I love Larabars. If you haven’t been introduced to these fruit and nut bars, you’re missing out. You know all those bars you see in that section of your natural food store? All those bars that are masquerading as “healthy”, “natural”, and “good for you”? Most are chock full of sugar, soy, and another kind of shocking ingredients. Mainly soy. I really, really dislike soy. Did you know that? It still continues to shock me that they still carry that stuff in health food stores. If you’re wondering why look here.
Anyhow, Larabars are totally free of anything yucky. They are exactly what you are looking for when you head to that section of the store. Unfortunately, they pack a bit of a punch to the ol’ pocketbook. In other words, they’re a little pricey.
Not that I blame them…after all, a business has to make a living. But I had to break the code, otherwise, I just wouldn’t be able to enjoy the chewy, sweet bars that I love so much. And now that I’ve unearthed the magical formula, I can make my own delicious, healthy little energy bars at a fraction of the price and with my own unique stamp of flavor!
It’s so simple to do – just the right ratio of fruit to nuts and whatever add-ins you want – which is nice, because you can use what you’ve got in your pantry! Assuming, of course, you have fruits in nuts in your pantry. Which I hope you do, ’cause you’re about to use them.
1 c. Nuts: 2 c. Dried Fruit: Add-ins
Cocoa (up to 1/4 c.)
Spices (up to 2 t.): cinnamon, coriander, ginger, nutmeg
Flavor Extracts (1 t.): vanilla, almond, etc.
These are typical add-ins that I use, but feel free to get creative (and share your add-ins in the comments!).
Put the nuts in a food processor and grind until it’s the consistency of cornmeal. You can set them aside while you process the fruit or leave them in for a chunkier texture.
Put the fruit in the processor and puree until completely smooth, or until it’s just come together into a ball (really it just depends on what sort of consistency you want your bar to have). Add the nuts back in if you had set them aside, put in your add-ins, and process until it’s all combined.
Line an 8″ square baking dish (or equivalent) with parchment or wax paper, leaving a few inches of paper hanging over either side. Spoon the fruit mixture onto the parchment and flatten – either with slightly damp hands or by pressing down with the overhanging paper.
Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for a few hours until hardened.
Place the hardened mixture on a cutting board and peel off the paper. Cut into bars of the desired size. Wrap individually in parchment, or put in an airtight container with parchment between layers of bars.
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