What is Larabar? Larabar is a brand of energy bars sold commercially at the grocery store. It is made out of fruits and nuts, so it is supposed to be a healthy snack. I said healthy, if you eat it moderately. If you eat a whole box of Larabars, I think that will defeat the purpose of healthy snacks.
I personally never eaten Larabar and knew of its existence from my supervisor and a fellow blogger, Leashie at “All Kinds of Hungry“. Leashie posts the different kinds of flavors of Larabar and gives us her review; my supervisor eats Larabar as a mid-afternoon snack. So I know I can get it locally, but the tiny grocery store that I frequent doesn’t sell that energy bar. And I’m not about to run around town just to get one to try.
So when I came across Rebecca’s post on Foodie with Family, I kind of knew what she was writing about. As I read through her post, I noticed how easy it is to make it and got excited when Rebecca mentioned one of the vendors at the farmer’s market gave Rebecca’s Homemade Larabar a comparison to Snicker bars! How could you not get excited? Fruit, Nuts, Chocolate = Snickers Bar? We may put Mars out of business here!
So with the first available trip to the grocery store, I grabbed a pack of dates. These dates came from the market locally, and not the Sun Maid or any other commercial brands out there. I already had a three pounder bag of raw almonds, so I did not worry about that. Also, I had the Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips. Peanut butter, I had that as well. I halved the recipe since I wasn’t quite sure if I would like them. Although, I shouldn’t worry about it since I have colleagues at work who would be happy to digest anything I make. Literally and figuratively.
So I pulled out the food processor and poured the almonds into it.
Turned on the machine, and it sounded like I was being shot by a machine gun. Yes, those bouncing almonds inside the bowl made quite a lot of noise. My cats were not happy with me that night. I let it process until I had a coarse meal of almonds. Now if you like your almonds chunkier, don’t process it so much.
Then I dumped in the chocolate chips…
Gave it a buzz or two, and I got this!
I poured the chopped up almonds and chocolate chips into a bowl, and dumped the dates into the bowl next.
I buzzed the food processor for a few times, until I came up with a ball of minced dates.
Then, I smeared on roughly a tablespoon of peanut butter and buzzed it a few more times.
Then lastly, I poured the almonds-chocolate mixture into the working bowl.
Buzzed it again a few times, until I got this sticky, pasty consistency.
I pried it out of the bowl and dumped it into a parchment paper lined, 9 x 9 baking pan, and used a spatula to flatten it out.
Then I lined it with plastic wrap, and put another 9 x 9 baking pan on top, and put my weight to press it down to get that smooth surface.
See how smooth it looks? Then the pan went into the refrigerator to harden for a few hours. Actually, overnight for me, since I was ready to go to bed by the time I finished making this.
So the next morning, I took the pan out of the refrigerator and lifted out the slab.
I sliced them into 18 equal pieces… Brought most of them to work to test on my co-workers.
I tried it myself as well, and I was happy with the end result. Chocolatey, a bit chewy on the pieces of almonds and the sweetness of the dates were just right. My supervisor even said that it tasted better than her Larabar! And Hubby? He likes it! But, I have to say mine did not come out tasting like Snickers bars. But all in all, it is quite tasty and a healthier snack to have around. Thank you for sharing Rebecca!
And, I don’t usually become too analytical with food, but for this one, I calculated the calories of the homemade energy bars. I came up with 117 calories per piece, with roughly about 2.72 gr of proteins. So, as far as the protein went, I was dissatisfied. I needed a higher protein level to ward off the hunger. But if you’re not worried about the protein level, then by all means, make this! And the list of the dry fruits and nuts you can use are endless. So I will be experimenting with different ingredients, and will be sure to let you know about it. Until my next experiment! Have an energetic day!
Print recipe here.
Recipe courtesy: Foodie with Family
This is half of the Rebecca’s recipe. To double this recipe, please see Rebecca’s original recipe on the above link.
2 cups whole, pitted dates (moist ones work best) – about 10 oz.
1 cup raw or toasted whole shelled almonds
½ cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon peanut butter
Line a 9 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper or wax paper with extra paper on the edge of the baking pan.
Chop raw almonds with a food processor until the desired coarseness. Remember, it will get processed more, so if you want more chunks of almond, keep this in mind.
Add the chocolate chips into the food processor, pulse a few times.
Transfer the chopped almonds and chocolate chips into a different bowl.
Using the same working bowl, put the dates in and process until the dates are chopped up and formed a ball.
Add the peanut butter and chopped almonds and chocolate chips. Process until everything is combined.
Transfer the date mixture into the prepared pan. Press down with your fingers and make sure the surface is even. Line with a plastic wrap on top, put another 9 x 9 baking pan on top, and press down.
Remove the empty pan, and refrigerate a few hours until firm.
Using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the “Larabar” and cut into the desired pieces.
Keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator.