Cheapo Aussie Bites

Costco sells bite sized snacks called Aussie Bites. They're absolutely delicious but also very expensive. A simple Google search yielded a copycat recipe, but I encountered a number of problems with it: I didn't have all the ingredients. I didn't have muffin tins. I was not too excited about the extra step of cooking quinoa. And it was a tad too sweet. The fruits were already naturally sweet and honey is needed to bind the ingredients so the sugar in the copycat recipe was superfluous. I also eliminated oil as there was already butter in it. So here is my cheapo take on a nutrition packed pick-me-up snack. Making them into bars worked fine. My kids absolutely love this and kept asking for more. 

1¾ cups rolled oats

¼ cup dried apricots
¼ cup dried cranberries (copycat recipe used raisins but I only have dried cranberries and I find they add a nice tartness)
¼ cup + 1 T flax chia blend 
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
(¼ cup sunflower seeds - I didn't have it for this time but if I did, I would add this in. It's still fab without)
¼ t baking soda
½ t vanilla extract
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup honey or less (maple syrup works well too)

Pulse 1 cup oats in a food processor until pulverized. Add the rest of the oats, dried apricots, dried cranberries, flax chia blend, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds and baking soda and pulse until dried fruits are reduced to small pieces. Add in the wet ingredients and pulse till blended nicely. Press into a baking pan and make sure to pack it in tight. Bake in 350°F for 10-12 minutes until browned. Take out of the oven to cool. Midway in the cooling, slice into squares. They may feel like they're going to crumble but rest assured that when they cool completely, they will be pretty solid. 

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