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the homemade lara bar

September 8, 2012
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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.

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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.

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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…

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Better Than Lara Bars
Makes 12
Recipe from Guilty Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. Place the dates and figs in a food processor and blend until a paste is formed (about two minutes).
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until incorporated.
  3. Add the water if you think the dough seems too thick.
  4. 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).
  5. Cover and place in refrigerator. Cool for 2-4 hours. Cut into 12 bars. Wrap and enjoy!
  6. These keep for about a week in the fridge, but good luck keeping them around that long.

Notes

*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.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2012 7:48 pm

    These look awesome, Christina! Have not heard of the Lara Bar, but they sound amazing. Love how versatile and healthy the concept is. Thanks for sharing another alluring recipe!

    • September 8, 2012 11:22 pm

      Perhaps the Lara bar isn’t as well known as I perceive… Awesome concept huh! Yes there are lots of ‘healthful’ ingredients in there – but must remember they are also very high in calories (good fats and sugars) so best enjoyed in association with a good hard workout.

  2. September 8, 2012 8:13 pm

    Top of my “to make” list when I’m feeling better.

    • September 8, 2012 11:24 pm

      Oh mama not feeling well? I bet you’ll love these – I thought of you as I pitted the figs. They’re actually not as sweet as I anticipated which is rather nice. Enjoy :)

  3. Angela permalink
    September 10, 2012 1:47 pm

    Medjool dates… hmmm.. wonder if you can get them in NZ?

    • September 10, 2012 8:40 pm

      Yup I’m sure they are in the produce section at Pak n Save, and you can pick as many as you want from the bin. A little expensive but so much better than the shrivelled ones. One will serve as an afternoon snack I tell ya, they’re so sweet and filling!

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