Raw Buckwheat Fruit Bars

Who doesn’t love a good granola bar? If you’re like us, you’ve grown up with them as a staple in the “healthy snack” department. And let’s face it, there’s nothing more convenient than grabbing one of these pre-packaged bars as we’re running out the door.

Raw Buckwheat Fruit Bars The bad news is that food-marketing masters have done a good job convincing us that these are a healthy choice. With their claims for 100% whole grains, low fat and high protein, surely this is a better choice than a croissant, right?

Get out your magnifying glass; it’s time to be a label detective!

While it’s true that store-bought granola bars can have some healthy ingredients in them, they often also contain preservatives, high amounts of sugar and allergens – in the form of corn and soy oils. One Nature Valley Honey & Oat bar (you know – the crunchy, “healthy” one in the little green package) has nearly the same amount of sugar, less fiber, and half the protein of a butter croissant!

While we totally get the value of having a store-brought bar on hand (we like Lara Bars the best), it’s important to be discerning so as to not fall into the granola bar trap!

The benefit of making your own hearty snack bar is that you decide what goes into it. Today’s recipe takes a lesser-known “grain” and gives it center stage. Buckwheat groats are the unroasted seeds of the buckwheat plant. Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat but is related to the leafy greens, sorrel and rhubarb. Buckwheat is commonly ground into flour, to make pancakes and noodles, but the groats contain more protein, a huge dose of magnesium and can be used just like oats.

These bars are easy to make and actually taste a lot like oatmeal cookies! My kids love them too and are calling them “Lara Bars.”

One thing to mention is that since they aren’t packed with fillers and preservatives, they are less portable because they tend to soften quickly once removed from the freezer or refrigerator. But in my humble opinion, a softer healthy bar is better than a stiff sugary snack any day!

Enjoy and be sure to leave me a comment below. What do you think of this granola bar makeover? Does it pass the test?

With buckwheat and sticky fingers,

Jules_Sig_pink

Raw Buckwheat Fruit Bars

Yield: 12 mini bars

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup raw buckwheat groats
  • ¾ cup packed dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup packed dried apricots, minced

Directions:
Line a bread or loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. Add buckwheat groats to a small bowl and add enough warm water to cover. Stir to mix. Let soak for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, pulse dates and coconut oil together until the dates become shiny bits. Set aside.

After 1 hour, drain and rinse the buckwheat groats. Place the groats into a nut milk bag (or cheesecloth or clean dishtowel). Stand over a sink and wring the towel to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Add the groats, cinnamon, sea salt and nutmeg to the date mixture in the food processor. Pulse until well blended but not a paste. Add the dried apricots and pulse a few more times to mix.

Spoon mixture into prepared bread pan. Cut another sheet of parchment paper to fit over the mixture and use it press the mixture into a flat, uniform sheet. Place entire pan in freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Using the liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Uncover and cut into 12 mini bars. Store in freezer in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Bars may be stacked with a sheet of parchment paper between each level.

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Showing 11 comments
  • Megan

    These sound great! Do you think a person could substitute goji berries for the apricots in this recipe? I am new to using goji berries, and so I don’t know if they would be sweet enough for this mix.
    Thanks!
    Megan

    • Julie Peláez

      Hey Megan! I don’t think you can substitute out goji berries but I think you could add a handful in. Let me know how it turns out. :)

  • Amanda Guthrie

    Hi Jules,
    These sound amazing! I would love to try them, however I have a food sensitivity to dates. :(
    Any idea on if there would be a possible substitute for the dates?
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Amanda

    • Julie Peláez

      Hi Amanda! How about dried bananas (you may need to soak them for an hour and then drain) or a combination for more apricots and raisins? Keep me posted and let me know how they turn out.

  • Melissa Mann

    Without sounding silly do you eat this frozen straight out of the freezer or defrost 1st? Thank you

    • Jules Peláez

      There are no silly questions, Melissa! :) I think you could do either but I prefer to let them thaw out a touch.

  • Kylie

    I made these last night. They are delicious. I’ve popped them in the lunch boxes for the kids today. I’ll be making a second batch to keep in the freezer. Yummmmm

  • Julie Imig

    Do you know the nutritional information for these?

    • Jo and Jules
      Jo and Jules

      Hi Julie, We don’t know the breakdown. When we develop a recipe, we look at whole foods and nutrient density. When we focus on that, we typically don’t worry about the macro breakdown. Was there a nutrient you were looking for? We might be able to direct you to a recipe that would be best. XO, Jo and Jules

  • Allison Bratnick

    How long do these keep?

    • Jo and Jules
      Jo and Jules

      Hi Allison, These tasty bars can last 5 to 7 days in the fridge or you can freeze them for later and bring them out in batches. If you try them, let us know what you think. XO, Jo & Jules

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