March 30, 2013

Homemade Larabars

As far as packaged snack foods go, Larabars rank pretty high on the scale of good-for-you snacks. The ingredient list is short and the flavours are yummy. But, they can be pricey. So I figured "Hey! I can MAKE these!"

So I did. And you can too!

This is not an original thought, and there are lots of blogs out there with creative kitchen-gurus who remember to take more pictures than I did. But this is my blog, and so here's what I made!

The cast of characters (I picked things I like):
- plain unsalted cashews
- plain walnuts
- medjool dates (pitted)
- dried cherries
- mini chocolate chips

If your dates still have the pits in them (mine did), just pry them out with your fingers.

Place your dates and cherries in a food processor and turn them into (for lack of a better term) a lumpy paste.

pre-lumpy paste

Add in your nuts and blend until mixture becomes "mealy". Once it has the texture of crusher dust (I know, I paint an appetizing picture) add in some mini chocolate chips. These would be healthier without the chocolate chips, but come on... chocolate makes everything better! I

Turn out of bowl of food processor and press into a square cake pan (mine is 8.5 x 8.5). Cut into bars. Now... I don't like the idea of using metal in my good cake pans, so I used my hard plastic stone-pan-scraper to cut the bars since it has a nice edge.

To store, I cut some parchment paper and wrapped each bar individually.

Then just pop the wrapped bars into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the fridge until you feel as though you need a snack! But if you think you'll be a while till you get to them all, put some wrapped bars in a freezer bag and toss them in your freezer!

Mmmm nutritious, good-for-you, and ohhhh so yummy!

My recipe (feel free to adjust as you see fit):

13 medjool dates (pitted)
1/3 cup dries cherries (try dried cranberries or blueberries!)
1 1/2 cups unsalted cashews
3/4 cup plain walnuts
1/3 - 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a food processor, blend up the dates & cherries. Add in the nuts until you get a pea-meal consistency. Add in mini chocolate chips. Press into square pan. Cut into bars. Wrap each bar individually. Store until ready to eat!


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