Have you ever had a Larabar?
They are delicious!!
They taste like an extremely decadent dessert, but they are made from just nuts and fruit and typically that is it!!
However, they are very pricey at least $1 a bar on sale. So, why not make them at home? And they are seriously easier to make than running out to the store to buy and so much more affordable.
I prefer to make Larabars into little “cookie” balls verses an actual bar. Your choice, but this helps with smaller portion control and makes my children believe they truly are cookies. They beg for them for dessert and I can give them 2 or 3 small balls without it being too much for them.
The variations are endless to make. Here are my favorite varieties and all will make 6 bars or between 24-30 “cookie” balls depending on size you like. I store them in refrigerator, but they will keep in the pantry as well for several days.
- Cashew Cookie: Process 1/2 cup cashews in food processor until they are in small chunks. Add 1 cup of pitted whole dates and process until paste forms. Add up to 1 TBS water if needed to bring mixture together. Press mixture out flat onto wax paper and divide into 6 bars or just grab a 1 tablespoon and roll into a ball. Store in container lined with wax paper (do not stack on top of each other without separating with more wax paper.
- Peanut Butter Cookie: Process 1 cup nuts with a pinch of salt until small chunks. Add 1 cup of pitted whole dates and process until paste forms. Add up to 1 TBS water if needed and form into balls by rolling 1 tablespoon of mixture together. Store in container lined with wax paper.
- Oatmeal Raisin: Process 1 cup raisins, 1 cup walnuts, 3/4 cup oatmeal, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract together. Form into bars or “cookie” balls as desired.
- Cherry Pie: Process 1 cup dried, unsweetened cherries, 1/4 cup dates, 1 cup almonds, dash of salt and 1/4 tsp cinnamon until paste forms in food processor. Shape into 6 bars or “cookie” bars.
- Dark Chocolate: Process 1 cup pitted dates, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup walnuts, 3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder together until paste forms and form into bars or balls.
- Apple Pie: Process 1 cup dried apples, 1/4 cup pitted dates, 1 cup pecans or walnuts, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and dash of salt until paste forms and form into balls or bars.
- Pecan Pie: Process 1 1/4 cups pitted dates, 1/4 cup almonds, 3/4 cup pecans, dash of salt until paste forms and form into balls or bars.
- PB & J: Process 1/2 cup packed dried cherries, 3/4 cup pitted dates, 1 cup peanuts, and a dash of salt until paste forms and form into bars or balls.
- Do not use chopped dates. They are coated in sugar.
- If your dates or dried fruit is at all hard and not soft, soak in hot water for up to 30 minutes before you process the balls.
- Be creative. If you have pecans and raisins–go for it. Who knows, you may find the best combination out there.