Thanks to the likes of Pinterest, Etsy and such, it seems “DIY” has become all the rage. Me? I steer, far, FAR away from anything remotely do-it-yourself. I can’t sew, I don’t do paint and the sight of me using a hammer is almost as hilarious as it is hazardous. However, when it comes to the kitchen, I’m a DIY enthusiast! I find cooking to be relaxing, adventurous and ultimately, if done well, delicious! Its always a fun challenge to try to recreate my favorite grocery store products in my own home. Here’s my new favorite: homemade Larabars.
One of the best things about Larabars is the simplicity of the ingredients. All of the flavors literally only have 2-5 items listed, making it an inviting task to recreate. This week I made coconut cream lara-balls (rolled into balls instead of pressed into bars but you could do either way).
1 cup raw, unsalted nuts (I used almonds but cashews are also great!)
1 cup pitted dates (see the big container in the front? Costco!)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut ( i like the texture of the flakes)
2 T pure coconut oil (magical stuff! If you haven’t cooked with it, you totally should)
2 scoops protein powder *I added this. Larabars don’t have protein powder but I tweaked it to help balance out the sugar in this recipe and prevent major insulin spikes. Plus, the added protein will keep you fuller longer.
pinch of salt (optional – i like the salty/sweet combo)
1. Blend the dates in food processor until a paste-like consistency; remove and put in bowl
2. Blend the nuts (by themselves!) in the food processor JUST until finely chopped. Don’t let it become pasty or like a nut butter. Add nuts to bowl with dates
3.Stir in all of the other ingredients until well mixed
4. Roll dough into 1″ balls or into one big brick in plastic wrap to cut into bars after firm. Refrigerate or freeze. YUM!
Fun variations: add dried fruit, chocolate chips, vanilla, cinnamon or whatever your heart (and tummy) desires! Enjoy!