Monday, March 12

Raisin Apple Walnut Breakfast Bars

If you couldn't tell already, breakfast is a serious affair in my household. It's definitely the number one meal of the day, and not just because it comes first. Much to my chagrin, my husband has a tendency to skip lunch, he's just not a fan. So when it comes to what he eats first thing each morning, it has to be something that will carry him throughout the day.

These bars are that something.
If you shop at Trader Joe's (and if you have one near you, you obviously do), you may have seen something called 'Force Primeval Bars'. It's a very funky name for what are simply little individual bread bars filled with raisins, apples and walnuts. This was the goal: to recreate these bars with nothing but a list of what may or may not be in them...and find a way better name.

I based this recipe slightly off of my recipe for Whole Wheat English Muffins, meaning, its somewhat of the same technique and amounts of ingredients.

I started with all of the ingredients in one large bowl.
Combined them mostly with my hands and then kneaded the dough in the bowl for about 5 minutes. I then formed it into a ball and left it in a bit of oil to rise for about an hour.
After rising, I cut the dough in half, rolled it into two long logs and made slices to size the bars. I left the logs to rest and rise again for another half hour.
Next up, baking time. They did not take very long because they are not very thick...bonus. They came out beautiful, soft and chewy and I can't even tell you how amazing the smell in my house was.
Goal Accomplished!

Raisin Apple Walnut Bars

1 C warm water
1 package active dry yeast
2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C bread flour
1/4 C wheat germ
1/4 C wheat bran
1 T vital wheat gluten
3 T honey
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C walnuts, chopped
1/4 C raisins
1/4 C apple, peeled and cubed (such as gala or granny smith)

In a large bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Let sit and allow the yeast to foam for about 5 minutes. Add all ingredients into the water/yeast mixture. You can leave out or swap any of the last 3 items if you don't care for nuts or raisins. You can also use just wheat germ or just wheat bran if you only have one or the other(just increase to 1/2 C).

*Vital Wheat Gluten is an important part of this recipe because it helps doughs made with whole wheat flour not come out like a brick. It will lighten the mixture and give the bread a chewier, softer texture. You can find it at any natural foods store, but I bought mine in the regular old supermarket.

Using your hands, mix all ingredients together and begin to knead the dough in the bowl until it starts to become smooth and elastic. Pour a T of olive oil over the dough and turn to coat it in the bowl. Cover and leave in a warm, dry place to rise for one hour.
Cut the dough in half. On a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper, spread a bit of flour and shape each half of the dough into a log. You want to shape it smaller than the desired size as it will rise slightly again when left to rest. Using a sharp knife, make a slice (but not all the way through) in the center of each log. Then make another slice in the center of each half you created, so you end up with 3 slices on each log and 4 bars, for a total of 8 bars. Cover and let rest and rise again for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Bake the bars for 18-20 minutes. Let cool and then either break or finish cutting each bar from the log.
You can slice them in half to toast, or just eat them whole. Either way, they are packed with wholesome energy to get your morning started off right! They will stay fresher longer if you freeze them and take them out to thaw before you eat or if you refrigerate them.



  1. Thanks for the great recipe. I tried them last night and my husband compared these with a Trader Joe's bar (which he buys and eats daily). He said these are way better. They've got to be healthier too. Next time I make them, I'm going to attempt the dough in the bread machine to keep down the mess and time.

  2. Wow! Thank you, I'm so glad you liked them. That's quite a compliment :) I actually don't have a bread machine but let me know how they turn out!