I have to admit that I have never actually had a Kind Fruit and Nut Bar, but I’ve ogled them at the store. They’re just my kind of snack – lightly sweetened with lots of seeds, nuts and dried fruit in them. I was inspired to try making a version of Kind Bars when I came across a recipe recently on Leite’s Culinaria from the book Power Hungry: The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook by Camilla V. Saulsbury.
The great thing about this recipe is that it is infinitely customizable to personal taste and pantry stock. I made the bars with cacao nibs, pistachios, toasted sesame seeds, toasted sunflower seeds, puffed millet, dried cherries and brown rice syrup. I love how these came out and I think they’ll be a great snack to keep in the freezer for hikes. They’re very lightly sweet and the flavor of the nuts and seeds really comes through. The chocolate taste from the nibs is subtle, and I like that these don’t taste like a candy bar. My hubby is trying to convince me to dip them in chocolate next. He may be on to something…
I’m entering this recipe in January’s We Should Cocoa challenge. The We Should Cocoa challenge, managed by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog, is a great excuse to make a chocolate treat and to use our creativity. The idea is to make something with chocolate each month. We can use any sort of chocolate or cocoa substance and use any ingredient that we like, but we must include the special ingredient or theme selected by the host.
Linzi of Lancashire Food is hosting this month and challenged us to use chocolate with a New Ingredient – one that is either new to us or that we’ve never paired with chocolate before. I’m covering both of those options with the brown rice syrup in this recipe. I was pleased with how well it stuck the ingredients together without being too sweet or hiding the flavor of the nuts and seeds.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- ½ cup pistachios
- ½ cup cacao nibs
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
- ⅓ cup puffed millet
- ½ cup chopped dried cherries
- ⅓ cup brown rice syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon ﬁne sea salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Stir together the nuts, cacao nibs, seeds, puffed millet and cherries together in a large bowl.
- Add the syrup and salt (if using) to the nut mixture and stir until evenly coated.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
- Use a piece of greased parchment or plastic wrap to press the mixture down evenly into the pan. Discard the paper/plastic.
- Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until slightly browned at the edges but still somewhat soft at the center. Let cool 20 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.
- Using the liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 10 - 12 bars. Let cool completely.
- Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 1 month (if frozen, let thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour prior to biting into it). You may want to individually wrap them as they are a bit sticky.