similar size will do). Press down firmly with the back of the spoon to compact the mixture. Then cover with a sheet of parchment and press down again with a flat-bottomed object to compact the mixture even more and to create an even top layer. Freeze for 5-6 hours of overnight. Cut into pieces and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.