These Paleo Apricot Bars with their delicious shortbread-like base, apricot butter middle, and crunchy nut topping are the perfect easy healthy treat.
You can use whatever fruit filling you like, so the possibilities for these Healthy Jam Bars are truly endless
One of the benefits of living in a foreign country is the exposure to new foods, or more fascinating, new combinations of ingredients I already know.
For example, Slovaks eat their french toast as savoury, with ketchup and tartar sauce and lunch meat.
When I tell people we eat it sweet, with whipping cream and maple syrup (or what have you), they make a face that says "Whaaaat?"
Or when I make a beef stew and Slovaks say "This is so delicious! I've never had this before!"
Every single ingredient in a regular beef stew is a normal ingredient in Slovakia, they've just never put it together that way before.
One combination I haven't gotten used to is sweet pasta. If it's homemade potato pasta, it's delicious.
With regular spaghetti noodles--well--I just haven't quite gotten there.
Think pasta--with jam! After delivering twins (two years ago as I write!), I got a plate of spaghetti, poppy seeds, and a pile of icing sugar at the hospital. Fortunately, I had brought my own vittals too :).
More On these Fruit & Nut Cake Bars
Anyway, that's how I learned this healthy apricot walnut squares recipe. It's not a weird food combination (like the sweet spaghetti), but it's a new recipe combo for me.
These Fruit & Nut Cake Bars (made with jam and walnuts here) are as common here in Slovakia as a chocolate cake is in North America.
It's a staple of my mother-in-law's, but I've revised it to be free of gluten, grains, refined sugars, and dairy.
The original is one of my husband's favourites, and he said this revision does them justice. I may have eaten the whole pan of the first attempt on my own, they are that good (well, when I made them, everyone else in the family had a stomach bug--but still).
If you don't have apricot butter or jam, any fruit jam/puree will be delicious, though it's better to choose one that's on the thicker side.
- Substitute Powdered Egg Replacer if avoiding eggs (if low carb and also avoiding eggs, use a flax egg or chia egg. It won't work as well, but is an option).
- For a low-carb dessert, use 1/3 teaspoon stevia extract with 1 tablespoon water instead of honey, substitute xylitol for rapadura, and choose a jam made with berries and xylitol or other low-carb sweeteners.
- It is preferable to soak and dehydrate your nuts or seeds.
Other Easy Healthy Treats
- Homemade Protein Bars - skip the overpriced wrapped bars and have these instead
- Chocolate Avocado Truffles - you'll love how healthy these are and your kids will love how good they taste
- Snickerdoodles Cookie Dough Balls - a great treat that takes only 5 minutes (or less!)
Paleo Apricot Bars | Fruit and Nut Cake Bars
- 2/3 cups apricot butter (or jam; or other thick fruit jam/puree/butter - choosing low carb if needed. See Recipe Notes)
Nut / Seed Topping
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup rapadura (or other sweetener--see notes above0
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts (or other nut or seed)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Beat egg yolks until frothy, then add honey and ghee (or other fat).
- Stir baking soda into coconut flour, then stir into wet mixture.
- Add water, mix until combined.
- Grease and flour a 8x8 pan. Scatter the crust mixture throughout the pan by dolloping the mixture with a spoon, then use your hands to spread and press down the dough evenly.
- Spread the apricot butter across the dough.
- Grind walnuts to meal.
- Whip egg whites until stiff.
- Add rapadura and whip, then walnut meal.
- Spread egg white mixture over the jam on the crust, bake for 20 minutes or until darkish golden.
- Cool before cutting into squares and enjoy!
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
For another healthy dessert option, you might try:
What different food combinations have you encountered and enjoyed or disliked?
Naomi is originally from Canada but is now a wife and mom in Slovakia. She tries to live each day as a follower of Christ in the chaos of caring for children. Using real food and creating an environmentally friendly surrounding for her family is a priority. She dreams of a little farm while living in an apartment, enjoys handmade creations, and still doesn’t like brussels sprouts. Naomi shares her food creations and photos of Slovakia at Almost Bananas.