Thursday, February 13, 2014

Homemade "Clif Bars" or "Lara Bars"

The first time I tried a Clif Bar I was addicted.  They provide such a boost of energy and they taste really good.  The only problem is they are rather pricey.  So I started making my own, and I have to say they are just as good!  The best part is you can come up with all sorts of flavor combinations.  So here's the super easy recipe:

Homemade Clif/Lara Bars:
1 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, whatever you like)
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 - 1 cup flavor ingredients:
     dried fruit
     chocolate chips
     orange zest
     peanut butter
     cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. of flavoring such as coconut extract, optional  

Add nuts to a blender and process until finely chopped, then add remaining ingredients and process until it forms a sticky, grainy texture.  If you squeeze some in your hand it should hold its shape, if it doesn't add more dates.  Now press this mixture into a loaf pan lined with foil or parchment paper.  Press it really hard with a flat object (I use a smaller loaf pan).  Cover and chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until set.  Slice it into bars and store in an airtight container.

You can also add extra nutritional stuff like chia seeds, but start out with small amounts until you see how it will affect the texture.  You can play around with it and be creative. So far my favorites are coconut /chocolate chip and orange/cranberry (pictured below).

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