Andy Bars

My nickname used to be Andy.

With this in mind, my husband christened my new energy bar recipe the "Andy Bar." For our fructose-forsaking, fungal-fearing family, the Andy Bar tastes like a candy bar. The sweetness comes from the dates. The nutrition comes from the chia seeds, soaked almonds, ginger, coconut, goji berries, and a whole host of things you can add to the recipe.

I owe this recipe to the maker of the Lara Bar. This bar combines nuts and dried fruit and is a hit in the health food market. Walmart now carries Lara Bars. The nuts in the Lara Bar aren't soaked, however, and once I understood the health benefits of soaked almonds, I was determined to make my own Lara Bar.

This recipe requires a food processor, something I purchased for the sole purpose of making these bars. Which leads me to wonder, "How have I lived without a food processor?" It truly is a wondrous tool.

My 12-year-old daughter Kaitlyn entered the Andy Bar recipe at the recent county fair. The judges raved, and gave her a purple ribbon in the health food category. These bars are appealing to everyone, even those unaccustomed to a fructose-forsaking diet.

Recipe for Andy Bars

1 - 1 1/2 c. soaked and dehydrated raw, organic almonds (unsoaked will work as well).

1/2 - 1 c. pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, shredded coconut, cinnamon, ginger, cloves or any other add-in of your choice.

(I'm partial to chia seeds. They are virtually tasteless and truly a superfood. Chia gel can even be used as an egg substitute. To make chia gel, combine 1/3 c. chia seeds with 2 c. water. Mix and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.)

1 c. chopped, pitted organic dates.

1 c. dried fruit of your choice. We like organic goji berries and mulberries.

The idea is to have slightly more than 2 cups of nuts, seeds, and add-ins like ginger and/or cinnamon, and 2 cups of dried fruit. I doubled the recipe in the picture below, and added some goji powder, dried raspberries, and more coconut with the dates for the dried fruit portion.

Process the dried fruit until it forms a ball. Set aside.

Process the nuts, seeds, and add-ins.

Add the dried fruit, one portion at a time.

Continue to process until the mixture sticks together. You can add small amounts of water (or lemon juice if desired) to achieve this. Press into an 8 X 8 pan. Refrigerate 15-30 minutes. Cut into bars.