Fed & Fit

Paleo Apricot Bars

Things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes I come home with mountains of fresh fruits and vegetables {feeding just two people here} convinced that it all will be eaten before the weekend. After a week of staying at work too late, “I don’t feel like cooking” nights, and that Thai soup I couldn’t live without, I’m left with limp unused produce.

How to turn unappealing almost-past-their-prime produce into really delicious eats? Add heat and either fat or sugar. Or both.

My fix for limp veggies is simple. I either toss in some bacon fat and roast for an immediate snack or I chop and freeze. I handle fruits a little differently. While berries freeze well, I prefer to use my other fruits at once. After I excitedly brought home a big bag of perky apricots, I watched them sit in my fruit bowl, getting slouchy and sad as the days ticked by. An emergency apricot dessert was in order.

As if they could read my mind, the incredible White on Rice Couple {Todd & Diane} recently published a recipe for Fresh Apricot Bars. If you’re not familiar with the White on Rice Couple, allow me to introduce you. They have a gorgeous food & life blog. I’ve admired their work for a long time and fantasize about attending one of their food photography workshops …one day.

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I paleo-ized T&D’s Fresh Apricot Bar by using almond meal instead of flour, unsweetened coconut instead of oats, and coconut sugar instead of refined/brown. I also subbed an apple brandy {Calvados} for the Grand Marnier and opted for grass-fed butter.

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These bars are incredibly easy and delicious. My sad little apricots are going down in history as one of the tastiest apricot treats to ever pass from my kitchen to the office breakroom.

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Enjoy!

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For starters, wash and halve your apricots. Also, if your oven seems to be powered by a mouse making fire with a toothpick and a magnifying glass {like mine}, then get a jump start and set your oven 350 F now. If your oven is from the last three decades, you can probably wait a few minutes.

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Remove the pits and chop up into chunks.

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Measure out about 1.5 cups of fresh apricot chunks.

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In a medium/small saucepan over medium heat, toss in the apricots.

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Meet my sugar mama! I crack myself up. Really though, get you some coconut sugar. I found mine near the bulk/health food section in the grocery store. It’s good stuff. I’ve even gotten Austin to forgo his morning coffee cancer packet {the dreaded pink one} for this tasty stuff. I still think black coffee is best, but he’s working into this whole paleo world with baby steps.

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Add 2 Tbl of coconut sugar to your apricots.

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Stir them together.

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Next, grab a bottle of your favorite brandy, orange liquor {Grand Marnier}, or whiskey. I really like this stuff. Calvados is an apple brandy whose most memorable flavor contribution was with my Thanksgiving Stuffing {specifically Pancetta Apricot Stuffing with a Brandy Pecan Glaze} that the NBC Today Show highlighted a while back.

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After the apricot chunks look like they’ve started to melt into each other, add 2 tsp of the brandy.

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Once your apricots look something like this {mashing with your spoon is totally acceptable}, pull them off the heat.

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Pour the hot chunky apricot jam into your favorite blender.

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I really like to use my NutriBullet for small batches of blended goodies

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Blend until smooth and dreamy.

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Now place it in the freezer so it can cool while you make the crust.

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I found this pound of Trader Joe’s Almond Meal on sale and couldn’t resist. Although I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal for cookies and bread, TJ’s more coarse almond meal works great for crumbles, pies, and breading on meat.

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Measure out 1.5 cups into a large bowl.

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Add ¼ cup of coconut sugar.

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Add ¼ tsp of baking soda.

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Add ½ tsp of kosher salt.

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Pretty?

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Mix it together with a whisk.

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Grab some butta. I just about peed my pants {…over share?} when I saw that my local grocery store started carrying Kerrygold’s grass-fed butter.

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Measure out ½ a cup of butter into the dry ingredients.

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Time to get messy! Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the almond meal mixture.

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Keep pinching until it looks like this.

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Grab some unsweetened shredded coconut.

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Making sure that your hands are still embarrassingly covered in schtuff, measure out ½ a cup into the buttered-up almond meal mixture.

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Combine it with your fingers too.

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Set aside a 5×10 metal loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. Okay, I guess the parchment paper is optional …but it makes cleanup and chopping so much easier. If you don’t use parchment paper, butta the pan.

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Add about 2/3 of your buttered and shredded coconut-ed almond meal mixture to the bottom of the pan.

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Pat it down.

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Until it looks like this.

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Now grab your apricot jam out of the fridge and give it a stir.

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Pour it over the patted-down crust.

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Glump!

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Spread it out to even thickness {and then lick the spoon and every last bit of jam left in the jar}.

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Crumble the remainder of the almond meal crust over the jam.

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Until it looks like this. Bake it at 350 F for 45 minutes.

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Ta-daaa!! Let it cool on the counter and then in the refrigerator.

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Once it’s cooled, pull it out of the pan. Don’t you just love parchment paper?

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Chop the bars into your favorite size, plate, and enjoy.

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NOM!

Paleo Apricot Bars

Adapted from the White on Rice Couple‘s Fresh Apricot Bars

Makes 10 bars

Ingredients:

Apricot Filling:

1.5 cups Fresh Apricots

2 Tbl Coconut Sugar

2 tsp Brandy

Crust:

1.5 cups Almond Meal {coarse almond meal works great here}

¼ cup Coconut Sugar

¼ tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Kosher Salt

½ cup cold Grass-Fed Butter

½ cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

Directions:

Apricot Filling:

Cut the apricots into chunks and add them to a medium/small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the coconut sugar, stir, and cook until the apricot chunks have started to melt into each other. Add the brandy, stir, and let simmer for a few more minutes.

When the apricots look smooth, take them off the heat and blend until smooth. Place in the freezer while you make the crust.

Bars:

Heat oven to 350 F.

Whisk the almond meal, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cold butter and pinch with your fingers to mix. Add the shredded coconut and pinch to combine.

Line a 5×10” metal loaf pan with parchment paper. Add 2/3 of the crust to the pan and pat down. Pour the apricot jam over the crust then spread out until it’s even. Crumble the remainder of the crust over the jam.

Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.

Let the bars cool and chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Enjoy!

Time: 15 min prep | Bake: 45 minutes

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8 Responses to “Paleo Apricot Bars”

  1. #
    1
    Ashleighposted July 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Wow, seriously?! I want these right now!!

    • fedandfit replied: — July 19th, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

      Make you some, girl! You’re only an hour away ;)

  2. #
    2
    Sockmonkeys Kitchenposted July 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    oh man these look fantastic! And the fact they’re paleo?!!! YUMMMMMMMMMM! Thanks for giving me a great idea for my sad apricots!

    • fedandfit replied: — July 19th, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

      It’s my pleasure!

  3. #
    3
    Corrie Anneposted July 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Those look fantastic!! Pinned so many great recipes from your blog today!!

    • fedandfit replied: — July 19th, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

      Thank you!! I hope you like them :)

  4. #
    4
    Chloe Chaseposted July 23, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Looks great. I love the detailed photo instructions. Thanks.

    • fedandfit replied: — July 23rd, 2013 @ 9:31 am

      Thank you! I try to operate under the “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” mode …meaning, my posts now have detailed photo instructions because that’s exactly what I need before I try something new :) Hope you like the bars!

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