Mar 30, 2012

Homemade Lara Bars

I love Lara Bars.  They're not completely raw - but for a prepackaged food, they're as raw as you get.  They're yummy and my husband LOVES them too.  When he's feeling peckish, this is his go-to snack.  The down side of Lara Bars or any packaged convenience food is that they're expensive.  And since I'm on a mission to keep our monthly grocery bill below 400 dollars, I can't really afford them.

So why not make my own?  I did a little research and found some great looking recipes!  I'm going to give them a whirl this week and post back here with the results.

Raw Fruit and Nut Snack Bars (Source)

Ingredients for 8 pieces:
300 grams of unroasted mixed nuts
300 grams soft dates, coarsely chopped
1/2 apple, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Dash of sea salt
Dash of agave syrup

Pulse the nuts in a food processor until just coarsely chopped. Sprinkle the chopped apple pieces with 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Put nuts, dates and apples in a large bowl. Add the remaining lemon juice, salt and agave syrup. Knead until it sticks together. Lay on waxed paper and roll flat. Cut into 8 bars and store in the refrigerator.

Raw Energy Bars (Source)

    1/2 cup of raw nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, coconut, cashews) or roasted peanuts 1/2 cup (loosely packed) of pitted dates 1/2 cup (loosley packed) of another dried fruit (apples, apricots, cherries, pineapple, or more dates)
  1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, grind the nuts fine, then tip them into a bowl.
  2. Now grind the fruit until it turns into small clumps, then add the nuts back in and process again until a small handful of the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. (If this never happens, then add in a few more dates; conversely, if the mixture seems too damp, add a few more nuts.)
  3. Tear off four squares of wax paper, then tear them in half to make 8 rectangles.
  4. Divide the mixture into 8 parts by picking up handfuls and squeezing. Squeeze and press some more to form each lump into a rough rectangle, then wrap in the wax paper. I do this the way I would make a burrito: I lay the bar near and parallel to a short side of the rectangle, then fold the long sides in, then roll it all up. Store them in air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe Note: Follow the basic 2 to 1 ratio of dried fruit to nuts and create your own flavors. Here are some combinations to try:

Cherry Tart: walnuts, almonds, dates, cherries
Peanut Butter Snap: peanuts, dates, dash of vanilla, sprinkle of salt
Apricot Muffin: almonds, dates, apricots
Apple Brown Betty: pecans, dates, apples, pinch of cinnamon
Key Lime Pie: coconut, pecans, dates, apples, finely grated lime zest

Maple Pecan Bar

1/4 C. dates
1/4 C. raisins
1/3 C. pecans
A drizzle of maple syrup

Lemon Zest Bar

1/4 C. dates
1/4 C. raisins
1/3 C. cashews
Grated lemon rind
1 tsp. flax seed (optional)
1 tsp. hemp seed (optional)

Chocolate Pistachio Bar

1/4 C. dates
1/4 C. raisins
1/3 cup pistachios and pecans
Sprinkling of unsweetened chocolate or carob powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Vanilla Coffee Bar

1/4 C. dates
1/4 C. figs
1/3 C. almonds
Instant coffee or coffee substitute (I used Roma)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

And if you don't want to make them into bar shapes, you could create little snack balls!



Alison said...

These sound fantastic! I will give them a try since chef Chris is here and eager to work in the kitchen.

Redfizz said...

These sound and look delicious! Thanks for sharing. I am going to give them a try soon. :P~~~~