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Homemade Apple Pie Snack Bars

April 8, 2012

I’m going to admit something to you. It’s kind of a big deal. Please don’t judge me.

I’m not eating sugar.

Don’t worry! It’s not forever! Just for the month of April. You see, good people, my name is Carly and I am an addict. (Hi, Carly!) Unlike many people who have dessert only on special occasions or after stressful days, I have dessert every day…sometimes more than once a day. And while I don’t really think it’s a bad thing to have a little something sweet every day (I mean, come on), it might not be so good how much I need my sweets after every meal. And so I’ve pledged not to eat any refined or added sugars this month. Applesauce, dried fruit, fresh oranges, these will be my treats.

Of course, you can’t just quit an addiction cold turkey. You need to ease into it.

In search of some naturally sweet treats to curb my cravings, I came across Larabars. Have you heard of them? They are snack bars made out of nothing but fruit and nuts. Nutritious and delicious. They also run about $2 a bar…which can add up fast. Luckily, recipes abound on the internet as more and more people are recreating these tasty bars at home.

Here’s my flavor of choice:Apple Pie. Dried apples, dates, walnuts and spices blended together in the food processor. Soft, chewy, sweet and filling. Snack time!

Apple Pie Snack Bars

© Copyright 2012 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart

Yield: 3 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apples, roughly chopped (make sure to get the pliable, soft kind, not the crunchy apple chips)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of allspice and ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • water, as needed

Directions:

  1. Add the chopped dates and apples to the bowl of your food processor. Blend until very finely chopped, almost to a paste.
  2. Add the walnuts and blend until the nuts are finely ground.
  3. Add the spices and salt, and blend to combine.
  4. If the mixture is too dry, drizzle in a tiny amount of water while the food processor is on until the mixture clings together and starts to form a ball.
  5. Remove the mixture to a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Use the wrap to shape the mixture into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick or so. Use a greased knife to cut the rectangle into bars (the size and shape doesn’t really matter, so don’t beat yourself up about it!).
  6. Wrap the bars in plastic or wax paper, label and refrigerate. Just grab one when you’re heading out the door and you have a healthy, sweet snack when you need it! Enjoy!

Obviously, there are tons are variations possible here. Replace the apples with another dried fruit, the walnuts with a different nut. I plan to try apricots and almonds, pineapple and coconut, maybe even peanut butter and banana!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2012 7:18 pm

    Those sound delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    I’m with you on the sweets though… Good luck on the challenge!

  2. April 8, 2012 7:28 pm

    Wow, those seem easier to make than I had imagined! Thanks for sharing!

  3. April 8, 2012 10:20 pm

    excellent vehicle for an old school favorite!

  4. April 9, 2012 2:02 am

    Wow, no sugar for a month? I think I’d crack within a day… Have you tried agave nectar? I’m new to cooking with it, but it works really well in place of sugar I think. Anyway, good luck!

    • April 9, 2012 7:37 am

      I love agave, but it’s still an added sugar so I’m avoiding it as well. To be honest, I’ve cheated a few times already but I’m pretty proud of how well I’m doing so far!

  5. April 9, 2012 5:17 am

    Not wild about dates, but may have to try this combination. Trying to curb my sweet tooth as well and make healthier snack choices. Thanks.

  6. Tisha Potter permalink
    April 9, 2012 6:02 am

    Hi Carly, Just in time after a meringue Easter. Sounds perfect , Tisha P

  7. April 9, 2012 7:20 am

    EVERYTHING IS AS LOVELY AS YOU ARE…..

    I ALWAYS GET HUNGRY READING YOUR BLOG!!

  8. Edie permalink
    April 9, 2012 1:51 pm

    Can’t wait to try these. Keep up the fight against that sugar. It’ll get easier. You could make these with pears, etc. too I bet.

  9. April 9, 2012 4:27 pm

    Hmm, I bet I could go without sugar a month…. Well, better not make that bet. These look great though.

  10. April 12, 2012 11:31 am

    Oh Carly, these are amazing! I am super anxious to read (and try) the recipes for the other combination’s listed here… LOVE!

  11. April 16, 2012 5:32 pm

    Wow! They look AMAZING! And good on you for going without sugar – It’s incredibly hard to do, but worth it. If you want some tips/recipes, Sarah Wilson is all about being sugar free – she’s even written an e-book about it http://www.sarahwilson.com.au

  12. zippitydooodah permalink
    April 16, 2012 7:16 pm

    Reblogged this on What a Wonderful Day! and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  13. April 24, 2012 9:31 am

    Great recipe and good luck on you sugar fast. I gave up refined sugar for Lent this year (and I am 8 mos preggers) and it was one of the hardest things I have done. I feel your pain, however, I can tell you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will feel great, and when you start eating it again, you will realize how little you really missed it. It won’t taste as good as you remembered it tasting and you won’t crave it nearly as much.

    Best of Luck!

  14. Amanda permalink
    April 25, 2012 6:26 pm

    This is seriously delectable! I love food and my waistline is showing that! But these look amazing to try!! Thanks for sharing! I’m trying recipes as an ametur blogger. Would love to know what you think! Thanks! http://www.amandamsherman.wordpress.com

  15. May 2, 2012 2:54 am

    Is there spot for one more in the SA? Can I join?

    I have to admit, I’m not one for health bars. But then I read “apple pie” and saw how gorgeously sticky they look. I have to try this out sometime!

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