Thursday, September 23, 2010

Homemade Lara Bars

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 3:23 PM

* Warning: This may be the ugliest food I've ever made for this blog.

After discovering Lara Bars a few days ago, I've been obsessed. Most of the Lara Bars only have three ingredients or so and contain no preservatives. And they are gluten free. It's amazing!

Unlike other energy bars that try to pass themselves off as "all natural" and "healthy," these don't contain those ingredients that you can't pronounce, added sugar, or grain fillers. They definitely have that "healthy" taste, but if you like that kind of food, you'll like these bars. Each has roughly 200 calories.

The only ingredients listed for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Lara Bar are dates, cashews, and chocolate chips (yes, I know, chocolate chips do contain more ingredients within).

At $1.29 a pop from Trader Joe's, these bars aren't cheap. But with only 3 ingredients, how hard could it be to make yourself? I went on a mission to make my own.

I researched homemade Lara Bars on other blogs and came up with my own conglomeration. It took me two tries though. Who knew dates would be so hard to find? On my first attempt, I tried using prunes instead of dates because I was too lazy to search for dates. Big mistake. The bars turned out pretty nasty. Think prune juice. (See photo below)

click to enlarge IMG_0009

For my second attempt, off to Trader Joe's I went in search of dates. Their Medjool dates cost $4.49 per 16 oz. package and can be found in the "wet grocery" section.

Here's my second attempt:

click to enlarge IMG_0019

Much better! I split the dough into two batches and added two blocks of chopped dark chocolate to one, to make the Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough flavor bar. The plain dough tastes like the Cashew Cookie bar.

To form each bar, I weighed out 1.75 oz of dough and patted it between plastic wrap.

I've crunched the numbers and figured out each bar has about 224 calories (without chocolate). It's not low cal, but it's it's got healthy fats and will give you energy. Now I've got a stash of bars in my fridge ready to go whenever I am.

Cashew Cookie Lara Bars

Makes about 6 to 7 bars

Ingredients

8 oz. dates, pitted (about 14 dates)

4 oz. cashews (I used roasted and unsalted cashew pieces from Trader Joe's)

Directions

1. Using a food processor, chop cashews into small pieces. Place cashews in a medium bowl.

2. Using food processor again (no need to clean), puree dates into a paste.

3. Combine dates with the cashews and mix together. Form into bars.

4. Store in fridge.

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