On my way home I gobbled up a Key Lime Pie bar, which was spectacular! But I couldn't get over the price. So I decided to experiment and see if I could come up with my own bars to have on hand whenever I needed a pick-me-up. I bought whole pitted dates, unsweetened coconut, slivered almonds, unsweetened dried cherries and various other "raw" ingredients. Oh baby! I came up with a flavor that is so good I don't know if I should share ... but I will since I am such a generous person *Kelly pats herself on the back*. I got the basic recipe from Bunnyfoot, a blog that features mostly vegan cuisine.
To make one bar you will want to use about 4 Tbsp of ingredients. Here is my recipe for my Island Cookie bar:
1 Tbsp of whole, pitted dates
1 1/2 Tbsp of unsweetened coconut
1 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 Tbsp of macadamia nuts (due to the high fat content, you may want to go easy on these)
It is easiest to take a cup of dates and puree them at once. I used a food processor, first chopping, then grinding until the puree forms a ball. Removing the ball to a separate bowl, I placed my dry ingredients plus one tablespoon of the pureed dates into the processor and ground everything up together. Play around with consistency to see what you like.
Then on a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit as the wrapping for the bar, place the ground pulp. It will be a bit crumbly at first but you can form it into a bar with your hands and using the paper to gather and smoosh together. I then wrap up the bar in the parchment and place in the fridge to set.
Island Cookie BarWhat is fun about making these bars yourself is that you can experiment with different ingredients: dried fruits, nuts, juices, spices, etc. If you go to Larabar.com you can see what flavors they have and what ingredients go into them. But beware, they are addictive, high in calories (each bar is around 200 calories), and very delicious! I justify having one because of all the essential vitamins and minerals they contain, and it is a decent alternative to all that Halloween candy I have lying around the house.
NOTE: Larabars are unprocessed, raw, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, kosher, non-gmo, and have no sugar added. So as long as there are no nut allergies, these are great snacks for kids.
I am not trying to deter anyone from buying the real thing, because they are superior to the ones I made. But if you love them as much as I do, why not make your own at a fraction of the cost?
Well, I am off to make some Cherry Pie bars ...