The first thing I do at the beginning of each week is make a batch—or two or three—of these homemade Larabars. They’ve become a staple in my family’s diet and have sustained us on countless trips, fitness treks, and busy days. I predict they will become a standard in your diet, too. After all, who doesn’t love a delicious recipe that (a) has a minimal ingredient list; (b) requires no cooking; and (c) can be squished into lunchboxes, pockets, fanny packs, and backpacks for hours (umm, even days) on end? With all of the great options for dried fruits, nuts, and seeds, the possibilities for variation are boundless, and if you buy your ingredients in bulk (please do, the savings are substantial!), the cost per bar is minimal, too. This starter template is for cherry pie bars (my all-time favorite); you can start with any variation from the list or from your own imagination.
Whole dates are best for this recipe, but if prechopped is what you have (or all that you can find), you can still use them. One caveat: Prechopped dates are typically coated with oat flour and/or sugar. The coating can be removed with the soaking, but soak them separately from any other dried fruit you choose to use; because they are prechopped, they will only need 2 to 3 minutes of soaking. If they are left to soak for too long, they will begin to disintegrate.–Camilla V. Saulsbury
LC Homemade Larabar Note
Why make a Larabar when you can buy it? Well, they’re easy, for starters. And because a DIY Larabar is customizable, not to mention economical. That said, dried fruits and nuts can add up quickly, especially if you opt for organic. Buy them from the bulk bins when possible, and just remind yourself, by eating a Larabar instead of a Snickers, you’re making an investment in your health. And that’s priceless. As for that customizable part, we’re curious to hear what concoctions you create in your own kitchen. So go on, tell us your loveliest Larabar creations in a comment below.
1. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap and spray with nonstick cooking spray or slick with a touch of oil.
2. Combine the cherries, dates, and warm water in a small bowl. (If the dried fruit you are using is already super soft and moist, you can skip the soaking step.) Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until the fruit is soft. The exact timing will vary according to the dryness of the fruit. Drain the fruit and pat it dry with paper towels.
3. Meanwhile, place the almonds in a food processor and process until finely chopped but not pastelike. Add the drained fruit, cinnamon, and salt (if using). Pulse the ingredients until the fruit is finely chopped and blended and the Larabar mixture begins to stick together and clump against the sides of the bowl and your processor starts hopping on the counter just a little bit. This could take up to 2 minutes or so.
4. Transfer the Larabar mixture to the prepared pan. Place? a large piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray or slicked with a touch of oil atop the bar mixture and use it to spread and flatten the mixture evenly in the pan. Leave the paper or plastic wrap in place. (Alternatively, form the mixture into any size or shape you like, such as balls or mini bars.) Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Using the paper or plastic lining the pan, lift the bar mixture from the pan and transfer it to a cutting board. Uncover and cut into 6 bars. Tightly wrap each bar in plastic wrap. The bars will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months (let the frozen bars thaw for 1 hour before consuming).
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (34g)|
|Recipe Makes: 6 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 1 (1%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 0.1g||0 %|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 9.8mg||0 %|
|Potassium 168.8mg||4 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 26.6g||8 %|
|Dietary Fiber 2.4g||9 %|
|Sugars, other 24.2g|
|Protein 0.7g||1 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 101
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