These are just like the Lara Bars you see in health food stores, only better because they are home-made (oh yeah). Make sure to wrap them up tightly with plastic wrap when you are done to maintain the freshness then refrigerate or freeze. I prefer to keep mine frozen then pop them in my hunting pack on my way out the door.
The internet is full of recipes for “Lara Bars” I scored this one from enlightenedcooking.com they were delicious and I will definitely try some of her other variations to the recipe.
This only makes 2 bars so make it worth your while and double it up. Also you will need a food processor, I finally splurged on one this year!
1/4 cup chopped dates, roughly chopped whole fresh dates see note about pre-chopped below
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup whole pecans, almonds or walnuts
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Set out two pieces of plastic wrap for shaping and wrapping the bars. Do this first; you’ll have sticky fingers when you need it.
Place the dates and cherries in a food processor. Pulse until processed to a paste.
Transfer paste to a medium bowl (don’t clean processor).
Add the nuts to the processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the nuts, along with the cinnamon, to the bowl with the fruit paste. Use your fingers to knead the nuts into the paste.
Divide mixture in half. Place each half on each of one of the sheets of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around each bar and start squishing into a bar shape form, 3 and 1/2 inches long, 1 inch wide and 3/4-inch thick); press against countertop to flatten bottom side, flattening top side and ends with flat of hand (photo 5) Tightly wrap the plastic around each bar and store in the refrigerator. Makes 2 bars.
Nutrition per Serving (1 bar): Calories 207; Fat 9.4 g (sat .8g, mono 5.2g, poly 3.1g); Protein 3.9g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 24.9g; Sodium 0.4mg.
Note about using pre-chopped dates: Pre-chopped dried dates are much cheaper than whole dates, and sometimes are the only option available at the supermarket, depending on where you live. However, they are typically coated with oat flour (to prevent sticking), and sometimes a bit of sugar, too. They are too dry and hard to work as is in this recipe, but with a bit of tweaking, they will work just fine. To make them usable for larabar purposes, place them in a small bowl and cover with warm water (not hot or boiling water; this will make them turn to mush). Let stand 3 to 5 minutes until softened; then drain and pat dry. Not only will this soften the dates, it will remove any oat flour and/or sugar).