One way to keep off unhealthy food is to create variations on your favorite snacks, but in a more nutritious recipe. For me, brownies, chocolate energy bars, and chocolate-laden desserts have always been the crux in my healthy eating plans. I'm a big fan of Larabars, a combination of fruits and nuts that makes a healthy and delicious snack.
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup almond crumbs
- 1 ½ cups pitted dates
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract and/or one drop of almond extract (or any other)
- 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt (I always add it)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
- handful of dried cranberries (optional)
- handful of dark chocolate chips (optional)
1. Blend the nuts, pitted dates, vanilla extract, salt, and cocoa powder together in a food processor or blender. If the dates are too dry, you may need to add up to 1 tbsp water.
2. Stir in cranberries, coconut, and dark chocolate chips.
3. Use saran wrap to mold the mixture into a flat sheet then cut into bars.
4. Chill the bars in the fridge or freezer.
The Larabars are best eaten straight out of the fridge or freezer, as they keep their shape well for about 30 minutes.
Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, or cashews can all be blended to add your desired nutty combination to your snack. You can try different nut combinations totaling 1 cup of nuts to find your favorite mixture. The darker bars include coconut, walnuts, almonds and cocoa powder. The lighter colored bars include cashews, dried cranberries, and coconut.