I've dreamed of making homemade Larabars for a long time.
Yet I put it off, and put it off, till this week I read about foods that are excellent sources of digestive enzymes. That inspired me to dive in!
It just so happens that 2 of the key ingredients in Larabars — dates and nuts — fit into the “excellent sources of digestive enzymes” category!
If the original Larabars have unsoaked nuts, my homemade bars are not only less expensive, but also much more nutritious. They are rich in digestive enzymes instead of enzyme inhibitors.
(Read this post for the why and how of soaking and dehydrating your nuts.)
How To Choose Ingredients
Choose organic ingredients whenever possible.
Choose unsulphured dried fruits dehydrated at low temperatures (115 degrees Fahrenheit or less). If you use figs for the “other” dried fruit, you'll have chosen another enzyme-rich dried fruit! Also, pick dates that haven't been coated in oat flour.
Choose raw nuts for making your crispy nuts.
Adapted from this recipe.
- 1 cup chopped dates, pitted
- 1 cup other dried fruit or combination of dried fruit (such as raisins, dried cherries, or figs)
- 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)
- pinch of sea salt
- 1⅓ cup soaked and dehydrated nuts, such as almonds
- up to ⅓ cup add-ins (such as unsweetened shredded coconut, soaked and dehydrated seeds, chocolate shavings, mini chocolate chips, etc.)
- additional tablespoons of water, if needed
- Process dates, dried fruit, cocoa powder and sea salt in food processor until all chopped up. It will be like a thick paste, and perhaps even roll up into a ball.
- Remove from food processor to a bowl.
- Put nuts (and seeds or coconut, if using) in the food processor.
- Process until a coarse meal.
- Break up the fruit paste into chunks and add back to the food processor.
- Add chocolate shavings or mini chips (if using).
- Process to incorporate all ingredients. It may roll up into a ball.
- Press with your finger – does it hold together? If not, add additional water, tablespoon by tablespoon to achieve this.
- Press the dough into a stainless steel 8-inch square cake pan.
- Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes until hardened sufficiently for easy cutting.
- Bring out of refrigerator and cut into bars. I do 18 bars — 6 rows of 3 bars each. Each bar is 1 inch by 2 inches.
- Store the pan of bars in the refrigerator, covered tightly so they don’t dry out.
- Or wrap each bar individually and store in the refrigerator for an easy grab-and-go snack!
Enjoy! How do you make your homemade Larabars? Do you have a favorite flavor?
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