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Recipes » Snacks » Oat & Apricot Bars
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Reprinted from The China Study Family Cookbook (BenBella Books, 2017).

3 cups rolled oats

1 ½ cups chopped pitted dates

¾ cup unsweetened applesauce

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ cups dried unsulfured apricots

1 cup water, or more as needed

1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)

¼ tsp sea salt (optional)

Grated zest of ½ orange

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 Combine the oats, dates, applesauce, vanilla (if using), cinnamon, and sea salt (if using) in a food processor, and process until the mixture forms a cohesive ball.

3 Remove the dough from the processor and press two-thirds of it into the bottom of a nonstick 9-inch square baking pan.

4 Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

5 Meanwhile, combine the apricots, water, and orange zest in a small saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until most of the water has evaporated and the apricots are tender, about 15 minutes.

6 Transfer the apricots and any remaining water to the food processor and puree until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

7 Spread the apricot puree over the cooled crust.

8 Crumble the remaining dough over the apricot puree and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before cutting into 9 bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

You can replace the apricots with dates for a different flavor. Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract instead of the orange zest.

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