Monday, February 20, 2012

Fruit & Nut Snack Bites


Ever since I first made these snack bites a few months ago, they have been a complete staple in this house. They're great for a quick breakfast if you're running late for work, a mid-afternoon snack, or even an appetizer when dinner is taking longer than expected. I have made many batches, and keep them in the freezer so they're always on hand. They're great both frozen and room temperature.

I did a previous quick post about these, but it was under the somewhat misleading title of "No-Sugar Cereal Bars". While it's true that I don't add any sugar, they aren't completely sugar-free, since it is in both the peanut butter and fruit. So here is a brand new post, with a better title and lots of pictures! The idea for the original recipe came from Snack Girl


The ingredients:
(Note, I made a double-batch of the original recipe, because I like to make sure we are stocked up! The recipe below represents the doubled ingredients.)
  • 1 cup peanut butter 
  • 4 bananas, mashed (sorry there are only two in the photo! I actually used 4.)
  • 1 cup nuts. I like to use slivered almonds. No chopping necessary!
  • 3 cups total of dried fruits (blueberries, pomegranate craisins, cherries, cranberries, apricots, etc.)
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • A few pinches of cinnamon 

The Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash 4 bananas into a large bowl.
  3. Add 1 cup of peanut butter.
  4. Add 1 cup of nuts (either slivered nuts, or other nuts that you've chopped).
  5. Add 3 cups of dried fruits.
  6. Add 2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats.
  7. Add 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
  8. Add a few pinches of cinnamon.
  9. Stir all together well.
  10. Spray cupcake pan with cooking spray, and scoop between 1-2 Tbsp of mixture into each cup.
  11. Bake for about 15 minutes, then cool.
  12. Keep in the refrigerator or freezer. They won't last long!
The Pictures:


Start by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees.

Break up 4 bananas (I think there were only 2 so far in this picture), 


And then mash up thoroughly. This definitely works best with very ripe bananas!


Measure out 1 cup of peanut butter. 



Mix peanut butter into the bananas. 


Measure 1 cup of slivered almonds. 


Add almonds to peanut butter and banana mixture.


Measure out one cup of each fruit you want to use. I usually use 3 different kinds of fruit. I've found that the tiny fruits are easiest. No chopping necessary!


Here, I added dried blueberries. 


Next, I used this "tropical trio" of fruits (pineapple, papaya, and mango). They were kind of a pain because they needed to be chopped. 


After dicing into small pieces, I added them to the mixture. 


Next came the pomegranate Craisins. These are pretty delicious. I think Ocean Spray makes 3 or 4 different flavors of Craisins (cranberries infused with various fruit juices), and they all work well in this recipe.


Toss those in there with the rest. 


Next, measure out 2 cups of old fashioned oats. (Old fashioned is better than the "quick oats", because they're bigger. It allows them to bind with the other ingredients more easily.)


Measure out 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and pour that on top of the mixture.


Then, sprinkle on a few pinches of cinnamon.


Here are all the goodies, before mixing...


...and after stirring them together really well. 


Spray the bottom of a cupcake pan with cooking spray, and then place a scoop of the mixture into each one. I like to use my cookie dough scooper - it seems to work the best, since this mixture is very sticky!


This batch made about 24 bites. I make them pretty big, but if you're planning to feed kids with them, you might want to make them a little smaller and more bite-size.


After 15 minutes, they look about like this. 


Let them cool and harden for a few minutes, then package them up into containers and pop them in the freezer, so they're always ready to grab and go! I got these containers at the dollar store - I think they were about 20 cents each. 


Here's how many my batch made. (I filled the first container when they were still warm, so they fogged it up a bit.) 


Enjoy!



 Like I said, these are an absolute staple in this house now. 


What is your favorite homemade snack?

2 comments:

  1. I'm going to make these in my mini muffin pans for the kids school lunches (and afternoon snack). :)

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    Replies
    1. I just got a mini muffin pan last week, specifically so I could make these more bite-sized next time. :) I hope you guys like them!

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