Saturday, January 23, 2010

I made Larabars!

After being impressed with the Cashew Cookie Larabar I had the day I forgot to eat lunch, someone shared this link with me--a homemade version! The recipe sounded simple enough, and I only had to buy dates in order to make them in my own kitchen. The $3.49 I paid for the container of dates was a great investment, considering each bar I was buying was $1.29--so I'd spent $6.45 on these bars before I finally decided to man up and make them myself!

When I was preparing these, we were planning a road trip with The H for work (which has since fallen through) so I wanted several varieties for a quick, clean snack. The recipe as written makes two bars, which would last about 10 minutes in our house (did you know Larabars are also gluten-free? A winner for The H!), so I doubled each batch to get four bars, and made three different flavors. I figured if I was going to the trouble to pulverize a few nuts and some dried fruit, I might as well make it worth my while and get more than two measly bars out of it.

The original directions said to mix the fruit and nuts together by hand, like Play-Doh, but in the comments someone posted that she accomplished the same thing using a zip-top freezer bag. That was more my style (I hate having anything under my fingernails)! I discovered that it was really easy to get the mixture into the bag if I lined a large plastic cup with the bag first--no mess on the bag zipper, no sticky hands. And now, without further ado, here is my Larabar experience:

All my supplies ready and waiting:

I did not use the chocolate or apricots this time.

Finely ground nuts in the food processor:

I tried using my 1-cup mini-chopper, but the blade just spun everything around without chopping.

My uber-fancy bag-in-a-cup system:

Gold star if you can tell me where the cup is from!

Cherry pie flavor, all mushed up. Yummy...or not (yet!):

Weighing in order to get equal portions (this was 1/3 of the cherry pie batch):

Isn't it cute?

All wrapped up and ready for the fridge:

The flavors I made were cherry pie, blueberry bliss, and peanut butter cookie. I didn't use enough dates in the peanut one, so they are crumblier than I would have liked. (However, The H just said "I loved it! I would eat those all the time" so they can't have been too bad.) The fruity ones came out much stickier, more like an actual Larabar--at least, the ones I've had.

My advice, should you decide to attempt these yourself, would be to make sure your dates are fresh and sticky (get whole, pitted dates and not pre-chopped ones), don't skimp on how many you use (make the measurements a firmly-packed 1/3 cup, for example), and take your time forming the bars if you care how they look. By the time I made the peanut butter cookie flavor, I was afraid I was getting carpal tunnel syndrome from kneading the bags so much, so they are less than appetizing--which is why I only posted pictures of the first ones. :)


  1. gold star for me... i know where the cup is from and i drink from it every day.

    oh wait I'm the H so does that mean my gold star doesn't count?

  2. This is really fun! Glad it worked out. I would consider doing this if my husband would get anywhere near dates. You're lucky your husband seems to be pretty adventurous!

  3. The dates were pretty innocuous. Not as sweet as I was imagining, and no real distinct flavor. Just make 'em and don't tell him what's in them!