On-The-Go Bars

Embracing the Paleo way of life means your food on-the-go options diminish a little. Okay, a lot.  Suddenly, leaving the house takes more planning because most portable food items are off the table. Those of us who value our health are okay with this of course, because we know that most portable food items on the grocery store shelves are not actually food. But still, I’m willing to bet that every label reader out there has found themselves hangry at an inopportune time and wished that there were more options. The Lärabar has been a go-to food bar for many, due to their simplicity (only a handful of ingredients) and their lack of soy, corn, dairy, and gluten. Dried fruit and nuts, essentially, they are a great option for those days that planning didn’t happen and you know you’ll be hungry before you have time to get a real meal in front of you.

Well. That was before General Mills bought Lärabar, which did three things:

  1. Allowed Lära to retire on a sunny island (I’m only guessing)
  2. Included Lärabar in the list of companies that opposes GMO labeling (more on that here)
  3. Force us conscientious consumers to make our own bars, because we’ll be damned if we support a company who, like eeeeevil Monsanto, thinks we have no right no know that we’re eating Frankenfood.

We vote with our dollars, folks, and if we buy Lärabars or anything else made by the companies that oppose GMO labeling, we essentially oppose it as well.

The good news is this: bars of the Lära variety are insanely simple to make. Bonus: making them is a whole lot cheaper than buying them. Extra bonus: there is virtually no end to the flavor combinations you can create.

Just how simple are they to make, you ask? Check it out: equal parts nuts and dried fruit. BAM. That’s it. Here are some examples:

Double Chocolate Brownie:
1 C almonds + 1 C pitted dates + 1/4 C shredded coconut + 1/4 C chocolate chips* + 2 T cocoa powder

Coconut Pecan Cookie:
1 C pecans + 1 C pitted dates + 1 C shredded coconut + dash cinnamon

Almond Apricot:
1 C almonds + 1/2 C pitted dates + 1/2 C apricot

Chocolate Cherry:
1/2 C cashews + 1/2 C almonds + 1/2 C dates + 1/2 C dried cherries + 1/4 C chocolate chips*

Trail Mix:
1/3 C each almonds, cashews & pecans + 1 C pitted dates + 1/4 C pumpkin seeds* + 1/4 C raisins* + 1/3 C flaked coconut*

The possibilites are practically endless, so feel free to make these babies your own. Add some citrus zest, cinnamon, bacon… Bacon! Next time…

The technique:

  1. Throw it all in a food processor (except for ingredients with an * or anything you want to remain chunky- mix those in after), and kick that baby on.
  2. Process until it’s as fine as you can get it. Add a tablespoon of water if it doesn’t start to clump together on it’s own.
  3. Mix in any additional chunky ingredients, such as chocolate chips.
  4. Press into an 8×8 pyrex dish, lined with parchment paper for easy removing.
  5. Refrigerate for an hour or so before you cut them into rectangles or squares, or you know what? Any shape you want, because these are your bars, damnit! You can also make them round and tell your kids they’re cookies. I won’t tell.
  6. Wrap in parchment paper and store in the fridge, until you grab one to go.

Once the mixture starts to clump together, they’re the right consistency.

Press into a parchment lined pan with an overhang for easy removal

Whether you make these or not, if you live in California, please vote YES on Prop 37!

This entry was posted in Dessert, grain-free, Paleo, Snacks, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to On-The-Go Bars

  1. I love this!!! I am totally going to make them – for me. Let the kids eat an apple.

  2. Janet says:

    I have made a similar bar with dried figs and almonds–YUM. But these are on my list next. THANKS! I like to have something like this around when I get home from work and need to eat something before I begin dinner.

    I have bought Larabars before, but since General Mills owns them now–never again. In fact, I will be emailing General Mills and telling them why I won’t be buying Larabars or anything else General Mills flogs to the sheeple.

  3. Anna says:

    About to make my first batch! Bought a bunch of dates the other day and was trying to remember why I had to buy them… then I remembered this post. Thank you so much!!

  4. Diane says:

    Amen, this is great. And everyone in CALIF, please vote YES on Prop 37 which would require the labeling of GMO foods. Tell everyone you know, because Monsanto and Dupont and others are throwing more than $50M at trying to defeat this. This bill has been attempted 18 times in different states and has never gotten as far as it has this time. Almost 50 other countries already require this labeling (so the food manufacturers are already labeling there, they just don’t want to do it for YOU). You have a right to know what you are eating and feeding to your children.

  5. Mmm, these sound great! I worry that if I make my own I will end up eating the equivalent of 10 bars in one sitting because they are SO good! 🙂

  6. Julie says:

    Just found your site via Whole Life Challenge and a poster who linked to this post. Super psyched for another paleo-friendly blog to check out, and even more appreciative of the Lara bar update (although sad, since it’s a hometown product here in CO), and excited to make the homemade version. My favorite Lara bar has always been the lemon bar or key lime. I’m sure I could just put some lemon or lime zest in them, but if anyone has a fool-proof version, I’d love to see it!

    • zenbellyblog says:

      I’m glad you found me!

      It is sad about Lärabar, I agree. I don’t have a fool-proof recipe (yet) for the lemon or key lime flavors, but have made a similar bar to these that had orange zest in them, and the flavor really came through. I would guess that cashews or almonds + dates + lemon or lime zest and a little juice would do the trick. Let me know if you try it before I do!

  7. Meg says:

    YUM! I made the choc chip ones the other day, and even the fussy kids liked them. Unfortunately I can’t send themm to school in their lunchboxes as there’s pretty much a total nut ban in all schools here in Australia. I used blanched almonds, but I’m going to try our home-roasted ones next time.

  8. Pingback: One day back on track « Adventures in weight loss, cooking and life

  9. Jessica says:

    Just popped a batch of cashew, pecan, date, and cherry with a scoop of chocolate protein powder in the fridge. I do have a question; the only dried fruit I’m finding in our area is crazy in the amount of sugar it has. Any brands with lower amounts that I can try to seek out?

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