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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Homemade "Lara" Bars

Homemade "Lara" Bars
My husband and daughter absolutely LOVE these things.

I was first turned on to them when my sister was doing the Whole 30 diet almost a year ago.
When I am usually at her house, I am shocked with how little food she and her husband have in their fridge on a day-to-day basis. But while she was on this diet, that wasn't the case.

Her fridge was brimming with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, containers of approved leftover foods, and these delicious bars. Now, LaraBars are amazing, and I love that they have so few ingredients (all real food, too), but they can get a bit pricey for a family who all like to eat them on a daily basis. On the 100 Days of Whole Foods site, she lists several recipes, but I have adapted these to make dozens of different combinations. Below is the one I made this morning, since my daughter ate the last one from my last batch this morning for breakfast, and I needed to use what I had on-hand.

NOTES: I have made these with just dates (like the recipes above), but I also LOVE the taste of figs (and we can get a HUGE bag from Costco), and I have really enjoyed adding this component to these Homemade "Lara" Bars. I also made a batch a little while ago with just figs (and no dates), but my favorite is a combination of both. Also, you can use whatever type of nut or seed you'd like. I've mostly worked with cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds. I've also added 1/2c of chia or hemp seeds in step 3, if there seems to be a tad too much moisture.

Makes at least 12 bars (depending on how thick/large you cut them)

1c mixture of dates (pitted) and figs that are soaking in water for at least an hour
1c pecans
1c cashews
1/2c shredded coconut

Just about to go in the fridge
1. In a food processor, blend the nuts until ground down. It should not be as small as flour, but you shouldn't see any whole/half nuts either. Place in a bowl and set aside.

2. In same bowl of food processor, pulse the dates/figs down to a similar consistency as the nuts.

3. Add the nuts back into the food processor along with most of the 1/4c of shredded coconut. Mix until all ingredients are well-combined.

4. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly throughout the bottom of the dish. Press down with a spatula. Then sprinkle the remaining bit of shredded coconut on the top.

5. Place dish in the fridge for at least an hour (or the freezer for less time). Then cut the squares (I like them to be bite-sized) and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. I like to use the same parchment paper to layer my bars in one container.


These do travel fairly well in a glass container, but I have had more difficulty in plastic bags, wax or parchment paper.

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