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3-Ingredient Homemade Larabars

I am one of those people who the word “hangry” was invented for. You know, hungry + angry = hangry! 🙂  Actually, when I get hungry it’s more desperation than anger that I feel. That is why I always have to have some sort of snack on my person at all times. Granola bars are a great option…but recently my daughter-in-law introduced me to Larabars and I have a new go-to emergency snack!

Kaitlyn writes…  I am a huge fan of granola bars. I went through this stage my freshman year of college where I would eat a box of those Quaker Chewy Granola Bars every two days. I also gained 10 pounds that year 😉  But when I started working out regularly last year and cleaning up my eating I realized how much junk is in most store bought granola bars. This article from Fooducate.com breaks down the more than 40 ingredients in a Quaker granola bar including 8 sources of sugar and partially hydrogenated oils. Not exactly what I want to put in my body to fuel up for a hard workout.

So I was excited last year when some friends at my gym introduced me to Larabars. Each of their bars contains no more than 9 ingredients and many of them only contain three.  All Larabars are non-GMO and gluten free and most are vegan and soy free. With the exception of the bars that contain chocolate chips, Larabars don’t contain refined sugar – they are naturally sweetened with fruit or fruit juice. If you follow a Paleo diet or are doing the Whole 30 program (which is all the rage right now) they are a great approved snack – just stay away from the chocolate chip flavors. (By the way, this post isn’t being sponsored – I just think Larabars are a great product!)

One thing to note – they are not low calorie or low fat. My favorite Cherry Pie flavor has 200 calories and 8g of fat. So I wouldn’t go eating a whole box in a two day period 😉 I like to keep one in my purse for times that I get  hungry while doing errands. They’re also great pre-workout fuel!

My good friend Rachel wrote about making a homemade version of Larabars on her blog a couple of months ago. I’ve been meaning to try them for myself and finally got around to it last week. She found the recipe on The Kitchn.

Even though I knew Larabars only had a few ingredients I was still blown away by how easy they are to make at home.  The basic formula is equal parts pitted dates (they act as a binder and a sweetener), dried fruit of your choice, and nut of your choice. You can also add spices and seasonings to change up the flavors. The possibilities really are endless!

When shopping for ingredients make sure to check the labels on dried fruit – most of them have added sugar. I had to really dig to find just plain dried fruit at my local grocery store, but I may have had more luck at a specialty grocery store like Sprouts or Whole Foods.

I decided to try two different flavors – apricot cashew and currant almond.

Apricot Cashew Energy Bars

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup raw cashews – you can also roast the cashews in the oven for a few minutes to bring out more of the nutty flavor.
  • 1 cup pitted dates

Currant Almond Energy Bars

  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pitted dates

I mixed my ingredients together and then split them in half so they would fit in my Blendtec Twister Jar. It’s specially designed for blending really thick recipes so it was perfect for this. You can also use a food processor – just be careful not to burn out your motor. I actually had to let my blender rest for a bit between batches because it overheated.

Blend the ingredients until they are well mixed. You may have to stop to scrape the sides of your blender or food processor.

Grab a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper and lay it out on your counter. Dump your mixture onto the paper or plastic wrap and then add another piece on top. Take a rolling pin and roll out the mixture until you reach your desired thickness.

Chill in the fridge for about an hour. Unwrap the mixture and cut into bars.

The bars will last a few weeks in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer. I like to eat mine at room temperature so I take them out of the fridge and let them sit a bit before I dig in.

I spent $26.74 on my ingredients and made about 20 bars – but I had enough ingredients leftover to probably make one more whole batch. So I would say it was $26.74 for 30 bars which ends up being $.89 per bar. My local Smith’s sells Larabars for $1.79 full price and $1 on sale. So the homemade ones are definitely cheaper! But my Costco has a box of 18 for $15.79  which is $.88 per bar. When you add in tax it’s probably equal to my homemade price.

So is it worth it to make homemade Larabars? I would say yes and no. If you have a Costco membership it probably isn’t worth it just for the price. Despite being easy to make, they’re kind of messy. Since the fruit is so sticky it was a pain to clean my blender.  But if you don’t have a Costco nearby I think it’s definitely worth the effort! Plus you can play around with different flavors to find what you like. I also like the idea of cutting them into smaller sizes if you don’t want a 200 calorie snack.

Do you have a favorite homemade healthy snack?

HOMEMADE LARABARS

Jill Nystul
I am one of those people who the word “hangry” was invented for. You know, hungry + angry = hangry! 🙂 Actually, when I get hungry it’s more desperation than anger that I feel. That is why I always have to have some sort of snack on my person at all times. Granola bars are a great option…but recently my daughter-in-law introduced me to Larabars and I have a new go-to emergency snack!
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Calories 2748 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • OR
  • 1 cup currents
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pitted dates

Instructions
 

  • Put your ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  • Blend all the ingredients until they are well mixed. You may have to stop to scrap the sides of your blender or food processor.
  • Grab a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper and lay it out on your counter. Dump your mixture onto the paper or plastic wrap and then add another piece on top.
  • Take a rolling pin and roll out the mixture until you reach your desired thickness.
  • Chill in the fridge for about an hour. Unwrap the mixture and cut into bars.

Notes

One thing to note – they are not low calorie or low fat.

Nutrition

Sodium: 38mgCalcium: 673mgVitamin C: 204mgVitamin A: 4945IUSugar: 268gFiber: 54gPotassium: 5659mgCalories: 2748kcalSaturated Fat: 15gFat: 129gProtein: 67gCarbohydrates: 389gIron: 22.1mg
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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

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