Homemade Lara Bars (aka “Raw Balls”)

Posted on February 10, 2014

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Lara bars have always been a favorite trail food. My girl friend got me into making them at home, which is fast and easy! Buying ingredients in bulk at Costco, WinCo foods, etc. keeps costs down. This is less of a recipe and more of a formula that can be modified to suit your taste and interest in experimentation… (makes about 14 small servings)

  • 1 cup nuts (cashews, pecans, pistachios, etc.)
  • 2 cups pitted dates + 1 cup dried fruit (more pitted dates or cranberries, dried figs, raisins, etc.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (adjust depending on whether your nuts are salted or not)
  • optional: 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp spices (cinnamon, cardamom, etc.), honey, coconut flakes, cocoa powder, oil…

In a food processor, process nuts until coarsely chopped. Add dried fruit and process until well blended. Add other ingredients and process until it starts to stick together (this might take 5 minutes or so total).  You can either roll them into a ball and freeze for 1 hr then package in a ziploc for extended freezing or press into an casserole dish to cut into bars.

Tips:

If your pitted dates are on the hard side (probably because they are old), they will wreak havoc on your food processor and make the process difficult. If you are dealing with hard dates, try soaking them overnight then allow to dry out, warming them in the microwave for 30 seconds, and/or pre-chopping them by hand a bit before putting them into the processor. Also, they will take longer to process than soft dates, so to avoid having roughly chopped dates coated in cashew butter, consider processing them alone first before starting the recipe.

Some combinations to try:

  • Cashew Cookie: 100% dates, 100% cashews, vanilla and salt (a classic, and great way to start)
  • Oatmeal Raisin: 50% cashews+50% pecans, 75% dates+25% raisins, Add 1/2 cup oatmeal and some cinnamon (to taste), salt
  • Cranberry Coconut: 100% cashews, 2c dates, 1c cranberries, add 1/2c shredded/flaked coconut, salt
  • Banana nut: 1c walnuts, 2-1/2 c dates, 1/2c freeze-dried sliced banana, shredded coconut, cinnamon, chia seeds, salt
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip: 1/2c pecans, 1/2c choc chips (add at same time as nuts), 2c dates, 1/2c peanut butter (add after processing dates), salt
  • Baklava: 50% cashews+50% pistachios, 50% dates+50% dried figs, add honey, salt
  • Gatherer Bar: Dates, almonds, hazlenuts, cacao powder, espresso powder, chia seeds, maca root powder, vanilla extract, salt
  • Go Raw Sprouted Carrot Cake: Coconut, sprouted sesame seeds, carrots, dates, nutmeg
  • Lemon poppyseed: Dates, cashews, poppy seeds, lemon zest

I am not the only one that does this:

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2009/11/08/homemade-cashew-cookie-larabars/

http://detoxinista.com/2013/09/date-energy-balls-vegan-paleo/

Sample Nutrition Facts

Serving Size

1 ball  (42.4 g) = +/- 1/14 of recipe
Amount Per Serving

Calories

132

Calories from Fat

42
% Daily Value*

Total Fat

4.7g
7%

Saturated Fat

0.9g
4%

Cholesterol

0mg
0%

Sodium

45mg
2%

Total Carbohydrates

23.2g
8%

Dietary Fiber

2.6g
10%

Sugars

16.9g

Protein

2.2g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 1% Iron 5%
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Posted in: Trail Recipes