There are several different varieties of Lara Bars and I think they lend themselves nicely to experimentation. Basically, you need a mixture of dates and nuts (or nut butter). From that base, you can try adding all sorts of different ingredients, like dried fruit, chocolate, flax seed, etc.
My kids LOVE this recipe that I make. It's their absolute favorite snack. I love them because they are filling, travel well and are easy to make... and I like knowing exactly what they are snacking on.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Lara Bars (a.k.a. "Power Bars/Balls")
- 2 cups of Dates (remove pits if needed)
-1/2 cup of raisins
-4 tbsp of smooth peanut butter
-3/4 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
*I also add a scoop of protien powder, 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed and 2-3 tbsp of cocoa powder, but this is completely optional.
Ingredients prepped and ready... I forgot to set out the cocoa powder!
1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor. Process until the mixture comes together and forms a ball that chases itself around the food processor bowl, like the photo below. If the mixture seems too dry, add a few more dates or a bit of peanut butter. If it seems too sticky, add some oatmeal.
Mixture is ready... forgot to add cocoa powder, so I added some and processed a bit longer
The finished product - admittedly not much to look at , but they taste great!
-I really think you NEED a food processor to make these. I've never tried making them in a blender or anything like that. Use this as your excuse to go out and buy a food processor!
-Play around with different combinations. I don't think it's possible to mess up. Try dates, cashews, dried cherries and cocoa powder for Chocolate Cherry bars. Dates and peanuts make Peanut Butter bars. Experiment!
-Dates can be hard to find. Costco has good deals on them, but don't always have them in stock. If you live in West Michigan, Smart Choice Market in Byron Center has bulk food bins and you can purchase dates there, along with all the other ingredients you would need. They have a huge variety of nuts, seeds, grains, flours, dried fruit, etc.