Thursday, January 10, 2013

Healthy Homemade Cherry Pie [lara bars]


Today is the type of day where I feel SO blessed to be a stay at home mom.  Ever since I became I mom, when the cold winter weather hits I kind of start to just hold my breath and brace myself until it's finished!  I savor every day of good summer, spring and fall weather, but winter and I typically do not jive, except for today.  I got outside and warmed my bones and it was wonnnnnderful.  Apparently my 3-year old agrees; he repeated "Mom this is the best ever! Sunshine is awesome!" about twenty times. A boy after my own heart.  *sidenote: have I really kept you locked up indoors for this long? I'm kind of embarrassed that you just said that so many times!!!*

Before we headed over to my parents' farm this morning to enjoy the sunshine and harass the chickens, we all ate a couple homemade LARA bars.  Hands-down the kids' favorite "healthy" snack.  Bars are great for everyone who is on-the-go...Edward loves them, Tia loves them, I love them, the kids love them.  Since we eat so many of them I try and make sure that we eat healthy bars.  In my opinion and from what I've heard, Lara Bars and Kind Bars are good options.  Both are full of just fruits and nuts and things from nature rather than a long list of processed ingredients.  Both bars are also really expensive, so I make my own Cherry Pie Lara Bars and they taste exactly the same as the real thing.  Here's how to do it:

Ingredients:
1 cup almonds (preferably raw)
1/2 cup dried pitted dates
1/2 cup dried cherries

Chop almonds into little bits. I use my blendtec blender (similar to a vitamix or maybe a nina blender) and "pulse" until they are in tiny lara bar-sized pieces. If you don't have a high-powered blender you can use a food processor.  After the almonds are finely chopped, I pour them into my kitchen aid mixer bowl.



I then process the dates and cherries into a sticky paste.  I use the "pulse" function.  This part takes a little more patience than the almonds because of the stick factor.  Sometimes I need to use a spoon or a knife to help the process along because the cherries and dates get stuck.





Once the cherries and dates turn into a sticky paste, I add them to my kitchen aid mixer bowl and blend the mixture using............my kitchen aid mixer!





When everything forms one big glob, I shape the glob into a huge rectangle on my cutting board and roll it out flat with the rolling pin. This is the part where Jack and Chase love to help and sneak as much of it into their mouths as fast as possible, surprise surprise!




After the "big bar" is flat, I use a pizza cutter to cut it into smaller bars.  Then I wrap them all in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.  Wa-la!  :)



If you've never had a lara bar and you like cherry pie just not at breakfast and snack time, seriously you should make these.  


Here's the recipe and process all in one section:

Homemade Cherry Pie Lara Bars
1 cup almonds (preferably raw)
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried pitted dates
optional ingredient: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Adds a nice touch/element.

Chop almonds into teeny little bits using a high powered blender or food processor.  Add almonds to a mixing bowl.

Pulse cherries and dates until they form a sticky paste.  Spoon and scrape the paste into the same mixing bowl.

Either with your hands (a little wetted down is helpful) or the kitchen aid mixer white mixer attachment, mix the three ingredients until they form one large glob.

On a cutting board, shape the glob into a large rectangle and then roll it flat (to about 3/4 inch thickness).  Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut it into individual bars.  Some people like to make cherry pie balls so you could also roll the mixture into little cherry-pie energy balls, whatever suits your fancy!

Store in the refrigerator.

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3 comments:

  1. Have been looking for healthy recipes - cant wait to throw these in the mix :) thanks for sharing!

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  2. you're welcome! i'll keep them coming!!

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  3. I can vouch for them - they are delicious!!

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