Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares

The minute I saw these on Leanne’s site, I just knew I had to stop everything and make them.


There was only one slight problem: I was at work.


Maybe I could tell my boss that I jut got hit by a very sudden and violent case of man flu and had to run back home immediately. Or that I just remembered that I’d forgotten to turn off the stove before to leave. The GAS stove…

Nah. I could never do such a thing. It would just have to wait until I got back home.

That day felt like it was never gonna end.

Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

But I eventually made it home and immediately went through all the cupboards to gather the ingredients that I would need to make the chews come to life. I was greeted with a very unpleasant surprise: there were only 5 poor little pieces of dried apricots left at the bottom of my very big bag.


What a disappointment! I wanted one of these so bad, I could almost taste it! And what I happened to crave the most was precisely the apricot!

To say that I was not a happy camper would be an understatement.

Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

I think it’s the gorgeous colors in Leanne’s pictures that did it. The apricots really imprinted in my mind (so did her pictures, judging by my very sudden and unusual use of very colorful props! Talk about getting doubly inspired…). But there was no way I was gonna drive 25km just to get some. I had to find a suitable last minute replacement.

A quick glance in the cupboards and I found just the perfect thing: FIGS!

They would work superbly well and would add so much texture with their hundreds of tiny little crunchy seeds.


Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Now you’re probably wondering how come there’s like an avalanche of apricots in my pictures if I was all out?

Well, you see, life got in the way and I had to wait not one, but TWO FULL DAYS before I finally got to cut my little squares out. By that time, I HAD gone to the store and bought a brand new HUGE bag of dried apricots.

And yes, I did eat at least half a dozen, right out of the bag.

Oh, and one or two squares. Or five…

Gosh these are good!

So chewy, so sweet… so tasty and deliciously spicy.

And the millions of seeds are just poppin’ all over your mouth. It’s a seed crunch overload!

Plain and simple? Loved ’em!

Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares

Yield: Makes 36 bites

Nutritional Information is per bite

Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares


  • 3 tbsp black chia seeds
  • the juice of one lime
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • 3 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 4 scoops plain whey protein
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 200g dates, coarsely chopped
  • 30g dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 70g dried figs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peel on, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I used powder, but feel free to use fresh seeds or pure vanilla extract)
  • ¼ cup pasteurized egg whites
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened dried coconut to garnish


  1. Combine chia seed and lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir to combine and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add walnuts, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds to the bowl of your food processor. Process on pulse until broken down and transfer to a medium size bowl. Add ground cinnamon, cardamom and protein powder and mix with a fork until well incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Place dates, apricots and figs in the bowl of your processor and process until smooth and well combined, about 2 minutes. Add soaked chia seeds (it will be a hard mass at this point, just scoop out with a spoon) egg whites, vanilla and ginger and process for another minute or two, until smooth.
  4. Throw in nut mixture and process on pulse until just incorporated, no more.
  5. Transfer the mixture to an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper draping over both sides for easy lifting. Press and smooth out with a large flat spoon or rubber spatula.
  6. Sprinkle dried coconut all over and press it down with your fingers so it really adheres to the surface.
  7. Place in the fridge or freezer to harden before cutting into 36 squares.
  8. You can keep these at room temperature for a couple of days if you like a really soft texture. For a stickier, chewier texture, keep them in the refrigerator, for up to a week. And for an even chewier, almost leathery texture, store them in the freezer. Now TRY to keep them for longer than 5 days!


Slightly adapted from Leanne's Apricot Ginger Chia Chews

Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares | by Sonia! The Healthy FoodieCHEEEEEWY!

Chewy Vanilla Spice Fruit Squares | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie


    • says

      I used to be real big on protein bars, until I started paying closer attention to labels… oh, the junk that goes into the making of most of them. I’ll have one or two of these little squares anytime over a protein bar now. Hey, maybe it’s time I came up with my very own home made protein bars. These could be a great base to work with! :)

  1. says

    Color! Ah! I love your photos today! And super awesome that you put your twist on this recipe. I’m so happy that you liked them (and, when I was working full-time in an office there was more than once where I pretended I was sick so that I could stay home all day and bake!)

    • says

      HAHA! Can you see all the “Leanne inspiration” that went into these? Recipe AND pictures? I’m sure I’ll never be able to use that much color ever again… You are the one and only true master of that art! 😀

      And you sneaky little you! 😉 That’s something I never did… but I’ll admit to writing recipes and stuff while at work when things are really quiet, or during lunch breaks!

  2. says

    Love your pictures. 25Km from a point of sale of apricots!!!! Girl you must be super organized, I can’t go one day without buying a food item from the grocery store 25 METERS away from my place!!

    • says

      Well, that would be 25km to and from… still, that’s a long way to drive for apricots! Of course, I probably could’ve gotten some at the small “convenience” store, which is about 3.5 kilometers away, but who knows how long they would have been sitting there. When in doubt, wait it out! 😉

  3. says

    What a collection of goodness in these chewy squares…peel on the ginger – love it! The lime sounds like a wonderful addition too. I make a similar raw, vegan bar and I can’t seem to keep it in stock! ;-). So yummy. Love the play between the orange, turquoise and brown in your photos… very pretty!

  4. says

    Oooooh, those look yummy! Too bad my mom has a nut allergy. And possible substitution?

    Also, do you have any more baked goods you’re planning on posting? I LOVE those. Every single one I’ve made has been so good you can’t tell it’s healthy!

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