2 years ago i purchased a Groupon for a nutrition seminar that introduced me to two things: green smoothies and Lara Bars.
The women who was speaking at the seminar passed out mini Lara Bars to all of the attendees and when the bag came to me, i of course picked out the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I turned it over and was delighted by the short, simple ingredient list and it was love at first bite. It was delicious. It was nutritious. And i knew i needed more of these chewy, heavenly little bars in my life. Smoothies too, but more on those later.
Fast forward a year and a half and countless dollars spent on many Lara Bar boxes and bars. It was also around the time when i started getting better in the kitchen and i knew i could re-create these at home. I mean most of them have 6 ingredients or less. SIX! Up until now i used to make these into little bites and wanted to try them in bar form instead. I went with the chocolate chip (shocker!) and threw raw almonds, raw pecans, and medjool dates in the food processor. Once coarsely processed, i added chocolate chips and pure vanilla extract and pulsed until a sticky “dough” formed. I spread the dough into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerated the pan for 1-2 hours for the bars to “set.”
Once set you can cut them into 8 bars like i did or if you prefer smaller squares, this recipe will make 16!
These bars are raw, vegan if you use vegan chocolate chips, and completely gluten free. They are made with 5 good-for-you ingredients, too. And how do they taste? Like they’re made with processed ingredients and filled with refined sugar and oil. Sneaky, sneaky.
Truthfully, i prefer my version to the actual Lara Bar brand. Mine are fudgier and creamier and i find the real ones to be a bit on the small side (and dry side). Plus they’re way more expensive, am i right?!?!
You can make these for Valentine’s day to give to your loved ones. Wrap them in a cute bow or use a heart shaped cookie cutter to stamp out actual hearts. They won’t be disappointed!
- 1-1/2 cups quartered medjool dates
- 3/4 cup raw almonds
- 3/4 cup raw pecans
- 1/2 heaping cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Place dates, almonds, and pecans in your food processor and process until a chunky mixture forms.
- Add the chocolate chips and turn the food processor to "on" while streaming in the vanilla extract.
- Process until a sticky "dough" forms.
- Press the mixture into an 8x8 pan and refrigerate for 1-2 hours for the bars to set.
- Cut into bars (8) or squares (16) and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.