I first fell for Larabars about a month ago, when I somewhat subconsciously amped up my efforts to eat in a more Michael Pollan-esque manner (eat food, not too much, mostly plants). Most Larabars contain just a few ingredients, with dates and nuts forming the bulk of their ingredient lists, so I wondered if I could replicate the dense, nutty treats at home.
A quick Google search for “homemade Larabar recipes” showed I’m far from the only home cook to wonder. Camilla at Enlightened Cooking lays out several awesome-looking faux-Larabar recipes. Since Saturday night found me stuck at home nursing a recently reinjured ankle while Steve skied during D.C.’s second major snowstorm of the winter, it seemed like the perfect time to experiment in the kitchen.
I went with a basic date-and-almond combo, and started by pulverizing six dates in my food processor.
Next, I removed the date mixture and coarsely chopped roughly a quarter of a cup of almonds. I combined the mixtures by hand, placed the gooey mess on top of some plastic wrap, molded it into a bar shape …
… and voila! I had my own version of a Larabar! I enjoyed one for dessert Saturday, along with a few handfuls of dark chocolate chips. Yes, a few handfuls. Like I said, Steve was skiing and I was stuck at home with a bum ankle. Don’t judge.
A tip from Camilla I’ll be sure to try next time: “It really helps to have very soft squishy dates; it they are hard (especially the prechopped kind), it can help to pour a bit of boiling water over them and let them stand for about 15 minutes, then drain off the excess.”
In other news, I have been kicking my own butt in the pool, most recently with a 1,650 warmup followed by a big, long pyramid set for a total of 3,450 meters. Not too shabby for an injured runner completely unmotivated to jump in a pool in mid-winter, huh? Since my ankle still seems too iffy to attempt my group run tonight, I’m headed back to the pool this morning instead. Bay Bridge Swim, here I come!