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Homemade Larabars

The first thing I do at the beginning of each week is make a batch—or two or three—of these homemade Larabars. They’ve become
 a staple in my family’s diet and have sustained us on countless trips, fitness treks, and busy days. I predict they will become a standard in your diet, too. After all, who doesn’t love a delicious recipe that (a) has a minimal ingredient list; (b) requires no cooking; and (c) can be squished into lunchboxes, pockets, fanny packs, and backpacks for hours (umm, even days) on end? With all of the great options for dried fruits, nuts, and seeds, the possibilities for variation are boundless, and if you buy your ingredients in bulk (please do, the savings are substantial!), the cost per bar is minimal, too. This starter template is for cherry pie bars (my all-time favorite); you can start with any variation from the list or from your own imagination.

Whole dates are best for this recipe, but if prechopped is what you have (or all that you can find), you can still use them. One caveat: Prechopped dates are typically coated with oat flour and/or sugar. The coating can be removed with the soaking, but soak them separately from any other dried fruit you choose to use; because they are prechopped, they will only need 2 to 3 minutes of soaking. If they are left to soak for too long, they will begin to disintegrate.–Camilla V. Saulsbury

LC Homemade Larabar Note

Why make a Larabar when you can buy it? Well, they’re easy, for starters. And because a DIY Larabar is customizable, not to mention economical. That said, dried fruits and nuts can add up quickly, especially if you opt for organic. Buy them from the bulk bins when possible, and just remind yourself, by eating a Larabar instead of a Snickers, you’re making an investment in your health. And that’s priceless. As for that customizable part, we’re curious to hear what concoctions you create in your own kitchen. So go on, tell us your loveliest Larabar creations in a comment below.

Homemade Larabars Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 50 M
  • Makes 6 bars

Ingredients

  • For cherry pie larabars
  • Mild olive oil or vegetable oil for the pan
  • 1 cup packed dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap and slick it with a touch of oil.
  • 2. Combine the cherries, dates, and warm water in a small bowl. (If the dried fruit you are using is already super soft and moist, you can skip the soaking step.) Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until the fruit is soft. The exact timing will vary according to the dryness of the fruit. Drain the fruit and pat it dry with paper towels.
  • 3. Meanwhile, place the almonds in a food processor and process until finely chopped but not pastelike. Add the drained fruit, cinnamon, and salt (if using). Pulse the ingredients until the fruit is finely chopped and blended and the Larabar mixture begins to stick together and clump against the sides of the bowl and your processor starts hopping on the counter just a little bit. This could take up to 2 minutes or so.
  • 4. Transfer the Larabar mixture to the prepared pan. Place
 a large piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray or slicked with a touch of oil atop the bar mixture and use it to spread and flatten the mixture evenly in the pan. Leave the paper or plastic wrap in place. (Alternatively, form the mixture into any size or shape you like, such as balls or mini bars.) Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 5. Using the paper or plastic lining the pan, lift the bar mixture from the pan and transfer it to a cutting board. Uncover and cut into 6 bars. Tightly wrap each bar in plastic wrap. The bars will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months (let the frozen bars thaw for 1 hour before consuming).

Larabar Variations

  • Dark Chocolate Brownie Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup raw walnuts, 3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Apple Pie Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup dried apples, 1/4 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw pecans or walnuts, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Cashew Cookie Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw cashews, 3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (optional), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Peanut Cookie Dough Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup 
raw peanuts, 3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (optional), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Pecan Pie Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1/4 cup raw almonds, 3/4 cup raw pecans, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Gingerbread Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup raw pecans, 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • PB & J Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1/2 cup packed dried cherries, 3/4 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw or roasted peanuts, 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Cappuccino Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water,
1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1 tablespoon roasted coffee beans, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Tropical Escape Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup dried, unsweetened pineapple, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw cashews, 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut, and 1 tablespoon finely grated tangerine or orange zest (preferably organic).
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup raisins, 1 cup warm water, 3/4 cup raw cashews, 3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Blueberry Cobbler Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup packed dried blueberries, 1/4 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 3/4 cup raw walnuts or raw pecans, 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (preferably organic), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Carrot Cake Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1/2 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened pineapple, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw walnuts, 1/4 
cup peeled, shredded carrots, 1/4 cup unsweetened flake or shredded coconut, 2 teaspoons coconut oil, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Apricot Ambrosia Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups dried apricots, 1 cup warm water, 2/3 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Key Lime Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw cashews, 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest (preferably organic), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Lemon Pie Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup raw cashews, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (preferably organic), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
  • Coconut Cream Larabars
  • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw cashews, 1/2 cup unsweetened flake or shredded coconut, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).
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