Give yourself a breakfast boost with these homemade apricot bars. Unlike many packaged granola bars, our recipe contains whole grain oats, loaded with soluble fiber, selenium and B vitamins. Eating whole-grain snacks is a great way to get more fiber into your diet for long-lasting energy and lower cancer risk. Real dried apricots pack vitamin A and potassium while pecans add a hearty crunch and, with silken tofu, gives extra protein power.
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (almonds or walnuts may be substituted)
3 cups unsweetened grain cereal (try Cheerios or Shredded Wheat)
2 cups dried apricots, chopped (dried cherries or cranberries may be substituted)
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
12 ounces silken tofu, drained
1 large egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon zest, freshly grated
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spread oats and pecans on large (15×10 inch) baking dish. Bake until lightly brown and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer to large mixing bowl and add cereal, apricots and flour; stir to combine.
Puree tofu, egg, applesauce, oil, honey, vanilla and lemon zest in a blender until smooth. Make a well in the center of the oat mixture and fold in the tofu mixture until combined. Coat 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and spread the mixture uniformly in the dish.
Bake until firm in the center and golden brown, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the dish before cutting into bars with a sharp knife.
Makes 24 servings. Per serving: 190 calories, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 30 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 55 mg sodium, 15 g sugar, 8 g added sugar.
Recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research.