Monday, February 10, 2014

Homemade Lara Bars

I know, I know my blog posts are spotty at best. But alas, here I am.

I was inspired recently so I wanted to share a food discovery.

I love Lara bars. Yes, love is the right word to describe how I feel about this food. They are convenient, all natural, filling, granola-bar alternatives that are simple and delicious.

The only downside is that they are usually $1 per bar which if you're eating 1 per day (ok, let's be honest I've been known to have 2 or even 3 on the particularly busy day) that adds up! Everytime I had a bar I read the ingredients and loved that I recognized everything on the list...things like dates, peanuts, cashews, dried cranberries. And I often thought to myself...I could make that.

So, I tried it. We had some mixed nuts in the pantry as well as some sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, dried cranberries, banana chips, and walnuts. I picked up some dried dates from Winco and threw them all in the blender. After things were nicly chopped I pressed the mixture into a dish and put it in the fridge to harden. After a few hours I sliced them into bars wrapped them in baking paper and viola!

I decided to see if I would actually save money by making my own bars. Here is what I found out:

Let's break down the costs:

Lara Bars: $1 per bar

If on average I eat 7 bars a week (that's low balling it) that would come out to ~$28 per month.

To make my homemade fruit and nut bars (I by no means want to rip-off the Lara Bar name) I spent about $9.50 which made me 15 bars. So dividing $9.50/15 I get $.63. Wow! $.63 cents per bar! So, doing the monthly math if I have 7 bars a week that would come out to ~$18.

Homemade bars: $.63 per bar about ~$18 per month.

Thats over an additional weeks worth of bars at the $1 per bar price in savings!

The savings are amazing and here's another upside. I can choose exactly what flavors I want and can mix in healthy add-ins like flax meal and wheat bran. Here are some of the recipes I came up with:

Carribean Island Getaway
1 C dried dates
1/2 C island dried fruit mix (pineapple, cranberries, mango, bananas)
1/2 C dried coconut flakes (no sugar added)
1 T pumpkin seeds
1 T flax meal
1 T wheat bran
Gone Nutty
1 C dried dates
1 T each: peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds
1 T flax meal
1 T wheat bran

Peanut Butter Cookie
1 C dried dates
3/4 C peanuts
2 T flax meal
2 T wheat bran

For each recipe... Chop finely in a blender or food processor. Press into a dish or pan. Let chill for 2 hours. Slice into bars and enjoy!

Hopefully you are also inspired to try this healthy, on-the-go snack!


P.S. If you google homemade Lara Bar recipes you get a ton more recipes...I am going to try some of these out next time!

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