Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cinnamon Ginger Sea Salt Energy Bars (Gluten-Free and No-Bake)

Most gluten-free energy bars rely on dried fruit and nuts, and in my experience tend to be overly sweet. These snack bars are made from a very flexible dried fruit and nut base, but the combination of cinnamon, sea salt, ginger, and dark chocolate makes them something special.

The recipe is extremely forgiving, so have fun with substitutions. These are a great way to ease back into the post-holiday working life. For those of you still in airports, I carried the bars on my flights yesterday. They held up very well.

1 1/2 cups dried apricots
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
Cinnamon (to taste, but I recommend using copious amounts!)
Ginger (I used powdered but dried or candied would be wonderful)
Sea Salt (to taste, but you really want the salt to cut through the sweetness of the dried fruit)
Handful of dark chocolate chips (about 2 oz. dark chocolate)

Optional: Agave, honey, or coconut oil (just a small drizzle of one for moisture purposes)

Grind your dried fruit and nuts in a food processor until the mixture is fairly fine. Add cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt to taste. If you need a bit more moisture, drizzle in some agave, honey, or coconut oil.

Press the mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle or spread over the loaf. Refrigerate until the mixture firms (30 minutes or so). Remove from loaf pan and cut into 12 squares. Store in a glass container or wrapped individually in foil or wax paper. I recommend keeping these refrigerated or enjoying them from the freezer, but they are sturdy even after a few hours of travel.

Food Allergies and Ethics: Gluten-free and vegan (so long as you check your dark chocolate).