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.
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Cherry Whiskey Sour

Confession.  I dislocated my rib at CrossFit last week.  Lifting heavy weights.  Lame.  Doc said could have happened doing anything, so no.  I am not quitting CrossFit.  No way.  I love it, and although it has literally hurt to breathe for the last 5 days, I’m DYING to hit the
gym again.  Next time, I’m gonna push even heavier weight overhead.  Strong IS the new skinny, right?  Anywhoooo…. in an effort to help around the house and allow me to “rest” (as if that’s possible as a stay-at-home mama of 2), my husband has been cooking at bit.  You guys.  The man’s got some tricks up his sleeve.  Today he took last nights salmon and put it in an omelette with some goat cheese.  SERIOUSLY?  Salmon and goat cheese omelette?? Be still my heart…. well, more like my aching ribs.  More on that omelette later.  I scarfed it down so damn fast I have no picture to document its glory.  Nor do I know how he made it.  But I’ll ask him, and I’ll share it with you soon.  In the meantime, I’m dreaming of drinking this again.  Too bad cherries aren’t in season…. BUT, until next June when we start seeing those amazing Washington cherries again, I’ll be drinking this without the cherries.  Trust me.  This Whiskey Sour is amazing!  Thanks to Evan’s husband Justin for creating this drink!

INGREDIENTS:
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 shots of bourbon / whiskey (I like Pendleton, Evan + Justin favor the Wild Turkey)
  • 2 tablespoons of 100% pure maple syrup
  • 5 fresh cherries
METHOD:
1.  In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix lemon, bourbon, and syrup.
2.  Shake.  Pour.  Drink.  Repeat.
3.  If you can get your hands on some cherries, smash em up and add to the cocktail shaker.  Pour.  Drink.  Repeat.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.