Friday, January 13, 2012

Homemade Gluten Free Larabars

Have you tried Larabars yet? I just did for the first time last month. Boy, have I been missing out! These bars are made with whole foods, no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, yet they’re still good! Some have as little as 3 ingredients (that’s a good thing).

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My sister has been telling me about them forever, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy them because they’re pricey. I can no longer eat dairy or sugar and I was struggling to find good breakfast options, so I broke down and bought a box from Costco and have bought a second one since. The Costco box definitely makes them cheaper (I think around $.80/bar instead of more than $1), but it’s still a lot to me.

So when I saw that I could make my own Larabars, I jumped at the chance! They’re cheaper, plus I can make whatever flavors I want. The Costco box has peanut butter, cherry pie, and apple pie. All are delicious, but it’s fun to have other options. So you know, I still intend to always have a box of Larabars in my house. They don’t need to be refrigerated and they last longer than my homemade ones, and it’s definitely easier to not have to make them myself, but these homemade ones are really tasty and I’ll try to have them on hand when I can. The real Larabars will be backup.

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This site has a list of a bunch of different Larabar recipe links. I went through them, copied and pasted the recipes that I wanted to try (and could find ingredients for) and made some of my own.

I made some cashew cookie and almond cookie ones from this blog (I added unsweeted coconut to them both) and some peanut butter chocolate ones that I made up. Each recipe only made about 3 bars and a couple balls (I wanted some small ones for my kids), which is perfect for me while I figure out what I like best. Some of the recipes make a whole cookie sheet of bars at a time.

I went to Winco and bought a bag of pitted dates. This was the first time I’ve ever bought dates and I now love them! They’re the key to making these bars good. They’re the reason you don’t need to add sugar. They’re sweet and delicious and they hold the bars together. Then you basically pick a nut to add and then anything else you might want (coconut, cocoa, fruit, cinnamon, etc) and you have a Larabar!

You can make a lot with dried fruit too, but I couldn’t find any at Winco that didn’t have added sugar. I’ll have to go to a health food store for those. A bunch of the recipes call for chocolate chips, but I can’t do those either. The cocoa made them plenty chocolaty for me (I love dark chocolate). You can also make these healthier by adding things like ground flax seeds or chia seeds.

I made mine in my “fake” Magic Bullet (Bella). I had to do about half of a recipe at a time. And the dates were surprisingly hard to blend. Most people do these in a food processor, but I don’t have one. The Bella worked well enough. After I blended them I put them in a bowl and then shaped them into bars or balls.IMG_5360

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My favorites were the almond cookie ones

  • 1/3 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • as much unsweeted coconut as I felt like
  • And about 2 Tbs cocoa

And then I rolled them in coconut.

YUMMY!

Have you had Larabars before? What’s your favorite? Do you think you’ll make some homemade Larabars? What kinds do you want to try?

1 comment:

Joel said...

I have to say that I'm surprised how tasty these things are. Who knew that dates and some coconut could taste like a candy bar?

I think the peanut butter ones are my favorite so far. I wonder what a cocoa/mint combination would taste like.