Being a celiac, I basically can't buy any processed food. Being a mom, I need readily available pre-made snacks on hand at any given time. Being one who eats like a man, I need these snacks to be substantial. A handful of nuts ain't gonna cut it around here, you know what I'm sayin?
ow, if you haven't yet had the pleasure of eating a real live store-bought larabar, you haven't lived. They are sooooo good! Non-GMO fruit and nut bars - and they fill u up! I love traveling with them because you can stash some in your bag for the week and always have something handy in a pinch. But they are at least $1.50 per bar, and they are small.
Soooo. I make my own and I get like double the amount for the same price. nd now you can too! Here's the recipe:
*Preheat oven to 350.
- 2 large whole carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks.
- 5 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- 4 cups certified gluten free oats. * To make a paleo version, substitute 3 1/2 cups almond meal and 1/2 cup coconut flour for the oats. It will change the texture a bit, but tastes great.
- 4 cups pecans. If you have walnuts, those are ok too, but I find pecans taste better and make it crunchier
- 4 cups pitted organic dates
- 1 cup organic raisins
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
First, spread the oats/almond meal on a cookie sheet and the pecans on another cookie sheet. Put both cookie sheets in the oven to toast them till u can see they've browned a bit and you can start to smell them. (Prob 10-15 min) Take them out to cool, but leave the oven on.
While that stuff is cooling, put 1/2 of the carrots, apples, raisins and dates in a food processor. Pulse or blend until it becomes a salsa-like consistency. You want there to be obvious specks/small chunks of carrots and apples maybe the size of a lemon seed. You don't want it super chunky, but you also don't want it to be a purée either. Spoon that half into a bowl, and do it again with the next half. When you're done, spoon that half into the bowl too.
Now dump the oats/almond meal and the pecans in the processor with the cinnamon and salt. Pulse it until it resembles brown sugar.
Now dump it all into the bowl with the carrot/apple/raisin/date mixture and stir it up really good until it combines evenly.
Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper.
Plop the contents of the bowl into the parchment, and spread it out evenly in the dish. Make sure to smooth the top!
Bake for 20 minutes if you left the apples and carrots chunky, 25 minutes if they were more on the puréed side.
Let them cool completely.
With a sharp knife, ut into bars. I can get 24 bars out of this if I slice it right! Wrap each one in foil, and stick them in the fridge or freezer. I keep mine in the freezer. Now you've got a healthy snack ready to go! They defrost quick - within 5 or 10 min at room temp. Perfect for packing in the diaper bag when I'm going to be out for the day.
hope you enjoy!