This week’s recipe is super simple, but it is on heavy rotation at home. One question I get all the time about being freelance is, “But aren’t you always opening the fridge looking for something to eat?” I do have cravings and so I try to have quick and healthy snacks on hand to avoid downing pretzels and chips instead.
I had seen “homemade Lärabar” recipes floating around the web for a while and they seemed so easy to make that I knew I had to try to make them myself. I love Lärabars, but they can get pricey, especially up here where they’re most often sold separately at $2-3 a bar. I stumbled on a particular recipe for which I happened to have all the required ingredients on hand and I whipped up a batch so quickly that I’ve never looked back.
You should consider this recipe as general guidelines and substitute whatever nuts or dried fruits you have in the pantry. The one essential ingredient is the dates because they’re the binding agent. Beyond that, simply add a total of 1½ cup of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruits and you’re good to go. Dried coconut flakes are also a nice addition! You can easily double or triple the recipe and freeze the bites for up to 2 months. Eat them straight out of the freezer or let them thaw for about 10 minutes to let them soften just a little.
Makes 12-14 balls
1 cup pitted dates, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
1/2 cup each: raw almonds and walnuts (see note)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp each: sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and cocoa nibs (see note)
Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and blend until crumbly, just before it gets to almond butter stage. Add the walnuts, cocao powder, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and cocoa nibs, and blend until just incorporated.
Next add the dates. You can add them all at once or drop them one at a time through the feed tube, depending on how powerful your food processor is. Blend until the mixture starts holding together and becomes almost a whole mass. The flax seeds will still be whole, but the rest should be well mixed in.
Shape into about 1-inch balls (they may feel a little oily from the nut oils released, this is normal). Place on a plate and set in the fridge to chill, about 15 minutes. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze for up to two months.
Note: For nuts, substitute: pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios or peanuts.
You can substitue dried fruits for nuts, such as dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, or any other chopped up dried fruit that suits your fancy.
Recipe Credit: Inspired by a recipe on Good Things Grow.