Have you ever had a Larabar? It’s a tasty non-granola bar made of fruit and nuts. That’s it. Dried fruit and raw nuts. No added sugar, salt, preservatives, or anything that I can’t pronounce or even attempt to spell. Dried fruit and nuts. OK, maybe cinnamon…or whatever else you want to add. Chocolate chips? Mmmmm….chocolate.
After noticing a few friends had successfully completed homemade Larabar’s and my wonderful mother sent me a 20 year old food processor that I will argue is sturdier and more efficient than any you will find on the shelves today, I decided to start processing.
I adapted my recipe from Enlightened Cooking; a great resource and many varieties to stem from. I decided to stick with the Very Cherry for starters. Because the recipe only made two bars, I opted to quadruple it since I am making bars for my cousin’s drive back to Virginia.
Also, just because they are called Larabar’s doesn’t mean they have to be in the bar shape. In fact, I found it efficient and more importantly, FUN, to roll them into balls. I like to call them, Lauraballs. Thank you, I’ll be here all night.
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dates
1 1/3 cups raw almonds
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (much more than recommended, but I have a thing for cinnamon….and it has a thing for me)
I wanted to add a little vanilla extract, but got too excited and forgot. Same with the dark chocolate chips. How one could get too excited to forget those is beyond me. Shame on me. SHAME.
First things first: I laid out wax paper to set the finished product on. Hands get sticky and it’s just easier to do it ahead of time.
Roughly chop the dates to help out the food processor. Maybe you don’t need to. I don’t know. It’s a new appliance to me and that’s what the recipe said. I do what I am told.
Add roughly chopped (or not) dates and cherries to processor. Chop until a gooey ball is formed. I had trouble forming a gooey ball so I added a little water and BOOM! Just like magic a gooey ball formed shortly after.
Remove gooey ball from processor and put in separate mixing bowl. Do not clean the processor. Add the almonds and chop until fairly small pieces are left. I had some small, small large and some powder. Hey, it was my first time chopping nuts.
Add the chopped nuts to the gooey fruit ball and start squishing. Let it squish between your fingers like clay. It feels so good. Once its all mixed start forming balls, bars, triangles, octagons or whatever shapes you remember from high school geometry….which I failed twice. I wish I was lying. TMI. Grandma, that’s short for “too much information.”
Guess what these are? DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to try different varieties including: walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, cashews, coconut, chocolate, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries….oh the possibilities! You can use pretty much any dried fruit and nut combination imaginable. Start processing!
FYI (grandma, that’s short for “for your information”) the bar-ball-geometric shaped goodies freeze well. Take them out a few minutes before eating and enjoy.
Maybe food blogging is my next career?
I won’t quite my day job.