When I need a quick breakfast or afternoon snack, I regularly turn to Larabars. They're vegan, raw, and have fewer ingredients than I can count on one hand, with no preservatives and no added sugar. I love them. I have wanted to make my own for a while now, to save some money and to be able to experiment with flavors. I knew that the bars were essentially date-paste mixed with nuts and fruit and stuff, but I've never made raw foods with dates. I was intimidated. I thought it would be hard.
A few days ago, my friend Abby (also a fan of Larabars) directed me to a wonderful, vegan-friendly cooking blog, Enlightened Cooking, that had a recipe for Lara-type bars. Excited, I went out and bought same dates and got to experimenting.
I hit the yummy/easy goldmine. All you need is 10 minutes and a food processor.
Three simple and wholesome ingredients
Raw Energy Bars
This recipe makes about four bars. You can easily double it.
1/2 cup medjool dates, roughly chopped (about 4-5 dates) (see note)
1/3 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Puree the chopped dates in a food processor until they become a paste. Scrape into a bowl, and do not clean the processor's bowl.
- Pulse the almonds in the food processor until roughly chopped. Dump into the bowl with the date paste.
- Add the coconut.
- Smoosh everything together with your fingers until well-combined (see photo below)
- Use a sharp knife to cut the date paste ball into quarters. Roll and press each quarter into a bar shape.
- Wrap bars in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
The date paste-almond-coconut ball after being properly smooshed.
Fancy dessert variation -- Amaretto Coconut Balls: leave out the coconut at first, and add a small splash of vanilla. Then, separate the date paste and almond ball into 8 - 10 segments, and roll into balls. Spread the coconut flakes on a plate, and roll the balls in the coconut.
Note on dates: use medjool dates, which you can find in the bulk or produce section of your local grocery store. Almost all natural food stores carry them. Be careful, though-- these dates are so sweet and delicious, you will quickly become addicted.
Ready to go wherever you do.