Have you heard of Larabars? They are basically a fruit and nut bar made with some combination of dried fruit (raisins and dates primarily) nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews), and add-ins like dried cherries, blueberries, apples, chocolate and peanut butter. We are basically obsessed with Larabars around here! Nate’s favorite is the chocolate chip cookie dough, and Layla is crazy about the peanut butter cookie. I’m a non-discriminatory Larabar consumer–I love them all!
The only drawback to Larabars is their price…they are a dollar a bar. Which is a little much for me, but I buy them when we are traveling or I know I need a quick, easy snack. So in an effort to protect our pocketbook (saving for that mom-mobile!!) I started making our own at home. (I’m not going to lie, there are a lot of these recipes on the internet so you can find copycat ones of your favorite Larabar flavor, just you know, use the google.)
And so rather inevitably while making other people’s recipes, I ended up creating my own variation that incorporates two of my favorite things: chocolate and coffee. These bars are rich and fudgy and oh so delicious! Layla thinks they are candy! She freaks when she sees them! Haha! (Please don’t worry, I only feed her tiny pieces so she’s not getting a caffeine buzz.)
Recipe inspired by Hot Fudge Brownie Larabars
- 1½ cup walnuts
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1½ cup pitted dates
- 1 Teaspoon Espresso or 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- Dash of salt
- Splash of vanilla
- Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well blended.
- If you have a small food processor work in batches. Pulse half the dates and walnuts, set aside and pulse the remaining. Then combine your batches and the rest of the ingredients and pulse all ingredients together.
- Line bread pan with wax paper. Spread date mixture evenly in pan using a spoon. Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours until firm. Slice into 6 bars and store between pieces of wax paper in the freezer.
They are the perfect indulgent snack that is completely healthy! They are sugar-free, gluten free, dairy free–you basically can’t go wrong with these bars. They are very calorie dense so I sometimes like to halve them for a little more portion control. Their are great for when you’re out and about and your meal is delayed or for after you finish a killer workout! (I get so hungry after my longer workouts!)
They also pair lovely with a cup of coffee for nice little coffee date with yourself in the middle of your day. No matter how you enjoy them, they are perfect.
Hope your Monday is off to a fantastic start! (It will be even better if you make these!!–Haha! No pressure, though.)
Do you like Larabars? What are your favorite flavors?
What other food or products do you like to DIY?
Linking up to these great linky parties!