I don't usually like to republish posts from other blogs here because I prefer to try and keep the content my own, but sometimes there is a post that's just too good not to share, like this one.
LARA Bars are easily my favorite pre-packaged snack bar of all the types that are on the market, if you haven't tried them I highly recommend that you do. Not only are they delicious, they are made from a short list of real food ingredients: nuts, fruits and spices. The only downside is the price, at almost $2.00 a bar they can be a little expensive.
However, Camilla Saulsbury a professional recipe developer and author of the Enlightened Cooking blog, has come up with a recipe for a homemade version of the LARAbar that is incredibly easy to make, no cooking, and only take a few minutes to prepare. This was too good not to share, so crack out your food processors and get ready to pulse up some chewy bar goodness. Thanks Camilla!
Just me and my food processor… A few raw ingredients, and no cooking required? Replication seemed possible. I found a handful of blog posts with recipes for homemade LARA-type bars, but they didn’t sound like they could possibly be correct.
The primary problem was that quite a few recipes pushed for a one to three ratio of fruit to nuts. I tried it, and my suspicions were correct: far too many nuts, nowhere near enough fruit (an easy give-away: if there were so many nuts, it would always be listed as the first ingredient on the LARA BAR packaging; it is not).
Dates Nutrition Notes:
Dates are included in a majority of the LARA Bars, so I thought I’d mention a few facts about these wonderful fruits.
I love dates because I love brown sugar, and dates taste like brown sugar candy--hence they are a delicious and healthy way to curb my sweet tooth. One date has a mere 23 calories and is loaded with nutrition. Dates are an excellent source of carbohydrates (great for pre- or post-workout), contain no cholesterol, are high in fiber, and boast a wide range of nutrients, including calcium (32 mg per serving), Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese.
Dates also contain vitamins A1, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and more than 20 different amino acids; they help in the digestion and assimilation of carbohydrates, and help to regulate blood sugar levels and fatty acids content in our bodies.
Very Cherry Bars (use as a template for almost any combination)
- 1/4 cup chopped dates (roughly chopped whole dates, not pre-chopped)
- 1/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup whole pecans, almonds or walnuts
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Place the dates and cherries in a food processor. Pulse until processed to a paste
- Transfer paste to a medium bowl (don’t clean processor).
- Add the nuts to the processor and pulse until finely chopped
- Add the nuts, along with the cinnamon, to the bowl with the fruit paste
- Use your fingers to knead the nuts into the paste
- Shape into bars and wrap in plastic wrap!