Get festive, Canyon Ranch-style!

Move over, fruitcake! We’ve discovered a new holiday treat, courtesy of Tucson, Arizona’s Canyon Ranch.

This luxe wellness destination’s innovative fruit and nut bar was created with nutritional balance in mind. “We wanted to provide guests with a balance of carbohydrates and protein,” explains chef Scott Uehlein. Not to mention some delicious flavors and textures—almonds and pecans pack in the protein while honey helps hold each bar together, lending sweetness. “The textural crunch from the nuts is very satisfying,” says Uehlein, who serves these bars to Canyon Ranch guests as post-workout snacks and mid-morning energy-boosters.

Perhaps even more appealing is the snack’s easy prep and adaptable ingredients. “The beauty of this recipe is that you can interchange things—include cranberries for fall and apricots in the spring,” explains Uehlein. So, step aside gelatin salad—this homemade holiday treat truly breaks the mold!

Fruit & Nut Bar

Serves 16

½ c. chopped pecans
½ c. chopped almonds
¾ c. honey
2 ¾ c. rolled oats
½ c. dried cranberries
¾ c. dried chopped apples
½ c. raisins
½ c. sliced dates (about 10 medium)
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325º. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 x 1/2-inch baking sheet with canola oil. Spread nuts on baking sheet and toast lightly for 5 minutes. Warm honey in microwave, or over low heat on stovetop, to the consistency of a thin syrup.

Place nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Chop briefly. Add oats, cranberries, apples, raisins, dates and cinnamon, and mix briefly, until all ingredients are chopped. While machine is running, drizzle in warm honey until mixture binds.

Lightly spray baking sheet (same one used for nuts) with canola oil, and press mixture into sheet. Lightly spray parchment paper with canola oil. Using a rolling pin, roll (over parchment) until mixture is even. Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Cut into bars, and store wrapped, or in an airtight, refrigerated container, for up to 1 month.

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