about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Homemade Fruit and Nut Bars.

Go figure that I’m at the end of my pregnancy, about to embark another another major life (and schedule!) change, and yet I find myself suddenly drawn back to the kitchen.  Maybe it’s nesting, maybe it’s the change in seasons – either way I’ve been having fun cooking, eating, and occasionally even photographing and documenting.

With limited time and convenience foods around every corner, it’s easy to fall into the trap of spending more money and buying more packaging for quick grab-n-go snacks like granola bars.  Rather than plunk down another $2 per bar this week, I decided to take a stab at making my own.

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

These weren’t really a direct attempt to replicate any one bar, but if I had to pick I’d say they are closest to KIND bars (our favorites!).  I’m certainly not the first person ever to recreate a popular snack bar, but this was my first time trying and I was really happy with how they turned out.  Why didn’t I do it sooner?

Making my own not only allowed me to save money, but it also gave me the opportunity to add healthy boosts like chia and hemp seeds that the store-bought version might be lacking.  These are definitely being added to our weekly meal prep list!

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (12-14 bars)

  • 1 cup whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup walnut pieces, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup organic brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


These are ridiculously simple to make, and now that I know that I’m hoping to throw together a big batch each weekend to keep in our pantry all week long.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and get started by measuring out the almonds and walnuts. It is important to note that these measurements were taken when the nuts were still whole, not after they had been chopped (same goes for dried fruit).

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

Add all of the nuts, dried fruit, and seeds to a big bowl, and stir to combine.  You can sub in (and out!) whatever fruit and nuts you prefer and have on hand, but my advice would be to not skip the ginger. It gives a nice, unexpected punch to an otherwise relatively predictable flavor combination.

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

Stir in almond meal and pour brown rice syrup over the entire mixture. Stir thoroughly until the mixture is sticky and all components appear to have at least some syrup coating. You want it to be well mixed so it will hold together well after cooking!

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil, leaving excess that hangs over the edges (you will need this to lift the bars out afterward). Spray or grease the foil so that nothing will stick.

Pour the fruit and nut mixture into the pan and press down so that the mixture is tightly packed into the pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

After 20 minutes, the mixture will not appear to be set, but that’s okay. Pull it out and let it cool on the counter for about 15 minutes as is. Once that time has passed, the mixture should be set up and starting to harden a bit more. Use the excess foil to lift the entire mixture from the pan, and transfer to a cutting board.

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

Slice into even bars, but do not attempt to remove them from the foil just yet. They are still sticky and flimsy as they continue to harden, but you want to get them cut before they are too hard and cause breakage.

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

Allow bars to cool completely and harden, and then they should remove easily from the foil.  Resist the urge to peel them off early, or they will fall apart due to not being completely set and hardened.  You might have to hide them from tiny fingers.

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

Store with wax paper between them in an airtight container.  Pack for snacks, lunches, and quick energy boosts throughout the day!

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

I’ve been putting these in my diaper bag all week, one for each of us.  They serve as a great healthy snack with a controlled amount of sugar, which is important to me as as both a mom, and as someone who tries to be mindful of her own snacking.

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

I was happy that they hardened up well and held together nicely, making them easy to transport and causing very little mess.  Cullen absolutely could not get enough, and for a kid that would be happy to survive solely on toast, I was happy to see him getting good healthy fats and protein from things like nuts, chia, and hemp seeds. 

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

These are easily customizable as long as you stick to the same basic ratios.  Try a different sweetener (but make sure it’s sticky enough to hold together!), add chocolate chips or coconut flakes, make a tropical version using dried mango, pineapple, and papaya.  There are so many ways to make these different, and yet still delicious.

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

And make sure to share a few with friends.

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars by Daily Garnish

As always, enjoy!

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72 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Alexis @ Hummusapien     at 10:20 am

I just made these and followed the recipe exactly, except I used honey instead of brown rice syrup. They’re absolutely fantastic!! Like a KIND bar except way better! I halved the recipe and baked it in a 7 x 11in pan and used parchment paper instead of foil. Once i let them cool, I cut them and stuck them in the fridge. They do stick together, but probably not as well as the brown rice syrup version. Either way, they’re absolutely delicious and perfect for snacking on the go!


Heidi Reply:

Thanks for letting us know how subbing honey worked out!


Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks so much for this, Alexis!! Happy to hear they were good and stuck together okay. Sounds like agave isn’t sticky enough, so glad to know honey might be a better sub option.


Marissa@ohhhsolovely     at 1:20 pm

those do look really delicious!i’ve always questioned whether or not it’s cheaper for us to make our own or not. i always feel like after buying the supplies, i’ve spent just as much!


Allison     at 6:43 pm

Where do you purchase organic brown rice syrup? I made these this weekend and used agave instead- they didn’t hold together at all :( Not to worry though- we ate some of the mixture on top of oatmeal this morning and it was soooo good!


Cynthia     at 5:27 am

Hello from Spain!

This recipe looks absolutely fantastic. I would love to do it and I would like to know if in your opinion I can use marple syrup instead of organic brown rice syrup. Also, any suggestion to use instead of almond meal? I am afraid we do not have the same ingredients here in Spain and some are very difficult to find.

Thank you!


Cynthia Reply:

Hello again,

Forget about the almond meal. I thought it was something different. We do of course have it here.


Emily Malone Reply:

Maybe try honey? My only worry is that it won’t hold together quite as well. Brown rice syrup is super sticky!


Cynthia Reply:

Thank you for the advise and congratulations for your new baby! You look all so cute.
Un fuerte abrazo!


Annie     at 8:53 am

would agave work in place of brown rice syrup?


Allison Reply:

I tried these first with agave last weekend because I didn’t have any brown rice syrup… they didn’t hold together at all :(


Emily Malone Reply:

Boo, I’m sorry. But I appreciate you coming back to let me (us!) know. I was worried agave wouldn’t be sticky enough. I hope the mixture was still edible as a crumble or topping!


Emily Malone Reply:

It sounds like it doesn’t hold together as well with agave!


marquis @realrawkitchen     at 11:29 am

YUM! I recently made something similar but I love the combination in yours. Mine was more like a chocolatey treat so not something sustainable if you want to keep your figure ;) I love this because it obviously holds together well, passes the toddler test, and is still nutritious, whole ingredients. Thanks for sharing!


Sarah G     at 11:39 am

My 4-year-old and I made these together this morning, and even though we forgot the second 1/4 C of agave, they came out finger-licking good! So delicious! Falling apart on the edges; probably more of a granola, but very good. I won’t forget the rest of the agave next time. We already have plans to make some with cashews and dates (the little ones already chopped and coated in oat flour will be so easy to work with!)

Thanks a million Emily. I’m starting to check your twitter regularly to see if you are in labor ;-)


Emily Malone Reply:

So happy to hear you liked them, and that they provided a fun mom/daughter activity! I think they stick better with brown rice syrup, but glad to hear the crumble was still tasty. Dates are always a good addition!!


joelle (on a pink typewriter)     at 11:51 am

1. These look delicious.
2. Love that pic of Cullen’s hand grabbing at the plate!
3. I have that same placemat.
4. Best wishes to you as you near the end of your pregnancy! :)


Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you, Joelle!


Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Pumpkin Spice Ginger Walnut Muffins.     at 4:07 pm

[…] Two recipes in a row?  Someone stop me!  Actually, I’m fairly certain someone is going to bring my train to a screeching halt very soon, but we’ll figure that out when the time comes. […]

Meal Planning: Week of September 29     at 4:03 am

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Kerri     at 7:43 pm

Hey, I just wanted to say that I tried these with honey and they did not work AT ALL. Not sticky enough. Maybe my honey had a different moisture content. I put them back in to the over for another 20 minutes to toast up a little more and now just have a nut mixture to eat with a spoon or a yogurt topping. There are worst things in life! I did make one other sub in the fact instead of almond meal (I was out) I used PB2. I wouldn’t think that would have made a difference, but maybe it did.


Fruit and Nut Bars | rosamala     at 1:47 pm

[…] restaurant dishes)–I just wanted to stick to protein and dried fruit.  I had stumbled across this recipe a few months ago and had made a mental note to try it out.  Today was the perfect opportunity to […]

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Kelly-Approved Treats | kellybaked     at 2:04 pm

[…] Fruit & Nut Bars from the Daily Garnish – I really love the apricot and ginger in these. They are similar to the Copycat Kind Bars (pictured above) I’ve posted before but are softer and chewier, which I really enjoy. […]

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