In my opinion the best snack to “grab-and-go” is a fruit and nut bar. Think Larabar! They’re sweetened with dates, and filled with healthy nuts and/or seeds. Did you know you can easily make a Larabar at home? In my experience the DIY bars are way tastier and healthier. Not to mention, less expensive. What makes a homemade nut bar the bomb?
For one, you get to choose which nuts and seeds you want to add. I like to use a wide variety of seeds that provide a range of nutrients. For example, hemp seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and more. In my opinion, no bar is complete without hemp seeds. Chia seeds are also full of omega-3s, along with impressive amounts of fiber and protein. I add pumpkin seeds for extra iron and zinc, sesame for calcium, and almonds and sunflower seeds provide plenty of vitamin E.
The recipe below is for my classic bars. Use your favorite nuts and seeds and get creative with the dried fruits and spices you use. All you need is a food processor, and within minutes you’ll have delicious bars that make a Larabar look like an off-brand candy bar.
Quick confession. These are so tasty that I find it almost impossible to eat just one. I like to eat them in tiny increments, little by little, savoring every little bite-sized piece. Damn it’s Yummy!
- 1 cup almonds
- ½ cup hemp seeds
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup freshly ground flax seed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp maca powder (optional superfood)
- dash of sea salt
- 12-14 Medjool dates
- ½ cup of mulberries, raisins, apricots, figs or another dried fruit
- Place all of the ingredients into a large food processor and blend until combined. To test if they have blended long enough, simply scoop a portion of the mixture into your hand. Tightly squeeze the mix, and if it holds together it is done. If it falls apart you’ll need to blend longer, and/or add a couple more dates or other dried fruit.
- Line a brownie baking pan (9x9”) with parchment paper and pour the mixture into the middle. Firmly press the mixture down into the pan to completely cover it. Place the pan in the refrigerator for an hour to firm (I usually cut myself a bar before the rest firm in the fridge.) Remove the mixture from the pan and cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator layered between pieces of parchment or wax paper to prevent sticking. These will stay fresh for at least one month.