Most of the “energy”, “power”, or “protein” bars on the market are filled with chemicals, processed foods, and added sugars. It’s best to avoid them in most cases and opt for real food. If you need something to eat quickly on the run, for a sweet snack, or for quick energy post-workout, this recipe is a great alternative. You can make these into balls (easiest!) or bars (more traditional) and they taste nearly identical to to Gingerbread Larabars.
Despite being made of entirely whole, plant foods, these bars are still relatively high in natural sugars owing to the dates and raisins in the recipe. Because of this, they also make a great dessert, but should be a sometimes rather than every day food for all but those doing regular, lengthy, intense workouts or who have very physically demanding jobs.
Budget tip: don’t waste money making these from Medjool dates, which are one of the premium types of dates meant to be eaten as is or in dishes that highlight their rich, caramel flavor. Because this recipe includes spices and other ingredients that partially cover up the taste of the dates, it is more economical to use a less expensive variety, such as Deglet Noor–a smaller, firmer type of date. That said, this recipe works well using many kinds of pitted date.Print
Winter Spice “Larabars”
- Yield: 9 large balls or bars 1x
- 3/4 c pitted dates (see post for details)
- 1/4 c raisins
- 1/4 c raw cashews
- 1/2 c raw almonds
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp salt (can use 1/4 tsp for a sweet-salty version)
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg or 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of an 8-cup or larger food processor (or do in batches if using smaller food processor) and process until well combined and similar in appearance to picture. There will be small bits of nuts visible, don’t process to a paste.
- Divide into 9 portions and roll into balls (easiest method) or line an 8×8″ square cake pan with waxed or parchment paper, press mixture into pan, lift paper and bars out of pan and place on a cutting board, cut into 9 bars, and wrap individually in waxed or parchment paper.
- Store balls or bars in a covered container in the refrigerator or freezer. Lasts 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer.
Nutritional Info (per ball/bar): Calories 116, Total Fat 5.8g, Saturated Fat 0.7g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 35mg, Total Carbohydrate 15.8g, Dietary Fiber 2.2g, Sugars 11.4g, Protein 2.6g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 3%, Iron 4%