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These are some pretty dense and delicious energy bars. They're protein-packed with three different types of nuts, and made sweet with dried apricots and some Canadian maple syrup. Enjoy these bars as a snack, and they're so indulgent you could equally well enjoy them for dessert. The different flavours and textures give a new meaning to the oat bars you might already know. Orange and chocolate make for the perfect combination in these bars - you won't be able to keep them for long!
Orange High-Energy Oat Bars
▸ ▹ Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
Yield: 8 - 10 bars
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 45 min
½ cup (55 g) raw pecans
⅔ cup (125 g) dried apricots
1 cup (90 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (GF if desired)
½ cup (95 g) almond flour*
½ tsp cinnamon
zest from 1 orange
pinch of salt
1 cup (250 mL) peanut butter
½ cup (120 mL) maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
½ cup (75 g) dairy-free dark chocolate, melted
½ tsp (3 g) flaked sea salt
zest from 1 orange
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
To a pan on medium-high heat, toast pecans for 3 - 5 minutes until they become aromatic. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Add the pecans and apricots to a food processor and blitz them up into small chunks.
Add the mixture from food processor to a large bowl, along with the oats, almond flour, cinnamon, orange zest, and salt. Combine with a wooden spoon.
Then to the bowl we'll add the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir until everything is well combined.
Line a 26 x 17 cm (10 x 7 inch) oven dish with parchment paper and transfer the mixture to the baking dish.
Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until the top is lightly golden.
Let cool for 5 minutes, and then remove from the baking dish to cool completely.
Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle it over the bars. Sprinkle on some sea salt and orange zest. Cut into 8 squares or about 10 bars, and enjoy!
* If you don't have almond flour, use a heaping 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 on the counter for up to 3 days, in the fridge for up to 6 days, and in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Variations: substitute dried apricots for dried mango, or substitute pecans for hazelnuts, walnuts, or cashews.
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