No-Bake Cocoa & Apricot Nut Bars from The What to Eat When Cookbook

For the TLC Book Tour stop today, there’s no novel.  What we do have is a wonderful cookbook by the authors of What to Eat When.  (And that’s no fiction!)

About The What to Eat When Cookbook

• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (October 20, 2020)

This inspiring cookbook/strategic eating plan–sequel to the wildly popular What to Eat When–offers 125 delectable recipes geared to longevity, weight loss, and success.

In their acclaimed lifestyle guide What to Eat When, Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Michael Crupain revealed when to eat foods for healthier living, disease prevention, better performance, and a longer life. The key, they assert, is eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. Now, in this mouthwatering sequel, they deliver 125 recipes to put these lessons into practice. From a fiber-rich pasta dish loaded with healthy and fresh tomatoes and a creamy lemon dip and homemade crackers to satisfy your snack cravings to a salmon burger you’ll love to eat for breakfast (yes, breakfast!) and a healthier, decadant chocolate mousse–a treat that also offers hormone-boosting ingredients before you hit the gym. Each dish is paired with practical information about the nutrients and benefits of the ingredients, plus expert cooking tips, what portion size to eat when, and helpful subsitutions. Covering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert–and the best times to eat all four–this highly anticipated sequel to Roizen and Crupain’s best-selling eating guide offers a plethora of meals that will get you through the day, and extend your life by years!

Social Media

Please use the hashtag #thewhattoeatwhencookbook, and tag @tlcbooktours.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Authors

DR. MICHAEL ROIZEN is the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, Chief Medical Consultant on The Dr. Oz Show, author of four #1 New York Times best-selling books, and originator of the popular He is board certified in anesthesiology and internal medicine. He’s been recognized with an Ellie, an Emmy, and the Paul G. Rogers Award from the National Library of Medicine for Best Medical Communicator.

DR. MICHAEL CRUPAIN is the Medical Director of The Dr. Oz Show. He is board certified in preventive medicine, a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, and part-time faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining The Dr. Oz Show, he directed food safety testing at Consumer Reports. He is an Emmy award-winning producer and sat on an USDA advisory committee.

JIM PERKO is the executive chef for the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute and the Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he has apprenticed for the American Culinary Federation 1976 US Culinary Olympic Team and cooked for scientists on the 1977-78 US Antarctic Expedition. Perko is the founder of the national award-winning program Food Is Knowledge.

What I thought…

I reviewed What to Eat When previously.  While I enjoyed that book, I kept wondering why they didn’t include some recipes.   So glad they published the companion cookbook this month!

Some recipes are paired with a beautiful photograph to show the finished product but don’t be alarmed.  The recipes are structured that you don’t need an exemplar to make the dish.  The hednotes and directions are detailed and easy to follow.

This is a comprehensive cookbook and includes a “Cliff note” synopsis of the original book in Part I, “What to Eat When: The Cheat Sheet” and “The Kitchen Sink” (pantry items, techniques, tools, substitutes).   And speaking of substituting, I love that a lot of the recipes have a footnote of “What to Swap When.”  For instance swapping in arugula or kale of spinach or including another kind of bean…things like that.  Other footnotes include great information on either healthfulness or cooking techniques.

Included in the 135+ recipes are dishes like appetizers, mains (pasta, grains, sandwiches), veggies, soups /salads, fish/poultry, and even beverages and desserts.

I decided to make a dessert-like recipe that could also sub in as a breakfast bar:  No-Bake Cocoa & Apricot Bars (260).

No-Bake Cocoa & Apricot Nut Bars

From The What to Eat When Cookbook (p 260)

Published 10/20/2020

“These bars are a great breakfast-on-the-go, dessert, or pick-me-up snack (you know, for when you’re extra hungry). The apricots help keep your gut healthy and your digestive system moving. Bear in mind, these bars aren’t meant to be super sweet, but rather a hint of sweetness loaded with crunch to satisfy cravings. These bars can be frozen for up to two months, so you can have them on hand.”


  • 1 c. walnuts, toasted
  • 8 oz. dried unsweetened Turkish apricots (I had a 6 oz. package only so I supplemented with golden raisins.)
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened almond butter
  • 1/3 c. pecans, toasted, roughly chopped


  1. Place the walnuts in a food processor and pulse for about 15 seconds until finely chopped but not smooth. Add the apricots and process for about 25-30 seconds until finely ground and just before the mixture begins to form a ball. Add cocoa powder and almond butter and process until all the ingredients are well blended and the mixture begins to clump together, about 20-30 seconds
  2. Transfer the mixture to an 8-by-8 inch glass baking dish. Spread and pat down the mixture with a rubber spatula to an even thickness. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top and press down again with a rubber spatula to set pecans. Refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Cut into 16 pars and serve.

Yield: 16

Prep Time: 20 mins.

Cook time: 60 mins.

Total time: 80 mins.


  • Calories: 137 kcal
  • Total fiber: 3.7 g total
  • Soluble fiber: .3 g soluble
  • Protein: 3.3 g
  • Total Fat: 9.6 g total
  • Saturated Fat: .8 g
  • Healthy Fat: 8 g
  • Carbs: 12.3 g
  • Sugars: 6.9 g
  • Sodium: 12 mg
  • Potassium: 266 mg
  • Magnesium:  29 mg
  • Calcium 24 mg

For the “What to Swap When” footnote, the authors suggest a caffeine kick by adding 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder in with the cocoa powder.   It’s also suggested that macadamia nuts be swapped in for the pecans for some healthy omega-7 fats.

Recipe review:

The No-Bake Cocoa Apricot Bars were good and I would recommend them for breakfast or a snack.  For dessert?  Not so much.   I will make these again for quick grab-and-go morning meals.  They remind me of a Lara Bar and that’s a good thing.   They do definitely scream “healthy.”  (You can interpret that comment however you like.)

I just noticed that the fork in the cover art looks like it’s digging into the apricot bar!

From my previous perusal through the book, I marked other recipes I would like to try like “Tangy Heirloom Beans” with white balsamic and Urfu pepper flakes (145) and “Roasted Jalapeno, Bean and Broccoli Salad” (189).  As cooler weather might now be upon us, I definitely want to try some of the soups:  Roasted Vegetable Ribolitta (190), When Way Black Lentil Soup (195), and Chickpea, Chestnut & Kale Soup (209).  Note that there are more salads than soups in the cookbook but they all sound great as well, especially “Addictive” Quinoa Salad (182) which is full of veggies and uses oelek chili paste for a bit of a bite.

Please check out others in this TLC Book Tour stop.

I’m linking up with Foodies Read for October.

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