Let’s face it, there are about a million kinds of health/energy/snack food bars on the market. I used to just get whatever sounded good, or was the cheapest. However, now that I’m more aware of the ingredients that go into the foods I purchase, I generally stay away from anything that has ingredients I can’t pronounce or can’t actually buy in the store individually (unless I’m just unaware of the COPPER GLUCONATE section).
That’s when I became a fan of Larabars and the new Baraka Bars. Their ingredients are simple and few. For instance, the “Cherry Pie” Larabar consists of dates, almonds, and cherries. That’s it. No preservatives, no additives – just real, live food.
So that got me thinking – if the ingredient list is so simple, how hard can it be to make on your own? Turns out – not hard at all!
I picked up my ingredients at Natural Grocers, an awesome store in Dallas near Coit and Campbell everyone should check out. Their raw bulk food selection is in cold storage for freshness, and the prices can’t be beat.
Not only are their prices great (1 lb of raw walnut pieces for $4), but their items are clearly marked with nutritional information, like these raw cacao nibs…
So, with that in mind, I share with you my first two Raw Fruit and Nut Bar creations – Chocolate Peanut and German Chocolate (I’m still working on some catchy names, let me know if you think of one).
German Chocolate (makes 2 bars)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
- 1 tbsp raw walnuts
- 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
- About 10 Halawi dates
Chocolate Peanut (makes 2 bars)
- 1 tbsp raw peanuts
- 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
- About 10 Medjool dates
Mix in all ingredients in a food processor. Shape into rectangular bars (or squares, or balls, or…).
About 250 calories per bar, 100 calories from fat, 4 grams protein
First off, these were really quick and easy to make. I bought two kinds of dates because I wasn’t very familiar with the different varieties. The Medjool were a bit sweeter than Halawi, but they also cost about twice as much. Next time, I’ll probably use a combination of the two. The cacao nibs were fairly bitter, but it all came together quite nicely. The German Chocolate was my favorite, but the Chocolate Peanut was pretty good too.
I’d also suggest putting them in the freezer until you are ready to eat – they won’t freeze, but they’ll hold their shape better if you’re on-the-go.
It probably cost about $10 for the ingredients I used and I could have easily made about 15 bars – so the price is definitely better than buying pre-made bars. It’s also easy to make up your own recipes – just use dates as the “binder” and have fun.
Your homework for the weekend?…give these recipes a try – or better yet – get your favorite ingredients and be creative! Just come back and let us know what you came up with.