Fruit & Nut Bars for the bike

In what I hope becomes a new blog series, each Friday I will be coming to you with a new recipe in time for the weekend.

This week I take the recipe from my good friend Steph, who used to manage a bakery no less! We are always creating and swapping recipes so it seemed right to share some here.

First up are these incredible Fruit & Nut bars! If you manage to eat just one then I’ll be impressed. They can be made vegan and sugar (processed) free! They are great for all those long turbos/outdoor rides. And they remind me of one of those fancy cereal bars ๐Ÿ˜‰

Makes around 16 bars

Ingredients:
50g flour
1/8 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
80g packed, light or dark brown sugar OR swap for ground almonds
200g any nuts, toasted (very important!) and coarsely chopped
170g dates roughly chopped
170g dried apricot halves roughly chopped
You could use any dried fruit here, we have tried glace cherries, crystalised ginger, prunes & figs!
1 large egg or 1 flax egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
1. Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan 
2. Preheat the oven to 160ยบC and position the rack in the centre of the oven.
3. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, bicarb, baking soda, and salt. Add the brown sugar, walnuts, dates, and apricots. Use your fingers to mix the fruit, separate any pieces sticking together.
4. Beat the egg and vanilla in a small bowl, then mix it with the fruit and nut mixture until everythingโ€™s coated with the batter. It takes a little while for the mixture to come together, but it will!
5. Spread the mixture in the baking pan and press gently to even it out.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top of the bars are golden brown and they have pulled away slightly from the sides of the pan. Cool the bars in the pan, then lift out.
7. To cut the cooled bars, use a heavy sharp knife, such as a bread knife, for ensuring neat, clean slices.

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