You may not have heard of them, but Lara Bars® are one of the most popular nutrition bars on the market, and for good reason.  Not only do they taste great, they are made with a very short list of raw ingredients and many flavors are free of some (but NOT all) of the common allergens.  That means they are super easy to make! As a registered dietitian that promotes whole foods for health, this bar gets an A in my book. The only downside is the cost. Lara Bars® will run you anywhere from ~$1.75- $2.00 (or more), a cost that can add up quickly.

This is where all of my recommendations come together. I want you to eat whole foods within the context of a balanced meal. I want you to cook at home. I want you to teach your children to cook. I want you to plan ahead. I want your food to taste good. I want you to have healthy snacks ready to grab.

How can you have all of these things and some extra money too? You can make them yourself.  Here’s how:

Cashew-Cookie Flavor

1 cup cashew pieces
8 oz (227 grams) dried dates
  • Place the dates in a food processor. Blend until it becomes a paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl.

  • Place the cashews in a food processor and pulse until they are chopped very small (you do not want to over-blend or you will end up with cashew butter; the small pieces of nuts provide texture.)

  • Add the nuts to the dates and use your fingers to blend them together. Next spread the mixture into the bottom of an 8X8 pan that is covered with cling wrap. Press firmly and evenly over the pan. Cut into 6 even bars. Remove the bars one at a time and form into a 3” X 1.5” bar. Repeat. Wrap each bar individually in cling wrap and store in the refrigerator. Makes 6 bars

 

Peanut Butter- Chocolate Chip Flavor

1 cup peanuts
8 oz peanuts
4 oz dates
  • Place chocolate chips in food processor. Blend into powder. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Place dates a food processor. Blend until it becomes a paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl.
  • Place the peanuts in a food processor and pulse until they are chopped very small (you do not want to over-blend or you will end up with peanut butter; the small pieces of nuts provide texture.)
  • Add the nuts to the dates and chocolate. Use your fingers to blend them together. Next spread the mixture into the bottom of an 8X8 pan that is covered with cling wrap. Press firmly and evenly over the pan. Cut into 6 even bars. Remove the bars one at a time and form into a 3” X 1.5” bar. Repeat. Makes 6 bars

There are many other flavors that you can make too.  If a variety of dried fruits are used to make a particular flavor you can blend them together; same for if multiple nuts are used. Experiment and enjoy.