Homemade Z Bars

Have you ever had a Z Bar?

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If you’re a parent, chances are you have. If you’re not a parent, you may have had them as well. On the occasion that you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’ll give you a brief explanation.

Z bars are the kiddie version of Clif bars. I’m just going to assume you’ve heard of those. They’re like soft baked granola bars that are whole grain, but not packed with protein or fiber or anything. I really like having a couple around for quick snacks and afternoon pick-me-ups. They’re actually really delicious.

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I realized a little while ago that, although the original bars are mostly natural and good-for-you, they would be even better if they were homemade. Also, I could save a pretty decent amount of money that way 😉

So I attempted to recreate a Z Bar.

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As with any other “copycat” recipe, please bear in mind that these bars do not taste exactly like the real thing. Think of them as inspired by Z bars rather than exactly like them. However, despite the differences in taste, these bars are still pretty darn delicious.

Here’s a fun science experiment: Leave the plate of bars out all day and see how many are remaining by nighttime.  My hypothesis? Only crumbs!

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Homemade Z Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup prunes, pitted (dried plums) (I got mine from Trader Joes)
  • 1/4 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine oat, prunes, dates, honey, baking soda, vanilla, coconut oil, milk, and cinnamon. Process until all ingredients are completely incorporated. This may take some time, because the oats need to break down, as well as the prunes and dates. Stop and scrape down the sides of the machine as necessary.
  3. Add chocolate chips and process quickly to mix in.
  4. Scoop mixture into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 20 min, until a toothpick comes out clean and mixture is firm.
  5. Let mixture cool before slicing into 10 thin bars (or more or less, depending on what size you want). Store in fridge for up to a week, or freeze for longer. Recipe makes about 10 bars, depending on size.
http://thesmartcookieblog.com/homemade-z-bars/

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