Monday, May 16, 2011

My Version of Lara Bars....

While I don't suggest eating them on a regular basis, they are nice to have around in a pinch.  My children however, love them and we find they are a fun treat to pack for snack or lunch at school.  Since I have so many children, and Lara Bars are quite expensive I make my own, wrap them well in plastic wrap and freeze for longer shelf life.    The fun thing is you can really just experiment with your favorite dried fruit and favorite nuts, keeping the ratios about the same will help, but the possibilities for flavors are endless.  The other thing we like to do is to save the wrapper when we do buy a Lara Bar, read the ingredients and then try to replicate it.  Look for more flavors in the future, I would also love to hear what flavors you come up with! Have fun!

 Cinnamon Roll
2/3 cup dates roughly chopped
1/4 cup (scant) raisins
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans (or more if needed)

Tropical Nut
1/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 whole pecans
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup craisins (be sure to use fruit sweetened, I buy these from bulk bins at the health food store)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup Unsweetened, coconut flakes (if you use shredded I would reduce this to about 1/3 c.)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (this is our favorite!)
1/3 cup chopped fresh dates
1/2 cup raw cashews (you can buy these in the bulk bins)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon
a small amount of  cocoa nibs (or I suppose you could substitute, Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet mini choc chips)

Cherry Flavor
1/4 cup chopped fresh dates
1/4 cup dried cherries ( be sure to read the ingredients, I buy them from the bulk bins, at health food stores)
1/3 cup whole pecans
1/8 tsp cinnamon
What the mixture should look like when it's done.

You will need a food processor for this recipe.  Place your fruit in the food processor and puree until like a paste, then remove and set aside.  Place your nuts in the food processor and process until the size you would like and kneed into the fruit paste. is my lazy version, sometimes when I don't care about the texture, I process the dates, then add the nuts and pulse until nuts are desired size and texture. Remove mixture and knead into a ball or loaf and shape into bars or balls or you may roll the "dough" out between two layers of silicone mats or parchment and use a pizza cutter to cut into bars.  Often we just roll them into balls making a quick snack for the kids. And I no longer wrap them individually unless we are using them for school lunches.  If you are making the chocolate chip version you will need to remove the dough and kneed in the cocoa nibs or chocolate chips at the end.  You may need to adjust the ratios slightly depending on how fresh your dates are, tonight on our batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough we had to add more cashews because the dough was to soft and sticky, it doesn't seem to change the flavor much, they are still yummy as ever.   So feel free to experiment with ratios or even different nuts, etc.

3 different kinds of Lara Bar Dough before it was formed into bars.

Finished Lara Bars
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  1. how many does each batch make and what are the calories?

  2. It really depends on the size you make them and ingredients you use. I don't count calories, so I never take the time to figure it out. Sorry I really can't help you with your question. Hope you enjoy them though.

  3. How long will they stay? Do you need to refrigerate?

  4. I really am not sure how long they will last, we store ours in the freezer but they are usually eaten within a day or two of making them. l but they should keep a couple of weeks I would imagine if refrigerated.

  5. These are great. Thanks for the recipes.

  6. How many can you get out of one batch in the size that you do them?