Peanut Butter Bars (similiar to Lara Bars, sweetened with dates)

A new flavor to add to Erin’s Fruit and Nut Bar post! These were so delicious and reminded me of peanut butter fudge. Yum, yum, yum. I made these for Jonah’s kindergarten class this week and am hoping they were enjoyed by everyone! Super easy to make and only 4 ingredients.

peanut butter bars, similiar to lara bars. sweetened with dates



INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 16 pitted dates
 METHOD:
1. Put all ingredients in the food processor.
2. Process until combined and all ingredients are sticking together. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water slowly while the processor is running to get your ingredients to stick a bit better.
3. Dump mixture on to a piece of parchment paper and flatten it with your hands to make a large square or rectangle. I flattened mine out by pressing my wooden cutting board on top of it and then stuck the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Cut your bars after they have chilled in the fridge.
5. Store in a covered container in the fridge or individually wrap each bar and keep in the fridge.
Makes about 24 small bars.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Fruit and Nut Bars (similiar to Lara Bars)

Gonna keep this one short and sweet…. These bars are easy to make, delicious, customizable, and cheaper than the most similar type of store-bought bars – Lara Bars.  I just made 44 bars, and I am estimating they cost me between 45 and 50 cents each.  At Costco, where I usually buy Lara Bars, I pay $15 for 18 bars.  18 of these homemade bars would only cost me $9!  One thing that drives me crazy about buying Lara Bars is that at Costco I don’t get to pick my flavors, but at the grocery store where I can choose which ones I want, they run almost $2 per bar.  This is definitely going to be my new go-to recipe for bars.  I love that they are sweetened only with dates, and have lots of nutritious things in them.  Both my kids will eat these babies.  And as Evan and I try new flavor combinations, we will update you all!

INGREDIENTS:
(Apricot Bars)
  • 3/4 raw pecans
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup dried, unsweetened apricots
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
INGREDIENTS:
(Coconut Cherry Bars)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 16 Medjool dates
  • 1 cup dried, unsweetened cherries
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
METHOD:
1.  For both recipes, you are going to follow the same procedure.  Put nuts and sea salt into your food processor, and process until nuts are finely chopped (but with some variation in size still).  Pour into bowl and set aside.
2.  Process dried fruits (either dates / apricots or dates / cherries) until a paste forms in your food processor.  Mine ended up turning into a big, messy ball when it was finished.
3.  Add your fruit mix to your nut mix, and knead with your hands until well combined.  If you are making the coconut-cherry bars, go ahead and add the coconut to the mixing bowl, and knead until combined.  (The extra dates in the coconut bars where enough for me to get the mixture to stick together with the addition of coconut, but if you are struggling, add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil).
4.  Roll the mixture out to desired thickness on coconut oil greased surface.  Cut to desired size.  Mine are about 1/4″ thick, and on the smaller size – but I did that intentionally because my nuggets don’t usually finish a whole Lara Bar anyways.
5.  Each recipe yields about 20 bars, depending on the size of your bars.  I store mine between layers of parchment, in the refrigerator.  They seem to hold together a bit better when chilled.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Everyday Paleo.

Granola

There is nothing quite like homemade granola.  It is easy to customize, easy to make, tastier than the store-bought stuff, and something you can feel good about feeding your family.  I love having control over what ingredients my family eats.  I hope you will try this – I’m pretty sure we eat this every single day.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 7 cups organic whole oats
  • 4 cups sliced almonds (or any combination of other nuts you like – cashews, pecans, peanuts… You could also sub dried fruit – apricots, raisins, cherries, blueberries, etc…)
  • 2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
METHOD:
1.  Combine oats, nuts, coconut, and seeds in a large mixing bowl.  Add spices.
2.  In a skillet over low to medium heat melt honey, butter, coconut oil, and vanilla until combined.
3.  Pour wet ingredients over dry, and stir until dry ingredients are evenly coated.
4.  Spread mixture out onto two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
5.  Bake at 250 for 75-90 minutes – stirring every 20 minutes.
6.  Remove from oven when granola is golden brown – allow to cool.  Transfer to air tight container and enjoy!
NOTE:  The recipe above makes nearly 16 cups of granola.  We go through this amount every 2 weeks, but recognize it is a substantial amount of granola.  If you want, feel free to cut the recipe in half.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food.