These fruit-and-nut bars are super-easy to make (no adult needed!) and easy to adapt to your own tastes. Love pecans? Use all pecans. More of a mixed-nut person? Use mixed nuts. Keep trying these bars with different ingredients: we also like toasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and/or pumpkin seeds in place of some of the nuts. We’re not sure why, but every now and then these don’t turn out quite right—they’re crumbly instead of firm. If this happens, use it as a fruit or yogurt topping, and call it “granola”!
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 16 pieces
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife (adult needed)
- 8 x 8-inch pan
- Wax or parchment paper
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Medium-sized bowl
- Small bowl
- Large spoon
- Dinner knife
- Plastic wrap
- ½ cup chopped lightly toasted nuts (one kind or a combination of almonds, walnuts, and pecans). To toast nuts, put them on a small baking sheet in a 350-degree oven until they are fragrant and look a shade darker, around 5 minutes.
- ¾ cup dried fruit (one kind or a combination of raisins, currants, dried cranberries, and/or chopped dates, prunes, apricots, and peaches)
- ¾ cup quick oats
- ¾ cup crispy rice cereal
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (if you like)
- ½ cup almond or peanut butter
- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Before You Begin
- Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them.
- Clean the counter top with a sponge.
- Gather all your kitchen gear and ingredients and put them on the counter.
- Scrub all the fruits and vegetables and lay them out on a dishtowel to dry.
- Prepare your ingredients, which means you may have to do something before you get started with the instructions.
- Line the pan with wax or parchment paper and leave enough hanging over the sides so that you can use it to cover the bars later. (You will need a piece a little more than twice the size of the bottom of the pan.)
- Put the nuts, dried fruit, oats, rice cereal, and coconut in the mediumsized bowl and toss well.
- Put the almond or peanut butter and honey or syrup in the small bowl and microwave until the mixture is softened, about 30 seconds (depending on your microwave). Stir until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir again until smooth.
- Pour the warm mixture over the fruit-nut mixture in the medium-sized bowl and mix with the spoon until well combined.
- Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and pat down as hard as you can. You want to make the bars solid (rather than airy). Using the overhanging wax paper, cover the bars completely. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.
- Using the knife, cut into 16 pieces.
Get an adult’s permission and help with all sharp knives, appliances (blender and food processor), the stove or oven, and hot ingredients.
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