We haven’t even been back from Calgary a full month but I’ve jumped right back in to my 6:30am Body Pump class twice a week. I missed it so much! I tailor the moves to accommodate the baby bump but I’m still able to get a great workout. I usually come right home after class to enjoy a hearty breakfast in (3 eggs cooked in butter and a little oatmeal with frozen fruit & a fat scoop of PB stirred in). I totally forgot I had errands to run after my workout Tuesday so I grabbed a Larabar while I was getting groceries to hold me over. I’m a big advocate of REAL food so I passed on the organic brown rice syrup that was in just about every other bar I saw, even Clif Bars. I don’t care if something says it’s organic; that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Syrup is still syrup, folks. I digress…
The Larabar I got was delicious and it only had 2 ingredients: cashews and dates. Awesome! The not awesome part was that I paid $1.50 (normally $2) for cashews and dates! Whatever, it won’t happen again. If Larabar can make a 2 ingredient bar, so can I, and it won’t cost $1.50. I guess I could just eat a handful of nuts and a handful of dates, but food in granola bar form is more fun, right?
I decided to use Brazil nuts because they were cheaper than cashews and I like them. You can use whatever nuts you want. I love chocolate so adding cocoa was a no-brainer for this recipe. Make sure you’re using UNsweetened cocoa if you do the same; the dates will sweeten these bad boys enough on their own.
Makes six 3″x3″ bars
1 cup nuts (~36 Brazil nuts)
3/4 c pitted dates (comes out to ~15 dates)
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla
Dump it all in a food processor and hit the “chop” button. Firmly press the mixture into an 8″x6″ pan or whatever small pan you have on hand. Stick in the freezer for 10 minutes to help it firm up to make cutting easier.
Really. That’s how easy it is. I put some wax paper in my dish to make them easier to get out but it’s not really necessary.
Per bar: 20g fat, 5g protein, 20 grams carbohydrates
I’m not sharing the calorie content because counting calories does not help anyone tune into their hunger cues and what their body needs. It’s protein, carbs, and fat- the perfect combination. Now listen to me- fat will NOT make you fat. Repeat that to yourself. Fat (except trans fat) is a good thing and helps stabilize blood sugar, prevent crashes/ binge eats, and is your best friend when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance. That 20g should be music to your ears. Chomping on a granola bar with only 1g of fat and 30g+ carbohydrates will leave you reaching for anything edible in sight an hour later, I don’t care how much protein they add to it. The protein content of this homemade Larabar is a little lower than I’d like to see, but that can easily be fixed with a portable, hard-boiled egg enjoyed alongside this bar for another 7g protein.
1 pound pitted dates: $3
1 pound Brazil nuts: $6
cocoa & vanilla: pennies for the amount you use
You can make 3 batches (18 bars) for a total of $9. That comes out to $0.50/bar. The store I got the dates from only had pitted dates by SunMaid but you can get them for even less if you buy whole dates in bulk and pit them yourself.
Feel free to experiment with different fruit/nut combinations. Throw in some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Add toasted shredded coconut. The world is your oyster with homemade granola bars and you don’t have to pay more than $0.50 for it!
What combinations would you put in your homemade Larabar?