Amazing Amaranth Apple Bars

 

Amazing Amaranth Apple BarsThese wholesome snack bars are gluten free, use dates and apple as the sweetener, and contain both fiber and protein for balanced nutrition. They can be made nut free.

 

Prep time: 30 minutes total

Cooking time: 0

Refrigeration time:1 hour

Yield: 8 snack bars

 

Ingredients:

10 Medjool dates, pitted

½ cup raw sunflower seeds

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 apple, cored and cut into chunks

2 tsp cinnamon

½ cup raw walnuts

½ cup popped amaranth (popping instructions below)

¼ cup dried cranberries or goji berries

1 – 2 Tbsp of whole grain gluten free flour (such as amaranth, almond, quinoa, buckwheat, chickpea or coconut).  

Directions:

  • Line and 8X8 inch cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor except cranberries or goji berries and the flour. Process until the mixture is chunky and sticking together; add cranberries or goji berries and process briefly to mix.
  • Add the flour and mix by hand until it is all mixed in. The mixture should stick together and be semi-moist (not too soft and wet).
  • Put the mixture into the prepared 8X8 cake pan. Press the mixture into the pan with a spatula or the back of a spoon so it is compacted, and evenly spread.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into 8 bars. Store the bars in the fridge.

 

Nut Free Variation:  To make the bars nut free – simply omit the ½ cup of nuts and increase the sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds by ½ cup. 

 

Popped Amaranth

Use a dry frying pan with a lid. The pan needs to be very hot.

Popped Amaranth

Sprinkle a small amount of amaranth (from 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp maximum) into the very hot frying pan; put the lid on (or it will pop all over the stove). Shake the pan gently to keep the popping amaranth from burning. It should start to pop almost immediately (if it doesn’t – the pan isn’t hot enough). It takes only a minute or so to pop the amaranth. Place the popped amaranth in a bowl to cool. Note: once the amaranth is toasted or turns light brown, it won’t pop. Be careful not to burn the amaranth.

Popped amaranth has a pleasant nutty taste and can be used in snack mixes, sprinkled on fruit or sprinkled on yogurt.