Friday, October 28, 2011

Homemade Lara Bars

This week I started my new job.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to have a steady pay check again...the list of things I need to buy/fix/save for is extensive, and I plan on using every last penny.  I also plan on banking and saving my money like crazy!  My new plan is to work, work, work, save save save, and then revisit my bakery plan.  Financial stability is something so many of us take for granted, and I really missed it.  I am hoping that after getting a nice chunk of money into savings I will be fueled with courage for the self employment route.

Until then I am back to the 9 to 5 schedule and  am back to packing lunches.  I decided that now was as good as ever to try making my own Lara bars.  I can't believe I waited this long to try them out!  They turned out stupendously!  I made the traditional cashew version, and then made a coconut version...of course I like the coconut version is encoded in my DNA to do so.

I am completely enamoured with the simplicity of Lara Bars.  The original cashew version has 2 ingredients: cashews, dates.  Boom.  Enough said.  I am happy to see Lara Bars becoming more and more available to the general public.  It is basically the only thing I will eat at airports, so I am glad it is available to me. : )

Apparently making Lara Bars is a heck of a lot cheaper then buying them...about .75 cents a bars if you make them, and 1.50/bar if you buy them.  I didn't check the prices of the ingredients and figure it out, but it seems like it would be cheaper, and I honestly really like the addition of salt that I put in my bars.  Lara bars are famous for being a raw food bar, but next time I plan on toasting the nuts and coconut before making them...doesn't that sound divine? : )

FYI: If you have kids and are looking for something to send them to school with...this is it!  I haven't met a kid yet who doesn't like Lara Bars!

Fun Facts about Lara Bars:

1.  The lady who invented them is named Lara Merriken and is from Denver

2.  General Mills now owns the Lara Bar brand, but they were originally owned by Humm Foods

3.  There are 20 Lara Bar flavors...including Cocoa Mole...which is no longer on the market

4.  If you move fast you can order Lara Bar minis to hand out to your trick or treaters this the raisins my mom used to hand out when we were kids : )  Sorry Mom.

5.  You can enter to win their sweepstakes for some cool prizes here

Cashew Lara Bars

  1 1/2 cups chopped dates
1 cup cashews
1/4 tsp kosher salt (optional)

In a food processor pulse the dates until they have turned into a paste...they will clump together in a ball.  Remove from processor.  Pulse cashews a few times until finely chopped.  Add date paste back to processor and blend with the cashews and salt until combined. 
Form into a block packing the edges tightly and wrap with plastic wrap, or scoop out into balls.  Cover and chill...if you went the block way cut into bars.  Store in refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap.

Coconut Lara Bars

1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup nuts (I used almonds and cashews)
1 tsp coconut oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt (optional)

Use the same process as with original Cashew Bar recipe.

Open the windows in your house on these lovely Fall days we are having, bake something with cinnamon, be thankful for what you have, and listen to this song.

Do you like my new tag line?  I spent many many moons trying to come up with something and then one day this just hit me.  

Emeril Lagasse already has "kick it up a notch" and "Bam"
Rachel Ray says "Yum-o" and "EVOO"
Paula Deen says "I send you best dishes and love from my kitchen to yours"

So I had to come up with something : )
Eat your heart out,



  1. Loved this post! and loved your blog - Lara bars sound like a great idea with great ingredients - I'm going to give them a go with for my kids :) Glad you're enjoying your new job!! I'm signing up to follow you :)

  2. Would you believe that I've never even tried a lara bar? It sounds like I'm missing out on something great. These look awesome.

  3. I love "Eat your heart out!" So very Dagny. And awesome. Keep it!

  4. Thanks for the feedback ladies! Glad you like my new tag line Lauren! : )

  5. Words fail to describe the fresh buttery taste of these compared to wrapped, store bought bars! Just made both types. Have you ever tried adding fruit? I am going to try cherry, and was thinking to lessen the oil due to the oils in the dried fruit. Thoughts?

  6. I just made these for the first time. Even Mark liked them!! I am going to try to coconut and maybe add some chocolate to one of the batches!

    ~Anne G

  7. Just came back to copy the recipe again...going to add chopped dark chocolate to the coconut recipe. My kids love them in ball shape, (Laraballs) and some times I roll the balls in additional coconut!!

    I wonder about using sunflower seeds?