This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sprouts Farmers Market. All opinions are 100% mine.
I have a confession to make: I have never eaten a piece of fruitcake in my entire life. I remember that my grandpa loved fruitcake; we bought him one for the holidays every year, famous for its neon-colored fruit pieces. Fruitcake has been around for a very long time. In the 16th century it was discovered that fruit could be preserved in high concentrations of sugar, which created an abundance of candied fruit. This made fruitcakes very popular. You may have heard the jokes about how fruitcakes last forever. Fruitcakes that contain a lot of alcohol are essentially preserved and can last for years. Overall this holiday dessert has gotten a bad wrap but I gave it a makeover with my Gluten Free Fruitcake Bars.
Part of my Gluten Free Fruitcake Bars makeover includes swapping out brightly colored candied fruit for more nutritious organic dried fruit from Sprouts Farmers Market abundant bulk bins. Soaking the dried fruit for about an hour plumps them up and helps introduce more moisture into the bars. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom are some of my favorite spices and they add traditional holiday flavors to these bars. Sprouts has an amazing selection of organic spices. Spices are my secret weapons to adding delicious flavor to all my recipes.
Be sure to visit Sprouts’ “Incredible Bulk Sale” which runs from 12/8-12/10/2017. All “scoopable” bulk items will be 25 percent off during this sale. The perfect time to purchase ingredients to make these Gluten Free Fruitcake Bars.
In true Organic Dietitian fashion these bars are gluten-free and void of any refined sugar. In fact, I kept the overall sugar content down by swapping out some of the brown coconut sugar for more natural applesauce. This trick also helps keep the bars super moist and delicious! So, if you are like me and don’t think fruitcake is your thing, then I challenge you to give these Gluten Free Fruitcake Bars a try.
- ½ cup brown coconut sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened and plain applesauce
- 1 ¼ cup water
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 cup Sprouts bulk bin organic raisins
- 1 cup Sprouts bulk bin organic dried cranberries
- 1 ½ cups 1:1 gluten free flour mix (such as Bob’s Red Mill brand)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Sprouts brand organic nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon Sprouts brand organic cloves
- ¼ teaspoon Sprouts brand organic cardamom
- 2 teaspoon Sprouts brand organic cinnamon
- ½ cup Sprouts bulk bin organic pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix the first five ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil; remove from heat and cool for one hour while the dried fruit rehydrates.
- In a separate bowl, add the flour and blend in the other dry ingredients.
- Stir in the cooled fruit mixture.
- Mix in the chopped nuts.
- Spread dough evenly in an 8x8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. The dough will be thick.
- Bake 35-40 minutes until fully set and cooked through.
- Allow the bars to cool and gently cut into 16 squares with a serrated knife.
- Store tightly covered for up to three days.
- Fruitcake will keep up to a week in the fridge, but the bars with harden in the fridge due to the coconut oil. Can soften on the counter before serving.