Saturday, September 4, 2010

DIY Overpriced Fruit and Nut Bars

Love: A snackbar with very few and very pronouncable ingredients

Don't Love: Paying like a dollar a bar for them

So once again, the fact that most things can be homemade and will taste WAY better and cost WAY less remains true in the case of Larabars. These are my favorites and they are really easy to make as it turns out.

The base of most bars like Larabars are dates and some kind of nut. And then some kind of dried fruit is added. And then they wrap it up and sell for a profit margin of roughly 800%. Yay for Lara. Boo for the rest of us.

So here's what you do if you, like me, enjoy a tasty snackbar and also enjoy being able to pay your electricity bill...

1. Grind up the nut of your choice (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, whatever) in a food processor. I used about 1/3 c. of almonds for the bar pictured above (yes, it has a bite out of it.) I probably could have ground mine a little longer. I think it just depends on how much crunch you want your bar to have.

2. Add about 1/2 c. of dates and whatever dried fruit you want to use (cranberries, cherries, raisins, apricots, you get the idea) to the nuts and continue to pulse them until you get a sticky mixture that holds together fairly well. You can add a tiny amount of water or coconut oil if it isn't holding together well. I put in maybe a tsp. of water and it seemed to do the trick.

3. Form the mixture into a loaf about the length and width and thickness you would like your bars to be. You can do this on a plate or a glass dish. With these measurements, you will have a really small batch--I got about 4 bars out of mine.

4. Refrigerate your bars long enough for them to firm up a little more. Then they should cut easily and you can wrap them individually in wax paper, parchment paper, saran wrap, etc.

I made almond/date/cherry bars. They were pretty crumbly but I think processing the nuts longer will take care of that. They turned out really well--even Asher gave them the "Picky 3 Year Old 2 Thumbs Up" Award.

High praise indeed.

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