the homemade lara bar
You may or may not be familiar with the Lara Bar. They’re not big in New Zealand; dare I say they don’t actually exist there. But they are everywhere here in North America – in the food blog and nutrition world at least.
LÄRABAR® is a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. Made from whole food, each flavor contains no more than nine ingredients. Pure and simple, just as nature intended.
They are a simple thing, a commercial bar aimed at the health-conscious or ‘special diet’ consumer, or I guess consumers like myself who just like to know what is (or isn’t) in their commercial products. Not that I am a consumer. At all. Just a copier.
I like their idea. As do many food bloggers (oh yes, there is a huge range of variations on this type of energy bar all over the food blog world). I am instantly attracted to a sweet treat of fruits, nuts and spices, with little else.
And now that I have made one, basic version of these (with a few more ingredients, but which are apparently better than Larabars) I can only dream of how to incorporate the many other possible flavors.. carrot cake, cappuccino, key lime pie, blueberry muffin…
Better Than Lara Bars
Recipe from Guilty Kitchen
- 3/4 cup medjool dates, pitted and packed
- 3/4 cup dried figs, packed
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut chips, roasted*
- 1 cup hazelnut meal or ground raw hazelnuts (I used almond)
- 1/2 cup nut butter (cashew, sunflower, walnut, almond, etc.)** (I made sunflower)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)
- up to 2 tbsp water (optional, depends on how dry your dried fruit is)
- Place the dates and figs in a food processor and blend until a paste is formed (about two minutes).
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until incorporated.
- Add the water if you think the dough seems too thick.
- Place the dough in an 8 x 8 pan And press it down to a level thickness (try using a flat kitchen implement to help with this, or the back of a spoon or just your hands).
- Cover and place in refrigerator. Cool for 2-4 hours. Cut into 12 bars. Wrap and enjoy!
- These keep for about a week in the fridge, but good luck keeping them around that long.
*Pour chips on pan and roast at 350°F for 3-5 minutes (turn pan if needed).
**To make your own nut butters, just add 1 cup of nuts to a food processor and blend for 8-10 minutes. You may need to add oil to get the consistency you need. Add a tablespoon at a time of a good quality nut oil like macadamia until you get it right. Sunflower butter is much much better if the seeds are toasted first before processing.