Homemade Cherry Pie LÄRABAR Recipe~ Paleo, GF
As our daughter was headed to India in February, we started gathering things she needed to take along. Besides getting her passport up-dated, there was bug spray, hand-sanitizer, band-aids for blisters, soap, toilet paper, and all sorts of third-world needs. Portable food such as trail mix and energy bars were also on the suggested list.
We’ve been avoiding certain not-so-good ingredients in energy bars, so the concept of the LÄRABAR (with only 3 or 4 ingredients) works for us. They taste terrific, but the store price per bar is a bit up there at ~$1.25. Also, since the company sold out to General Mills, I dislike supporting a company that attempts to block GMO labeling initiatives.
Loving a new adventure in easy do-it-yourself, I decided to try my hand at re-creating one of my favorite bars: Cherry Pie. When I found unsweetened, un-sulfured cherries at Trader Joe’s, I dropped a bag in my cart.
The finished product provides great energy with plenty of protein and good fat from the raw almonds to balance the natural sugars in the fruit, plus cherries and Medjool dates have some of the higher levels of anti-oxidants, minerals, and fiber.
They would have taken me all of 12 minutes to make, except I had my food processor bin on backwards! I’m chuckling just thinking about that!
1 cup dried unsweetened sweet cherries
1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional) ~for added trace minerals
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional) ~stabilizes blood sugar
In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, combine the dried cherries and dates and process until a sticky dough is formed. It formed a beautifully uniform ball which I had to break up before adding the almonds. Next, add the raw almonds and process until the almonds mixed in uniformly.
I am adding cinnamon to almost everything I sweeten now because it does so many great things for our body! Stabilizing blood sugar is just one awesome health benefit.
I could have processed 20 seconds more to reduce the bits of almonds even more.
Turn the mixture out onto a flat surface or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If you are working with a child, the sides of the cookie sheet will contain the mixture as you press it into a square for cutting into bars. It might seem too crumbly, but it will instantly hold together when you press it. I made a 6″ x 6″ square of uniform thickness and cut it into quarters, then the quarters into halves to get 8 good-sized bars; you can make them into heart-shapes or little balls, too.
A quick comparison considering weight of bars and cost of ingredients shows them to come out to approximately 70 percent of the store-bought cost.
Note: Use parchment paper or waxed paper between bars and store them in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. They will be fine for days at room temperature, wrapped, when traveling.
(While this shows 6 bars, the recipe makes 8 bars, 1 1/2 ” x 3 1/2″ x 1/2″)
The Larabars were reported to be an easy energy pick-me-up in India, and the heat didn’t affect them a bit. I’ll definitely be making these for travel and picnics this summer. Hmmm….maybe I will make the Pecan Pie bars next!