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Homemade Lara Bar

I have been buying nutritious bars for the past 4 years . Started with Cliff & Luna bars, which are mostly meant for sportspeople and I am not one. My sports is limited to my gym activities and walking round the block , though regularly. The cliff bar did not impress me at all and I refused to eat it unless I was ravenous.Then, encountered the Organic Bars that we get in whole foods , loaded with nuts and dry fruits , flax seed etc, though I don’t remember the brand name. It was good and very fulfilling but slowly got tired of it. About two years ago, we found the Lara Bar…YUMMO!! I still remember the first time when we saw a guy promoting it in our Whole Foods Store,I went by him three times to get a free bite of the “Banana” flavored Lara bar. If you have not eaten one, then you are missing some heavenly taste. From then on, it has been only Lara Bars for us, though they are a bit expensive, but it is worth it as they are raw, unprocessed , healthy goodness. Though I bake different types of energy bars, I wanted to get the exact taste as the Lara bar.Decided to try my hand at it last weekend and it turned out to be worth the trial. Both Suresh and I just loved it, of course, with all the fruits and nuts, flavored with banana, who wouldn’t? Here is the recipe.

Ingredients: 6 dates, chopped 3 dried apricots, chopped 1/2 cup walnuts 1/4 cup almonds 1/4 cup cashew nuts 1/4 cup raisins 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 ripe banana 1/3 cup date paste 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Recipe: 1. Pulse all the nuts in a food processor, till the nuts are fine,but not too fine.( coarse> nuts > fine ). 2. Add the dried fruits( except the date paste and banana) & the pepper in the FP, pulse it some more till the ingredients are mixed. 3.Mash the banana and mix it with the date paste.Now , add this mixture in the FP, pulse it once more. 4. Take the mixture out, lay it on a sheet and cool it in the refrigerator.Cut it out and your lara bar is ready. 5. Store it in the refrigerator.

Variations: 1. Just add whatever nuts and fruits you like. Add the date paste and banana in the end. 2. I did not have date paste, so ended soaking some dates in warm water and blended it with banana. 3. If you think the mixture is a bit runny and may not set well, just add a couple of tbsp whole wheat pastry flour or AP flour and bake the mixture in the oven @ 350C for 10 minutes. 4. I think if we don’t use fresh banana , but instead substitute with dried banana, this might have better shelf life.

“You are what you eat”
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