Friday, April 13, 2012

Homemade Lara Bars

With tests and finals coming up in the next week or so, I have a lot of studying to do. I love snacking while I study and when you go for 8 to 10 hours a day, snacking frequently on top of a healthy lunch is a must, at least for me. I needed a snack that was not too calorie/sugar dense, moderate fiber, moderate protein, and filling that could get me through these long study sessions without ruining my diet.

I don’t eat candy and I am currently on my third week of eliminating sugar. Being a purist however is not who I am so I still eat some things with sugar in them like ketchup, applesauce, peanut butter, greek yogurt, etc. when I don’t make them myself. I do eat organic though and no high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose, stevia, or any other added/artificial sweetener. I am also trying to eat more by the paleo diet guidelines: vegetables and lean meat, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. I thought about making homemade clif bars, but they have oats in them, which is not paleo, so I went with lara bars.

My sister http://abbylschmid.tumblr.com/ and I used recipes from this site: http://www.damyhealth.com/2011/03/how-to-make-homemade-lara-bars/ and we also made our own recipes as well. Each recipe on the website makes approximately 4 bars that are about 5 in. x 2 in. They turned out great and have worked wonderfully so far for mid-morning snacks, mid-afternoon snacks, and late-night snacks. We made blueberry muffin, banana bread, chocolate chip cookie dough, and peanut butter cookie. Oats are optional in any of these recipes also and would make them more like clif bars. If you want the extra carb/fiber/energy boost, then by all means use oats. For each recipe chop/blend the dry ingredients, set aside, blend the wet ingredients, and mix the two together by hand.

Blueberry muffin

  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Seedless/Pitted whole Dates
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated kumquat zest
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

The original recipe calls for lemon zest but we didn’t have lemons so we used kumquat zest which worked fine. The blueberries we used were not ‘dried’ rather they were almost dehydrated in a sense.

Peanut butter cookie

  • 1/2 cup Seedless/Pitted whole Dates
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup peanuts

The best ones that were the easiest to make. We made about 16 bars from multiplying this recipe up. If you do double, triple, or quadruple the recipe I would recommend still making each batch separately. I would not use sunflower seed butter though because it is quite strong, we were just experimenting though.

Chocolate chip cookie dough

  • 1/2 cup Cashews
  • 1/3 cup Seedless/Pitted whole Dates
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Dark Chocolate Chips

The best tasting one. These literally smelled and tasted like chocolate chip cookie dough. Don’t believe me? Try this one and you will see.

Banana bread

  • 1/2 cup Seedless/Pitted whole Dates
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/2 large banana or 1 small banana chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup peanuts

These were kind of gross in texture but ok to taste. We used actual banana but I think you are supposed to use dried banana chips.

Overall they all tasted good and store very nicely, wrapped and in a refrigerator. It has been over a week and I have not noticed any mold/spoilage/liquid runoff from any of them. We used all organic ingredients and a blendtec blender. I would use a food processor though if you have it because the blender spins way too fast for mashing the dates into a paste. Our bars probably turned out a little more chunky than they would have been if done in a food processor, but don’t get me wrong they were still awesome. If you need more directions or want to make your own, the blog mentioned earlier has directions on combing your own ingredients to make whatever you want.

Oh, and they are MUCH better than store bought LARA bars. I don’t even like the real LARA bars.

Notes

  1. askschmid posted this