Hi! This is going to be so fast! Because I'm only blogging in the fifteen minutes I have while both my babies are sleeping and both my daytime houseguests are on a sandwich run to Be'wiched, the best deli on earth. I really wanted to post this before I go on my vacation and I go on vacation tomorrow.
So here's the deal: Homemade Lara Bars. On the interwebs, a lot of people talk about making homemade versions because the real deal ones are pricey. That's really noble and all, but I spend a lot of money on food and have no problems with that
in fact, I feel it is the morally responsible thing to do because I think cheap food is cheap for reasons that are not sustainable or possibly inhumane to either animals or migrant workers or the hard-working farmer next door who gets sued - oh wait you don't care about any of this because food is the most important thing to me besides family and friends. I wanted to make a homemade version because the whole tree nut allergy thing limits the selection of Lara bars available to me for purchase. There are tons of recipes online. You can find a list HERE. Mine were adapted from this recipe because they use cocoa and, as a byproduct of my King Arthur's Flour addiction, I have a lot of cocoa.
I used pepitas (a/k/a hulled pumpkin seeds) instead of nuts. They are allegedly a super food.
I also used those coconut-date rolls that you can buy at co-ops and Whole Foods and Trader Joe's because they require a little less of a work-out from your food processor than regular dates do, plus they don't require pitting.
These ended up absolutely delicious - loved by the whole family, perfect for a toddler pre- or post-swim class snack or perhaps an airplane ride. The cocoa does present some stain risks though. Don't say I didn't warn you.
No-Nut Cocoa Lara Bars
Inspired by my man Christian and adapted kind of from this recipe
Yield: 10 bars (about the same size and shape as the brand-name ones)
Note: I used a scale, but am sharing my approximations in case you don't have one. It's a forgiving recipe, just eyeball it.
1. The night before, if you want: soak 200 grams (about 1.5 cups) pepitas in cold, filtered water in refrigerator for 8 hours. Rinse and allow to dry on a towel in a single layer.
2. Pulse the pepitas in a food processor until finely chopped.
3. Add the following and pulse until sticky and mixed:
400 grams (about 2-3 cups) coconut-date rolls
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Water, one teaspoon at a time, if necessary
4. Line a 9X9" pan with foil.
5. With wet hands, press the mixture into pan.
6. Place in freezer for at least an hour.
7. Carefully remove whole concoction from pan, put on cutting board, and peel off foil. Cut into rectangles, wrap individually in plastic wrap, store in freezer.