Oat & Apricot Bars

These fruit and grain bars are free of processed sugar and full of flavor. They make a great snack on the road when healthy options are hard to find, and they are also one of the least messy treats you can give the kids in the car.

Makes 9 bars.


3 cups rolled oats

cups chopped pitted dates

¾ cup unsweetened applesauce

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract (optional)

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1½ cups dried unsulfured apricots

1 cup water, or more as needed

Grated zest of ½ orange

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine the oats, dates, applesauce, vanilla (if using), and cinnamon in a food processor, and process until the mixture forms a cohesive ball. Remove the dough from the processor and press two-thirds of it into the bottom of a nonstick 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the apricots, water, and orange zest in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until most of the water has evaporated and the apricots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the apricots and any remaining water to the food processor and puree until smooth and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Spread the apricot puree over the cooled crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the apricot puree and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before cutting into 9 bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Chef’s Note:

You can replace the apricots with dates for a different flavor. Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract instead of the orange zest.