LaraBars {homemade energy bars}

for several months now i’ve been trying to gradually change our family’s diet to eating more healthy, clean, less-refined, whole foods. that being said, we try to follow these guidelines 80% of the time… 

{if this peaks your interest and you’re wanting to making some healthy changes to your diet as well… check out the little video clip from Mama Natural’s blog post that has 2 great tips to get you started}.

to assist me in my efforts of healthier eating, i’ve been following lisa leake over @100 days of real food. she has a great blog with tons of great recipes and food tips.  one of her posts talked about store bought convenience foods and amongst the items she mentioned were LaraBars.  

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what i really loved about these bars is that they only contain a few ingredients {i.e. the cherry pie version pictured above has 3 ingredients… almonds, cherries & dates} compared to nature’s valley granola bars that have 20 some ingredients {some of which i can’t even pronounce} or cliff bars… also have at least 20 ingredients {while mostly organic ingredients, seems like a lot of unnecessary additives}. 

before we left for our month long stent in colorado, lisa published a post about making her own larabars. i was super excited about trying out these recipes because $1.75 per bar from the store is a bit on the expensive side.  she provided 4 different recipes which initially really intimidated me until i realized how easy they were to make!  they’ve been great to have on the go… we’ve eaten them on mountain hikes, bike rides or just as an everyday snack. 

so, here are the 4 different recipes i’ve made… 

Granola Larabars 
{yields ~ 8 squares}

1 cup homemade cooked granola {see recipe here}

1/2 cup dates, pitted {i used the SunMaid brand}

1 tablespoon water

combine granola, dates and water in a food processor and puree until mixture starts to stick together. 
add a little more water if needed to help the mixture come together.  next, pick up the dates mixture and using your hands work to squeeze it together into one big clump.

press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan to about 1/2-inch thickness. refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes. invert the pan’s contents onto a cutting board and slice to desired size. 

for best results store in the fridge, although bars can be kept at room temp. you can also freeze the bars for up to 1 month. 

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Peanut Butter Larabars
{yields ~ 8 squares}

1 cup dates, pitted

1/2 cup peanut butter

combine dates and peanut butter in a food processor and puree until mixture starts to stick together. add a little water if necessary to help mixture stick together. pick up the date mixture and using your hands work to squeeze it together into one big clump.

press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan to about 1/2-inch thickness. refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes. invert the pan’s contents onto a cutting board and slice to desired size. 

for best results store in the fridge, although bars can be kept at room temp. you can also freeze the bars for up to 1 month. 

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Larabars {recipe by Chocolate-Covered Katie}

1/2 cup raisins

6 tablespoons rolled oats

1/2 cup walnuts {or other nuts, i.e. almonds, pecans would work fine too}

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

begin by pulverizing the oats in a food processor. then add the nuts. then add the rest of the ingredients and blend very well. add a little water if necessary to help mixture stick together. 

knead the dried fruit and nuts together until combined and evenly distributed. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan to about 1/2-inch thickness. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes. Invert the pan’s contents onto a cutting board and slice to desired size. Makes about a dozen 1.5- x 3.5-inch bars with a few odd pieces leftover.

for best results store in the fridge, although bars can be kept at room temp. you can also freeze the bars for up to 1 month. 

Oatmeal bars thumb

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Chocolate Mocha Larabars
{came up with this rendition myself after a little trial and error}

1 1/4 cup dates, pitted

1 cup nuts {walnuts, almonds or pecans}

1-2 teaspoons instant coffee

3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa {“special dark” kind by Hershey’s}

1 tsp vanilla extract

{optional} 1/4 cup chocolate chips, pieces of chocolate bar or semi-sweet baking chocolate

begin by adding the dates to the food processor.  puree the dates and then add the nuts to the mixture. blend together and then add the remaining ingredients. 

pick up the mixture and knead until combined and evenly distributed. press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan to about 1/2-inch thickness. refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes. Invert the pan’s contents onto a cutting board and slice to desired size. makes about a dozen 1.5- x 3.5-inch bars with a few odd pieces leftover.

for best results store in the fridge, although bars can be kept at room temp. you can also freeze the bars for up to 1 month. 

Mocha Chip Larabar Vegan

enjoy!  and if you’re really feeling a bit daring, you can throw together a variation of different nuts, fruits or other flavorings and see what you come up with! 

{ok, ok… you got me, we’re not eating larabars here, but just had to include this sweet, chocolate-covered face in the post. gotta love him!}

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Published on: August 17, 2012 | Tags:

2 Responses to LaraBars {homemade energy bars}

  1. Michella says:

    I’m gonna get right on making these for Elise’s soccer tournament tomorrow! The kids are so tired of the quaker chewy and the Nutrigrain bars which both seems like way too much sugar for my tastes:-) Thanks!!!!

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