Move over store-bought granola bars! These homemade, lightly sweetened Prune, Chocolate, and Oat Bars are all-natural and full of flavor. Whether you are looking for a wholesome treat to put in your loved one’s lunchbox or just need a satisfying grab-and-go snack, these bars come together quickly and pack up perfectly. And the best part? The touch of sweetness comes naturally from clover honey and the highest-quality dried plums from California Prunes. Harnessing the nutrient-rich ingredients of almond butter, pistachios, sesame, pumpkin, oats, and dried fruit, these bars are finished with an irresistible layer of bittersweet chocolate and touch of sea salt. This power-packed California Prune-studded recipe is destined to be a staple in your home!
The California Prune industry was born in the 19th century and has grown into a symbol of excellence. Under the steady sun of California’s lush valleys, plum trees filled with jewels of deep purple fruits bask in the warmth. Once the fruit hits its prime ripeness, each tree is hand-tended with the utmost care, ensuring the highest standards of quality. The perfectly ripened fruit is harvested and dried in climate-controlled tunnels, a process that balances temperature, humidity, and time to create the finest product. It is this combination of environment, care, and the art of processing that brings you the California Prune—a choice baking ingredient.
Learn more about California Prunes online at californiaprunes.org and pick them up in your local grocery store in various forms including whole prunes, pitted prunes, diced prunes, and prune juice.
Don’t miss our giveaway with California Prunes on Instagram! The giveaway closes on February 27, 2021. Full giveaway details can be found on our website.
- 2¼ cups (225 grams) old-fashioned oats
- 3.5 ounces (100 grams) halved prunes (about ½ cup lightly packed)
- ½ cup (120 grams) boiling water
- ⅓ cup (85 grams) creamy no-stir almond butter
- 2 tablespoons (42 grams) clover honey
- 3½ tablespoons (49 grams) refined coconut oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) tightly packed orange zest
- ¾ cup (150 grams) lightly packed ¼- to ⅜-inch-chopped prunes
- ½ cup (72 grams) roughly chopped roasted salted pistachios
- 3 tablespoons (27 grams) raw sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons (27 grams) raw pumpkin seeds
- 8 ounces (226 grams) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bars, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon (7 grams) finely chopped roasted salted pistachios
- Garnish: flaked sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On prepared baking sheet, spread oats in an even layer.
- Bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly on pan on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (170°C).
- In a medium heatproof bowl, place halved prunes; add ½ cup (120 grams) boiling water (prunes should be just submerged), and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Transfer prune mixture to the work bowl of a food processor; pulse until relatively smooth, stopping to scrape sides of bowl, if necessary. (It’s OK if some flecks of prune remain.)
- In a small saucepan, combine prune mixture, almond butter, honey, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) oil, and kosher salt; cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is melted and mixture is well combined. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla bean paste and orange zest.
- In a large bowl, stir together toasted oats, chopped prunes, roughly chopped pistachios, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds; use hands to break up any large prune clusters, if necessary. Stir in prune mixture until well combined.
- Transfer oat mixture to prepared 9-inch pan. Using a sheet of plastic wrap, press into an even layer.
- Bake until fragrant, edges feel lightly toasted, and top feels mostly dry, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- In the top of a double boiler, combine chocolate and remaining 2½ tablespoons (35 grams) oil. Cook over simmering water, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Working quickly, pour chocolate mixture over cooled oat mixture. Tilt pan as needed to spread chocolate mixture into an even layer; tap pan on a kitchen towel-lined counter several times to smooth chocolate mixture and release any air bubbles. Sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Using a warm, dry serrated knife, trim edges, and cut into bars. Garnish with sea salt, if desired.
If desired, feel free to apply a thinner layer of chocolate to these tasty, wholesome bars.