Paleo Cashew & Apricot Granola Bars

I have been playing “Paleo Granola Test Kitchen” for nearly a month now. I have made loose, baked granola as well as many bar recipes, all of which required different types of binders. This is my favorite recipe so far, mostly because it doesn’t require any kind of oil as an ingredient. I plan to make this same recipe this week, except with the addition of almonds and substituting cranberries as the fruit…possibly cashew butter instead of almond butter. I’ll let you know!

Paleo Cashew & Apricot Granola Bars
makes 10 bars

1/2 C honey
2 T almond butter
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
3/4 C cashews
1/4 C sunflower seeds & petipas
1/2 C diced, dried apricots
1 C shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 glass baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. If you run the risk of any of the bar batter touching any bit of the glass pan, make sure to grease it very well.

In a small saucepan, melt honey. While honey is melting, spoon almond butter into a bowl and add the salt and cinnamon. Do not stir.

Using a food processor, or immersion blender like me, destroy your nuts and seeds. You want at least 2/3 of it to be ground down and mostly powdery; the rest should be medium sized pieces of cashew and some whole seeds. I really like a variety of textures. Add blended nuts and seeds to the bowl. Do not stir.

Dice your apricots small, into pieces about the size of peas. Add to the bowl. Do not stir.

Add coconut to the bowl. Do not stir.

Finally, drizzle your melted honey on top of all of the other ingredients in the bowl, and stir!!!

Pour, or a better word would be gloop, the batter into the prepared baking dish. You want to press the better down very well, making sure to pack all pieces and bits solidly into the dish. This will ensure that the bars pop easily out of the pan and cut cleanly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bars are golden brown. Let them cool in the baking pan for at least an hour, and make sure they are cooled completely before cutting.

These were so good that I ate them for breakfast and dessert every day this past week!