20 October 2010

Homemade (delicious easy addictive) Larabars

If you have ever bought a Larabar, you know this brand offers good simple nutrition in a package. No additives, just fruit and nuts. That is certainly hard to find. However, Larabars are pretty high up there on the price scale. Thankfully you can make your own if you have a food processor and five minutes . . . and the self-control not to devour the whole mixture before you're through.

Homemade Larabars
(inspired by recipes here, here, and here)

1 heaping cup dried whole dates (nice big soft ones, not little flour-coated pieces)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut

1. Put the dates into your food processor. I have a little weensy one, and it even works in there. I'm in the market for a bigger one though, meaning that I haunt Craigslist. Anywho, small or large, blend those babies up until they're in a pretty smooth paste, clumping into two or three balls.
2. Dump the date paste balls (and doesn't that sound appetizing? okay, bear with me here) into a medium bowl. Now put the walnuts and coconut into your food processor and whiz that for 3-5 seconds to make a really fine powder. This page has great pictures of each step.
3. Dump the walnuts and coconut into the bowl with the dates. Take off any rings you may be wearing, and get ready to knead some fruit. (Or you could leave your jewelry on. But then you will have dates stuck in your engagement ring and that is kind of gross.) Knead it all up really well, until everything is fully incorporated in a ball. Now shape the ball into a rectangle, approximately 3x6 inches. Cut it into three bars, and either wrap them individually in plastic wrap or just throw them in a container in the fridge. Whatever you do, keep them chilled.

Tada! Three Larabars. You can mix up the recipe with substitutions. Almonds or any other kind of nut can fill in for the walnuts; or omit the coconut and add something else, like flax seed or wheat germ, or just more nuts. The dates are pretty important beacuse they are so sticky, but you could replace some of them with raisins or craisins or dried apricots, any soft dried fruit.

Beautiful they are not. Delicious they most certainly are.

Homemade Larabars still aren't extraordinarily cheap. I'm sure granola bars are more frugal if you are just looking at the penny count. But these are certainly cheaper than the store version-- and you know what? These are more filling than a granola bar anyway. So I think you get more bang for your buck in the end. They definitely work for me!


  1. never heard of Lara Bars, but the recipe looks good. THanks. I do have a serious food processor and I can't imagine what I did without it. For perspective, however, I do not have a stand mixer.

  2. I've never heard of them either. If you ground the coconut and nuts first and then added the dates wouldn't that eliminate the hand mixing part?

  3. @ Innkeeper Seely: I'm not sure. The thing is, you don't want to grind up the nuts even more. They should be very fine but not a powder. So if you did the combining in the food processor, I would be afraid that the nuts would just get more pulverized.

    It would be worth a try though!