Fun With Raw Foods

The raw foods movement fascinates me. It’s not a lifestyle I plan to adopt, but I do enjoy seeing just how creative raw food chefs can be. Even Charlie Trotter, one of the greatest chefs of all time, has turned to raw foods in pursuit of what he calls “purity of flavor”. This page has some interesting examples of every day raw cooking, plus links to some other pages which demonstrate the culinary wizardry of raw chefs. It looks like one important tool is a dehydrator. Maybe Santa Claus will bring me one of those for Christmas. For now, I have my food processor, which seems to be a critical tool in raw foods prep and is necessary for this next recipe – the Larabar Clone.

Lara Bar

This raw foods fascination, plus my affinity for energy bars, is what sparked my interest in Larabars. Larabars, which are named after their creator (Lara) and which you’ll find among the other energy bars, are uncooked. But what I like best about Larabars is the short ingredient list. Most Larabar flavors have fewer than 6 ingredients. The one I picked up yesterday listed dates, almonds, walnuts and cocoa. Larabars just seemed to be a bunch of healthy foods mashed together and packaged in brightly colored wrappers. I had to try making one myself.

Yesterday, while the rest of the family went swimming, I stayed home and tried to make Larabars using the formula of 1 part almonds, 2 parts dates, and whatever flavorings I felt like adding at the time. The bars turned out pretty good. Todd and Fuzz , who don’t worry much about the caloric density of foods nor whether or not important enzymes have been cooked out, agreed that the bars were tasty. I liked them too, but would prefer to save one for the day I find myself hiking through the mountains, which is what Lara was doing which she invented these.

This is a recipe you can play with. Once you make the date mixture, you can add in whatever flavors you feel like. You can add in other nuts, boil down fruit juices into concentrate and add them, and you might even try using dried blueberries, cherries or other fruits. This recipe makes a small yield so you can first, see what you think. I’ve only tested these on my family.

 

Fun With Raw Foods
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Larabar Clones
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 ounce almonds (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 ounces pitted dates (about 14, if you don't have a scale)
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon prune puree
  • 1 tablespoon quick cooking oats.
Instructions
  1. Place almonds in food processor and process into crumbs. Pour into a bowl. Place dates in processor and process as much as possible. Add almond crumbs back into processor and process until well mixed. Add cocoa, prune puree and oats. Process a little more, then dump into a bowl and knead until ingredients stick together. Shape into a rectangle. If it's too sticky, knead in some more almonds or oats. Slice into about 3 bars or press into a square and cut out cute shapes.

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Comments

  1. says

    I will definitely try this recipe!I love the cherry Larabars, and I’ve often thought they would be fairly easy to reproduce in my own kitchen. I guess I’ve just been too busy to try, and now you’ve gone and done it for me!

  2. Anna says

    Hi Krooie,I haven’t tried the cherry flavored bars, but you should be able to reproduce them pretty easily. All you need is a food processor. Have fun!

  3. meredith says

    Anna — You took on my Lara bar challenge!! I’ve been on vacation for a while, so I haven’t checked my e-mail or your web page….need to get caught up on 10 days plus worth of your blog entries!! These look great — I’ll definitely try these and report back. (Glad to know that you enjoyed the “original” Lara bars, too. I took a supply with me to Maine to snack on….as of this minute, Gingersnap are my favorite, followed closely by the chocolate espresso “maya bar”)

  4. says

    omg, i was going to ask you if you were working on a larabar duplicate. I love them, but they are expensive and they dont sell them here. I have to get them at TJ’s in MI.

  5. says

    cool – inspired by your protein-bar ramblings, i wuz stocking up my luna bar supply and threw in a lara bar just cuz i liked the packaging (specifically, that the wrapper was matte, not shiny). and here comes this posting. way to have a pulse on your readers, man!

  6. Anna says

    Meredith, I am going to have to try the gingersnap flavored Larabars. Hope you had a nice vacation.Randi, now you can make your own! tg, don’t tell Lara, but I still like Luna Bars the best. Isn’t the protein bar area fun?

  7. says

    I’m not into going totally raw foods myself right now, but a very good friend of ours has crafted a business from her passion for it. You can see her website at: http://www.yayasrawrah.com/ I see on her front page today she even offers her recipe for raw “brownies”. Yum!

  8. Anna says

    Kevin, thanks for the link. I will give those raw brownies a try. Right now, I am still obsessed with cloning Miles of Chocolate….definitely not raw!

  9. Sarah says

    I have made the cashew cookie Lara Bar with amazing results. Use 1 cup pureed dates and 3 cups cashews. Pulse in the food processor until nuts are of a pretty small size (you decide). Dump out onto plastic wrap or wax paper. Fold paper, using it to mush the mixture together. Use a bench scraper to form into bars.

    From beginning to end it took me 5 minutes to make these. This recipe makes 12 (same size as the store bought Lara Bars). They last for a long time stored in an airtight container (if you hide them from the rest of the family and control yourself!).

  10. Anonymous says

    Anna:

    I love the Lemon Luna’s myself. However, I am always looking for something healthy! These look great and will fit the bill. Could I once escape the food processor and use a blender instead? Recommendations on food processors??
    Mother’s Day is coming up and I could hint it up to the hubby!

  11. says

    Anonymous,

    I have an immersion blender and use it mostly for smoothies and pureed soups. I keep it in the cabinet and pull it out as needed and honestly, I don’t think it had the power to really pulverize the dates. I’m not sure how strong the motor is on you blender, but you might as well give it a try — may make 1/4 of the recipe.

    That being said, I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE food processor fan. I keep it on the counter and
    use it more often than the stand mixer. It’s great for grinding, chopping, shredding and pureeing and frankly, it’s fun. Mine is a Cuisinart. You can buy fancy models at Williams Sonoma, but Kohl’s (believe it or not) has really good ones at a discount.

    I think a food processor would be a great Mother’s Day gift (but that’s just me. I like appliances better than jewelry ;)).

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