Three simple ingredients make the freshest Lara Bars you’ve ever tasted! Mix these up in the food processor for a quick, energy-dense snack you can take along to parks and play dates.
Our kids love Lara Bars. And we do too! Of the panoply of packaged bars you find in the snack aisle, Lara Bars are one of the few that sticks to a super-simple, whole-foods ingredients list. This, and the fact that they’re soft, sweet, and tasty, wins them a place in our snack cabinet (and in the purses of many a health-conscious mom.)
Of course, it was only a matter of time before we felt the itch to make Lara Bars in our own kitchen. With such a short, accessible ingredient list, how could we not!
The results are delicious: soft, chewy, and fresher than any bar you’ve had out of a package. They’re also nearly as easy to pack in a lunchbox or snack box for the park. So let’s do this! Haul out that trusty food processor and make some Lara Bars with us.
How to Make Homemade Lara Bars
The basic Lara Bar formula goes like this: nuts for protein and crunch, and dates to sweeten and bind. To make these Lara Bars, we chose walnuts, because walnuts are rich in healthy mono-saturated fats, and they taste great. But this recipe is incredibly versatile.
See, dates are reaaaalllly sticky and good at binding. So you can throw just about any nut, seed, or combination of the two into these bars, and you’ll still make magic. (Just make sure you keep the ratio of nuts and seeds to dates somewhat comparable to the original recipe.)
Here are a few other add-ins you can use in place of, or in addition to, the walnuts:
Sunflower seeds (budget-friendly, and also school-safe)
You don’t need to soak the dates to make Lara Bars; in fact, soaking the dates will shorten the shelf-life of the bars. We like Medjool dates best for this recipe, because they’re naturally soft.
First, grind the nuts in the food processor. Then add the pitted dates and process a bit more, until you get a ball of “dough.” Finally, shape the bars by hand. We made rectangles to remind us of the store-bought bars. If you’d like Pinterest-style bars with smoother edges and corners, you can use a bench scraper or a knife to shape them. We’ll respect you either way, promise.
- 7 medium dates, Medjool
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Remove the pits from the dates, and blend the nuts separately.
- Combine the dates, blended nuts, and cinnamon to a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
- Place the date mixture on wax paper, and shape into a rectangle using your hands. Cut into bars and wrap with wax paper and store in an airtight container.