These cherry almond raisin bars make a great snack or quick breakfast! The base is made from almond flour and oat flour sweetened with coconut sugar. It has a gooey dried fruit topping made from raisins, dried cherries, applesauce, and almonds with just a drop of almond extract to amplify the nuttiness. To top it all off, you can add anything your heart desires; fresh fruit, crunchy nuts, or a drizzle of dark chocolate.

Cherry Almond Raisin Bars [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Serves

15-25

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Ingredients

For the Base:

  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats, ground into flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • Scant 1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour

For the Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds, plus 3 tablespoons water, combined then set aside to thicken
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/5 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the Optional Toppings:

  • Fresh cherries
  • Whole Brazil nuts
  • Crushed walnuts
  • Gold leaf (optional)
  • Dark chocolate (optional)
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Preparation

To Make the Base:

  1. Line a square baking tray with greaseproof paper and set aside.
  2. Place the ground almonds, ground oats, coconut sugar, flax seeds, coconut oil, and flour into a food processor/blender and pulse until fully combined.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the lined/greased tin and press down until smooth and even.
  4. Place the base into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the base is baking, prepare the topping.

To Make the Topping:

  1. Wash, peel, and chop the roughly chop the Apples and place them into a deep/large pan along with a squeeze of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and enough water to cover the apples.
  2. Cook until partly soft.
  3. Drain the apples from the water and place into a blender/food processor.
  4. Whizz up until smooth and set aside.
  5. Mix together the ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and allow to thicken up.
  6. This will take around 10 minutes.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, add the thickened flax mixture, apple purée, maple syrup, ground almonds, and almond extract, then stir together until combined.
  8. Sprinkle the raisins and dried cherries on the base and cover with the topping mixture.

To Make the Bars:

  1. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  2. Place baking tray on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully before removing from the tray.
  3. Slice into squares and serve.
  4. These squares should be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  5. Before serving, leave at room temperature for 5 minutes as this allows the coconut oil to soften slightly.
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