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A little more than a week ago, I hosted a simple brunch at my house with two of my friends. At least, I thought it was going to be a simple brunch. It turned out to be a surprise baby shower for me, complete with lots of balloons, fresh flowers, gifts, and delicious food. Two days later they did it again with an online baby shower, and I spent a pretty part of the day tearing up over how thoughtful my friends are.
I certainly wasn’t expecting any sort of shower for this baby – old-fashioned etiquette is that only the first baby gets a shower – and I found myself humbled that people would go out of their way to take care of me and the little guy inside. You see, it has taken me a long time to find “my people”. Of my high school and college friends combined, I’m really only still friends with three of them (husband not included), and “work friends” always fade away once the job ends. I couldn’t really connect to the moms in my local group. But thanks to this little space in the world and everything that came with it, I’ve got people I hope to be going out for cocktails with well into my high-waisted, grey-haired years.
One of the most wonderful things about the shower(s) was that everyone brought food for my freezer, so we could not worry about what to make for dinner in those crazy days after we get back from the hospital. They covered breakfast, lunch, and dinner for many days, and I am forever grateful.
With only a few weeks left (and the baby threatening to fall out, as my midwife said) I’ve been putting myself to the task of filling the freezer even more. I ordered some frozen Bola Pizza, made a double batch of blueberry muffins, and today threw together a pan of these fruit and nut bars.
Similar to KIND bars, these fruit and nut bars are incredibly easy to make. Just choose your nuts and dried fruit, add some binder, and these are ready. Because they are not baked, I store them in the freezer to ensure freshness and keep them as solid as possible – they will fall apart if you leave them at room temperature.
Note: Many people do not consider honey to be a vegan food, so I’m not claiming them as such. They are, however, gluten free. Sorry nut-free peeps, this obviously won’t be your snack.
You can also add flaked coconut to these if you like, but I found it made the bars overly sweet, so cut back on the dried fruit (or omit completely) if you use it.
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- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts, optional, swap in more nuts if you prefer
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- Pinch salt
- Prepare an 8×8 pan by cutting a piece of parchment to fit and setting inside, with two long edges hanging over.
- Combine nuts, hemp hearts, and cherries in a food processor and pulse to chop. Don’t chop too much; you want a mixture of large and small bits. Pour into a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine coconut oil, peanut butter, honey, and salt. Stir to mix as they melt together, and let simmer about 5 minutes.
- Pour liquid into nut mixture and stir well to thoroughly incorporate. Dump it all into your prepared pan and, using a spoon, smoosh it down into the pan so it is evenly packed. Fold over the parchment edges so the bars are covered and put into the fridge until hardened, at least an hour.
- Remove from pan and cut into individual bars, then store in a freezer-safe container.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
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