Thursday, March 29, 2012


My "I can make that!" mojo is in full effect, my friends!

During my detox, as a replacement for all the other naughty stuff I eat, I became addicted to LARA Bars. I know the purpose of a detox is to eliminate the physical dependency on food, but what can I say? I'm an anomaly! 

In case you've never seen or heard of a LARA bar, they are fruit and nut-based bars that have no artificial ingredients, additives, or sugars. In fact, I don't think I have seen a Lara bar with more then five ingredients on the label. My favorites are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Cashew Cookie, Ginger Snap, and Lemon Bar. Are you noticing a cookie trend here? 

Once my detox ended, I was a little hesitant to keep LARA bars as a substitute for my daily Kashi granola bars. On the one hand, LARA bars are much higher in fat (because of the nuts) and carbohydrates (because of the dates) then my usual granola bar. On the other hand, my Kashi bars also have a lot more then five ingredients and definitely includes a sugar additive.

Then, I found out that dates, the primary base of LARA bars, are good for you! Dates are an excellent source of carbohydrates, contain no cholesterol, are high in fiber, and boast a wide range of nutrients. They aid in digestion and help to regulate blood sugar levels. SOLD!!!! Sign me up!

Except they come at anywhere from $1.29 to $2 a pop. Ouch. 

I decided to make my own to see how cost effective it is. The judges have yet to weight in. 

I'll share my recipe, but there is this great post that goes into significantly more detail on how to make the LARA Bars. Hop on over to Enlightened Cooking for more info. 

Cashew Cookie LARA Bar
Makes 3 large bars

2/3 c chopped dates
1 c raw cashews
cinnamon, to taste

1. Place the dates in a food processor and pulse to a paste. Transfer dates to a medium bowl (don’t clean processor).
2. Add cashews to the processor and pulse until finely chopped. 
3. Add the nuts, along with the cinnamon, to the bowl with the date paste. 
4. Use your fingers to knead the nuts into the paste.
5. Divide mixture in thirds (or fourths, if you're really stingy!) Place each one on sheets of plastic wrap. 
6. Wrap the plastic around each bar and start squishing into a bar shape form, 3 and 1/2 inches long, 1 inch wide and 3/4-inch thick); press against counter top to flatten bottom side, flattening top side and ends with flat of hand. 
7. Tightly wrap the plastic around each bar and store in the refrigerator.

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