Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Home-made "Lara Bars"

Mark really needs filling snacks he can eat on the run at work. So I was excited to see these healthy bars on one of my favorite blogs. She gives 2 great varieties. My family loves them! And I didn't measure anything (I hardly ever do - it just makes too many dishes :) So I threw in a bunch of dates, almond butter, coconut oil, shredded unsweetened coconut, home-made granola, and yes, even a few organic chocolate chips :) YUMMY! I thought they were good enough without any sweetener. And they really do give me a boost when I need it. I call them my Power Balls because I actually shaped them into balls and froze them so I could grab one whenever I needed it. I eat them straight from the freezer! (I think they are actually better frozen because the coconut oil melts and gets greasy if I leave them at room temperature too long.) Oh, and the best part? My husband loves them as well! He takes them with him for some extra energy when he plays tennis. Here are the original recipes:

Better than Lara Bars

10-12 pitted dates
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (more may be necessary)
handful of raisins
1 cup of shredded coconut (plus more for coating)
1 TBS Raw Honey (or other liquid sweetener)]
Liquid Stevia to taste
handful of chopped crispy nuts (macadamia nuts or almonds are great)
1/3 cup of coconut oil or butter

1) Place dates into food processor and process until you have a paste.

2) Add raisins, peanut butter, honey, and coconut and process until mixture forms a big mass.

3) Add your coconut oil now, as well as the protein powder, if using. Mixture may seem a bit "wet" from the coconut oil. This is okay,but if it seems too runny, add more shredded coconut. Taste for sweetness, and add a few drops of stevia (or more honey) to acheive desired sweetness.

4) At this point, add the chopped nuts.

5) Form pastey mass into balls or bars and roll in shredded coconut (or rapadura or cocoa).

6) Place bars on parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in freezer for about 10 minutes.

Notes: This is a pretty forgiving and versatile recipe. Try subbing raisins for any dried fruit (apricots or cherries would be great!) The coconut oil is not absolutely essential to the texture, either. You can get by without it, but it adds some good nutritional properties! You also don't need nuts, the peanut butter is enough!

These are amazing! They are full of healthy fats, complex carbs, and protein! Enjoy for breakfast on the run or for dessert with a glass of milk!

Cinnabun Lara Bars!
crispy nuts (I use almonds)
raisins (any dried fruit will do)
coconut oil


1) Place about 2 cups of crispy almonds into the food processor. Add 1.5 - 2 cups of raisins and process until you have a paste. It should be sticky.

2) Add about 2 TBS (or more) of coconut oil and process until smooth.

3) Add salt (to taste) and about 2 tsp of cinnamon (add more if you need to). Ginger and cloves add a nice flavor too.

4) Add about 1-1.5 cups of shredded coconut until you have more of a thick, dry paste. You are looking for a rounded, "doughnut-shape" in your food processor.

5) Remove dough, press into parchment-lined jelly roll pan. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.