Jan 8, 2015
Hillary

Homemade Peanut Almond Chocolate Chip LaraBars

Peanut Almond Chocolate Chip Lara Bars

Despite my intentions, I don’t talk a lot on here about how much I enjoy working out and being active. It might have something to do with going to a fine arts school and dancing 4-5 hours a day from 7-12th grade. Maybe. But once I graduated high school, I traded in my dancing shoes for running shoes and found a passion for all things running. About two years ago I added a little lift, tone, burn from Pure Barre into my routine for my strength training and with that combo, I’ve never felt better or stronger !

Run

Here’s the thing about running 30-40 miles per week with three to four Pure Barre classes put in the weekly mix, you find yourself hungry ALL. THE. TIME. That can be dangerous if you surround yourself with lots of processed, sugary, fried and/or fatty foods. So I always try to have healthy snacks on hand for those moments in the afternoon that I could eat an elephant! If I’m going to go with a packaged bar, LaraBars are my first choice! When you look at the ingredient list, you can pronounce everything, you can normally count the number of ingredients on one hand and they are all fruit and nuts. That’s it! So if the ingredient list is so simple, I figured that I should totally be able to make them myself at home! Same natural and nutritious ingredients but homemade and much cheaper than store bought. All you need is FIVE ingredients and FIVE minutes!

Ingredients

(Slightly adapted from MyWholeFoodLife. Makes 12 snack size bars.)

  • 1 cup lightly salted peanuts
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
  • 14 pitted dates
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large food processor, pulse the peanuts and almonds until you have small to medium crumbs.

PB Choc Bars: Nuts

Add in the dates and three tablespoons of water. If your dates are very tough, you can soak them in water to soften them up a bit. I just put mine right in. Turn the food processor on again and put it to work! The blade really has to work hard to get through the dates and bind with the nuts. It might some funny noises and you might think it is going to jiggle off the counter. Don’t worry! It’s made for hard work like this.

PB Choc Lara Bars: Mixed

Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and add the date, nut mixture. Press the mixture firmly and evenly down and be sure to reach all the corners.

PB Choc Lara Bars: In Pan

PB Choc Lara Bars: In Pan2

Once you have the mixture evenly spread out in the pan, pour on your mini chocolate chips and press them firmly into the surface.

PB Choc Lara Bars: w/ Choc

PB Choc Lara Bars: w/ Choc2

Place the pan in the fridge for a couple of hours to set. I let mine sit for three hours and was able to cut through them cleanly. It was snack time and I couldn’t wait any longer.

PB Choc Lara Bars: Ready

Pull the parchment paper up and cut the bars in your desired size and shape.

PB Choc Lara Bars

Super simple! Just a few ingredients and you have a great mid-afternoon snack to fuel you up for an evening workout or just fill your hunger pains after a long run or workout. No processed sugar but instead you use all natural sugar from the dates and you get a nice serving of protein from the nuts. We’re fans of both peanut butter and almond butter so the combination of the two nuts is perfect. But, feel free to change it up to whatever is your favorite. You can use 2 cups of all peanuts, all almonds or even cashews. The chocolate chips combined with the nut mixture makes you feel like you are indulging in something much more decadent than nuts and dates! It’s like sneaking a taste of chocolate chip cookie dough without feeling guilty or looking over your shoulder to see if anyone noticed. So go ahead, make these bars and enjoy away! For now, that’s homemade peanut almond chocolate chip larabars…in the shell of a nut!

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