I am a huge fan of Larabars, and one of the things I love about them is that they are made of just a few ingredients, such as nuts, fruits and spices.... So, with their natural ingredients, they are unprocessed, raw, non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan and kosher. Not to mention they are delicious! So, I was really excited when my neighbor sent me a link to Camilla's blog, which contained recipes to make your own Lara-like bars!! All you need is a few ingredients and your food processor!!!
My neighbors and I have been making these bars, and they are truly delicious!!! Here is the basic recipe we use:
1/3 cup dates (roughly chopped whole dates, not pre-chopped)
Place the dates in the food processor and pulse until processed to a paste. Transfer paste to a bowl. Then add the nuts to the food processor (you don't need to clean it before adding the nuts...) until finely chopped. Add the nuts to the date paste and use your fingers to knead the nuts into the paste. It's a sticky business but it's fun!!!! You can, if you wish, add raisins, dried cranberries or other fruits to it. Separate into portions and form bars (no perfection needed!). Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate. I got this tip from my neighbor: if you are making a lot of bars, line an 8"x8" pyrex with plastic wrap, then press all the dough into it.... Then, you can turn it over, pull on the plastic wrap to release the dough, and cut into bars!!! Thanks for the tip, Kristie!
Here is Camilla's basic recipe for Cherry Bars (which can be used as a template for almost any combination):
1/4 cup chopped dates (roughly chopped whole dates, not pre-chopped)
1/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
1/3 cup whole pecans, almonds or walnuts
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
This recipe yields 2 bars, you can double, triple or quadruple the recipe for more bars.
I've been experimenting with a variation of other fruits (I found a great variety of dry fruits at Whole Foods), and these are the two kinds I made yesterday:
Blueberry Almond: 1/4 cup dates, 1/4 cup dried blueberries, 1/3 cup almonds
Pineapple Cashew: 1/3 cup dates, 1/2 cup cashews, 1/4 cup dried pineapples (they did not need to go to the food processor, as they came in tiny pieces)