Homemade Larabars: Simple, wholesome ingredients come together to form a delicious, healthy copycat version of larabars. These simple bites will quickly become a staple at your house, and with eight different varieties, you will never tire of eating them!
Have you ever had a Larabar?
They are delicious!!
Larabars 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. And with a family of 4, we could go through some serious $$ if we purchased the bars on a daily basis.
So, why not make homemade larabars?
DIY larabars are seriously easier to make than running out to the store to buy–not to mention so much affordable.
I prefer to make Larabars into little “cookie” balls verses an actual bar. Something about making larabar bites, make my children believe these bites truly are cookies. And hey, this mom is all for these healthy cookies!
Are Larabars healthy?
Everyone has a different idea of what healthy really means. However, in my book, it doesn’t get much healthier than larabars.
Nuts and dates–two natural ingredients that are perfectly wholesome. Nuts contain fiber, protein and healthy fats. And dates are a natural source of sweetness and contain many vitamins and minerals. My son refers to dates as God’s candy. I agree–they are perfectly sweet, making diy larabars taste like a dessert or candy bar, while not containing any added sugars.
How to Make Larabars at Home
The variations of larabars are endless to make. Today I am sharing 8 varieties with you.
Start with the Dates
It is really important to use whole, pitted dates. Chopped dates have been coated in sugar or cornstarch. You also want to be sure that your dates are soft. I soak my raw dates in hot water for 10-15 minutes before making homemade larabars. Tip–save the soaking liquid to use to sweeten smoothies or oatmeal.
Process the Ingredients
In a food processor, process together the dates and nuts with a dash of salt to form the base of these natural energy bars.
Form the Larabars
You can choose to press the larabar mixture in a 7×11 pan lined with parchment paper or roll into 1-2 inch balls, for DIY Larabar Bites.
Each recipe will make 6 bars or between 24-30 “cookie” balls depending on size you like.
The base of larabars is simple–nuts, dried fruit, and a dash of salt. My perfect ratio for Larbars is 3:2 fruit to nuts. I add in a dash of salt to bring out the flavor and if needed, a bit of the date soaking liquid to help bring the mixture together.
The ratio may sound complicated. DON’T be overwhelmed, I have broken the recipes down for you in detail. But basically this means for every 1 cup nuts I use 1 1/2 cups dried fruit.
Once you master the basic recipe, let your imagination run wild!
8 Varieties of Homemade Larabars
- Cashew Cookie: Process 1 cup cashews in food processor until they are in small chunks. Add 1 1/2 cups 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 peanuts with a pinch of salt until small chunks. Add 1 1/2 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, 1/2 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 1/4 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, 1/2 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 1/2 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, 1 cup pitted dates, 1 cup peanuts, and a dash of salt until paste forms and form into bars or balls.
Whole30 Compliant Larabars
A lot of people ask if Larbars are whole30 approved or paleo. The answer is not a simple yes or no.
In order to be whole30 complaint and paleo, larabars need to not have any added sugars and contain no legumes or grains.
Watch for the following:
- Be sure that you use dried fruit that has no added sugar
- Do not add oats in Paleo or Whole30 Larabars, as I do in my Oatmeal Raisin Larabar Variety.
- And only walnuts or almonds as your choice for nuts. Peanuts are a legume and not allowed on whole30 or paleo diets. Cashews are highly debated. Some people say they are paleo, some say they are whole30 approved, and others say they are not either. Cashews are not a nut or a legume, but actually a seed–so it can be tricky to tell where they fall. To stay safe, I suggest just using a combination of almonds and/or walnuts for whole30 approved larabars.
- For any recipe that calls for peanuts, substitute them for almonds, walnuts, or cashews and your homemade bar will be whole30 approved.
Homemade Whole30 Compliant Larabar Varieties
The following varieties are whole30 (and paleo)
- Pecan Pie Larabars
- Apple Pie Larabars
- Cherry Pie Larabars
Tips for making Larabars
- Do not use chopped dates. They are coated in sugar.
- Store homemade larabars in refrigerator for up to 7 days, or in the pantry for 2-3 days.
- I do not recommend freezing larabars, as the texture will greatly change when defrosted.
- If your dates or dried fruit is at all hard and not soft, soak in hot water for 15 to 30 minutes before you process the larabar balls.
- Be creative. If you have pecans and raisins–go for it. Who knows, you may find the best combination out there.
Basic Larabar Base Recipe
- 1 cup nuts any combination
- 1 1/2 cups dried fruit combination of dates and another variety or all dates
- dash of salt
- Process ingredients in a food processor until paste forms and form into balls or bars.
TO DIY LARABARS YOU MAY NEED
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