These Apricot Vanilla Cashew Bars Are Basically Dessert

When you’re craving something sweet for that 3 PM snack, it’s hard to avoid grabbing a cookie or candy bar. Aside from the negative impact on your waistline, those treats are not the best choice for your energy level and ability to focus. Instead, try to get your sweet fix with a healthier, more nutrient-rich snack that tastes just as delicious: apricot vanilla cashew bars.

They’re made with a simple combo of cashews, dried apricots, medjool dates, cashew butter and vanilla. These bars get all of their sweetness from natural sources like dried apricots and dates, and they don’t contain processed or refined sugar. That means, instead of an afternoon sugar crash, these protein- and fiber-filled bars will help you power through the rest of your day. And to add to the perks, the star ingredient, apricots, are a fantastic source of beta-carotene, which help promote eye health. Watch this video to learn the easy way to make these tasty apricot vanilla cashew bars.

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Begin by pulsing your cashews in a food processor until they’re finely chopped, with some chunks left for texture. Then add the apricots, dates, cashew butter, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Pulse all of these ingredients until they start to stick together. It’s important not to over-do the mixing here—you want some texture in order to keep the bars together.

Line a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan with parchment, and place the mixture inside. Use another piece of parchment to press the dough evenly into the pan. If you’re a coconut fan, sprinkle some dried, unsweetened coconut on top. Next, cover the pan with parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing. Once these snack bars have been cut up, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days, or frozen for up to a month.

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