Sep 5, 2013

Lara Bars (or Power Balls)

If you want easy, healthy fruit and nut bars, here are some basic Lara Bar recipes....

Coconut Cream Pie
·         1 cup raw cashews (can use almonds)
·         1 cup unsweetened coconut
·         1 cup whole pitted dates
·         Pinch of salt
·         2 T of coconut oil

Hot Fudge Brownie
§  3/4 cup pitted dates
§  1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
§  1/16 tsp salt
§  2 T cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
§  2 T shredded coconut
§  1/3 to 1/2 cup raw pecans
§  Optional: feel free to add some chocolate  or carob chips

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie
§  1 cup raisins (or try half raisin Half dried apple)
§  1/4 cup quick oats
§  1  cup walnuts
§  1/4 tsp salt
Optional...add pinch of cinnamon

Nut Free LARA bars
·         1 cup seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or mixture of both)
·         2 tsp olive oil
·         Two big pinches salt
·         1 cup plums, pitted
·         1 ½ T water

Blend all ingredients together very well. (I recommend using a food processor.) Line an 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper and push your LARA bar mixture down into the pan FIRMLY until it is touching edge to edge and VERY compacted together. I let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes before cutting them into bars. (This makes it a little easier) Then you can individually wrap them for a quick grab and go snack or store them in an air tight container in the fridge.  The bars last at least two-three weeks in the fridge. They can also be frozen.

Here’s a few ideas to help you create your own LARA Bar:
  • 1 cup nuts (Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts, etc.)
  • 1 cup sweet dried fruit (Dates, raisins, figs, prunes, plums, etc.) 
  • 1 cup filling (optional) (Dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried apricot, dried pineapple, cranberries, goji berries, more chopped nuts, dried coconut, chocolate chips, coffee beans, cacao nibs, shredded carrot, etc. )
  • 2 - 4 tbsp flavoring (optional) (Cacao, vanilla, cinnamon, citrus zest and juice, ginger, mint, cloves, coconut oil.)

1.       You can also roast your nuts to add a richer flavor to your bars.
2.       Using coconut oil in the bars not only gives the balls a nice texture and taste, but also provides a healthy fat to slow down the sugar rise in your body from the fruit.
3.       You can also make these into bight size balls and then roll them in chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit or coconut flakes for special bit size treats.
4.       If you don’t want the LARA Bars to be as sweet or have less natural sugar add more nuts and filling. (However, this will cause the bars to not stick together as well so I suggest making them into balls rather than bars.

*Thanks Rachel Seangsuwan for sharing these yummy recipes/versions. :)