If you are new to the LÄRABAR® world , don't feel totally lost. I didn't know what they were until Christmas when I received 10 of these beloved things! (thank you Crossfit Vapor Christmas party!)
LÄRABAR® is a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. Made from whole food, each flavor contains no more than nine ingredients. Pure and simple, just as nature intended.
That came straight from their website. Most of the bars contain only three ingredients - dates, some kind of nut, and then some sort of dried fruit. That is why I wanted to try making them, just to see if I could make something delicious, and to see if I could save me some cash because they are not always on sale at Smiths!
So I read the recipe and bought dates, apricots, and hazelnuts. I love hazelnuts. They remind me of when I lived in Oregon and would eat them by the large paper bag full!
I roasted the hazelnuts in the oven like the recipe said, to give them that yummy NUTTY flavor. Then put a cup and a half of each ingredient into my little chopper and went to it. I lacked the full 1 and 1/2 cups of apricots by just a smidge, so I threw in some craisens to fill it the rest of the way up.
I must say they turned out delicious. The bar on the right is that batch and they are long gone. SO SO good. I made a second batch with dates, almonds, and dried blueberries. MMMMM. Very good as well, but my little chopper started smoking. Yep, smoke was floating up from the poor little thing, so that batch didn't get processed enough to make it the right consistency to mush into bars. That batch was spooned into little serving size bowls. That combination was delicious though! When my husband saw the 8 little bowls, he asked me why I had bird food in the fridge.
I bought a new food processor this afternoon and made a new batch. This one is dates, apricots, and cashews. I roasted the cashews in the oven again this time. My new processor worked beautifully! This batch was easily smooshed and smoothed into this 9 x 13 pan lined with wax paper. I haven't tasted this batch yet. I need to go cut them up and package them in wax paper.
So, I must report on the homemade LÄRABAR® experience.
- easier than I expected
- actually cheaper, since the real ones are $1 on sale and $1.79 not on sale
- I have spent between $10 and $12 per batch and I get the equivalent of about 16 bars
- and the REASON I am eating nutty fruity healthy bars? Because I am trying to by nutty, fruity, and healthy! Just kidding. Because I have realized I eat WAY too many easy carbs. WAY TOO many. My pantry shows that my go-to snacks in the past have been crackers, crackers, cookies, more crackers, rice cakes, granola bars, and more crackers. My cupboards and fridge show me that I eat too much bread, tortillas, rice, and pasta, and not enough veggies and fruits.
UPDATE: Holy smokes those cashew/apricot ones are delicious! And for some reason, I think I must be getting better, because I came up with more bars when I cut them this time, and they seem thicker, not thinner. I must be doing something right!