Apricot Oat + Seed Bars with Cacao Sweet Nibs dipped in Toasted Coconut
Creating an Oat and Seed Bar would seem like an easy task but for me it was actually quite daunting. My creative brain likes to shoot out in a thousand different directions presenting me with endless options. So it usually takes a second to gather my bearings and choose a path on which to focus. For this food story I brought together Oats, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia Seeds, Shredded Coconut, Apricots, and Cacao Sweet Nibs. All together these nutritious friends provide a clean healthy long burning fuel used to naturally boost energy. Doesn't get much better. Continue reading below to follow the adventure of these delicious Apricot Bars:)
Here's what you'll need to get started
2 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Chia Seeds
1 cup chopped Dried Organic Un-Sulfured Apricots
16 whole Dried Organic Un-Sulfured Apricots
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Honey (or Agave to keep it Vegan)
2 tbsp Dark Muscovado Sugar
First start by soaking the 16 whole Dried Apricots(make sure no random seeds remain inside dried fruit) in water for 15 minutes. Then place in a Mini Prep and add 1/4 of the Maple Syrup. Blitz till it forms a paste. Remove and set aside. Next, let's do some toasting. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Add the Oats, 1 cup of the Shredded Coconut, Sunflower Seeds and Pumpkin Seeds to a baking sheet and mix together. I prepared a video below of this process as it is actually quite relaxing. So let's all watch and have a lovely Zen moment…(preparing food from a centered space always adds a beautiful touch of Love to the overall process).
Now place your tray of relaxed goodies in the oven and toast for 20 minutes tossing every 10 (I like mine extra toasty so I usually go an additional 5, but keep your eye on it). While these are toasting, place the other cup of Shredded Coconut on a separate baking sheet and spread out. These will go in to toast for 10-12 minutes. I usually pop them in on the last half of the Seed and Oat toast so everything finishes up together, but definitely do a quick toss on these after the first 5 minutes. Next, place the Honey, Dark Muscovado Sugar, Coconut Oil, and 1/4 cup of prepared Apricot Paste into a sauce pan and bring up to heat just to incorporate. Remove and whisk in the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. Set aside. Take the remaining 1/4 cup of Apricot Paste and whisk together with the remaining 1/4 cup of Maple Syrup to create an Apricot Syrup. Set Aside.
Now it should be time to pull everything out of the oven. Set aside to COOL before handling. Once cooled, place the single pan of Toasted Shredded Coconut in a small bowl and set aside. Place the toasted mixture of Oats, Seeds, and Shredded Coconut in a large bowl and add in the Chia Seeds, Cacao Sweet Nibs, and chopped Apricots. Mix together. I usually like to work the Apricots into the mixture so have a little fun with this process. Once combined, add the liquid mixture. Really get in there with your hands and work it all together. Now place a sheet of parchment paper inside a 9 x 9 baking pan (I usually like to make it big enough to cover the sides as well) and transfer your mixture. Press mixture into pan using your fingers or the back of a spatula till it's compressed into every corner. Continue pressing down till it's packed nicely. Smooth the top and you're ready to bake. Place in already heated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few hours(or overnight) before cutting.
Take the cut bars and brush/dip half with the Apricot Syrup then coat with the Toasted Shredded Coconut…then...EAT EM UP. Enjoy!!:)