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Deliciously Organic: My Version of Larabars

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Version of Larabars

Since I was a teenager, I've had a phobia to protein bars. It all began back when I was 16 and my parents took my two brothers and I on a family vacation to British Columbia. To be economical, my Mom made huge batches of granola (you know, the kind with dried fruit, peanuts and m&ms) and she also bought several boxes of some type of protein bar. For three weeks, most of what I remember is sitting in the back of the minivan looking at mountains and glaciers while eating gobs of granola and protein bars. Don't get me wrong, every day we ate regular meals, but unfortunately, my only food memory of that trip of these 2 staples my Mom provided. By the end of the three weeks, just thinking about having another protein bar made my stomach turn. Apparently I wasn't the only one; I soon found out my Dad and brothers felt the same way. At the end of the trip we kindly asked Mom not to buy any more of those bars. For the next several years, before heading out to Sam's Club she would ask if we would like for her to pick up some protein bars. We would all reply "No!" in unison.

So, as I've been packing for our summer trip I was trying to come up with some type of economical food to bring that would be filling enough for, say, breakfast. I began looking all over the web and came upon the "Larabar". The ingredients fit the bill but unfortunately, here in our little FL town, Larabars are no where to be found. So, being the good organic cook that I am, I decided to buy the ingredients listed on the package and make some. (yes, go ahead and laugh...I am usually the first to admit that sometimes my methods are a little crazy....healthy, but crazy.) I wanted to try a hand at the pecan pie bar because that was a flavor I could foresee me eating many times over the next few weeks. I put my processor to work and blitzed away and I have to say, I came up with something that is pretty darn good.

This afternoon, as I was cutting and wrapping my bars, I was thinking about all of the great friends and family we are going to see and what fun we are going to have on our trip. Then the thought came to mind, that in three weeks, I hope I still love these bars as much as I do today.

Pecan Pie Larabars
Makes 10 bars
I had really hoped to get a good picture of these, but being that my food photography is mediocre, I thought I just couldn't do these bars justice. So, you'll just have to make them for yourself and see.

4 1/2 cups pitted dates
3/4 cup almonds
3/4 cup pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper (horizontally and vertically) and then brush with coconut oil.

2. Pour dates into food processor and process until they become paste-like and form a ball in the bowl (if your dates are very dry you can add a tablespoon or two of hot water to help them break down). Pour dates into a large mixing bowl. Place almonds and pecans in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Pour the nuts over the dates and also add the vanilla, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Using your hands, mix all ingredients until combined. Press mixture into baking pan, cover (I just used the parchment that was hanging over the sides of the pan) and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and cut into 10 evenly-sized bars.

**You can subsitute just about any type of nut for the ones I have listed. If you used all almonds, then some almond extract would be great (omitting the cinnamon). Other dried fruits would work well with these too.


Blogger LA said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do more of these!! we LOVE larabars but theyre kinda pricey and i'd make them all the time if i knew how to do say.. the gingerbread or key lime bars :) oh! or banana! do the banana one!! thanks - LA

September 17, 2009 at 12:00 PM  

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