Making my own Lara bars is a product of one Friday morning of errands gone horribly wrong. One day I went for a haircut and had to stop for groceries. I usually have Fridays off to myself, but Justin was at home from work recovering from his surgery. I didn’t intend to be out as long as I was since he needed my help getting around. My haircut was done by a cosmetology student and there were staffing issues that morning. Not only did I start 45 minutes past my appointment time but it also took two hours. It took a total of 3 hours to get my bangs trimmed. That’s right. Then I went to the brand new Harris Teeter that recently opened across from us, along with everyone and their mother it seemed.
Combine my already high anxiety from the length of my haircut, the traffic I sat in to get back to Harris Teeter, trying to navigate around a new grocery store, dealing with crowded aisles and slow cashiers, and you have me getting very very hangry. It was well past morning snack time. So I made an impulse buy at the register and picked up a peanut butter and jelly Lara bar. I ate it before I got to the car.
I realized upon reading the ingredients list on all the different Lara bars that they are insanely healthy as far as packaged snacks go. They are also insanely easy to duplicate. So I set out to make my own. I first did a peanut butter cookie one, then these chocolate brownie ones, and recently a cashew cookie version. I only photographed the chocolate brownie ones though. They were the best by far. I need to play around with the cashew cookie recipe and then I’ll have to make the peanut butter ones again. Peanut butter and Jelly is next on my list though, because we all know I’m obsessed.
DIY Lara Bars: Chocolate Brownie
make your own Lara Bars with just a few simple ingredients and a decent blender. Way cheaper than the small ones you get in the stores! Perfect for before or after a workout or just an afternoon pick-me up treat.
- 1 cup dates pitted (about 20 dates)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chip I use Enjoy Life vegan dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Place dates in a blender or food process and process until mostly smooth - this can require scraping the sides.
Add chocolate chips and nuts and continue processing until a batter forms. Add in cocoa powder and keep the blend/scrape process going until you're satisfied with the texture. Note my bars had some chunks of nuts still remaining but I enjoy them with some texture.*
Spread batter evenly into a 9x9" pan or 9x5" loaf pan. Refrigerate for a while and when ready, you can cut them into bar or square size. I usually cut them into 8 or 10 roughly equal sized bars.