Lately I have been on the lookout for healthy snacks that are easy, portable, and pack a nutritional punch. I love Larabars for their short, natural ingredient list (dates, dried fruit, nuts, and sometimes chocolate) and tasty fun flavors. I have even been eating them during my long runs with no ill-effects. What I do not love is the price tag of $1.50-$2.00 per bar.
When I Googled homemade Larabar recipes, a lot of good examples came up, but none of them were exactly what I was looking for. I used some of the ratios I found in other recipes, like here and here, but decided to come up with my own simple concoction based on the winning favorite flavor combination of coconut and chocolate.
Coconut Joy Larabar Bites
1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 10)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 TB coconut cream concentrate (optional, or may sub 1-2 tsp coconut oil)
Dash sea salt
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet)
Place dates in a bowl and cover with warm water. Allow to soak for about 10 minutes.
Drain dates and place in food processor along with the shredded coconut, coconut cream or oil and dash of salt. Process for about 1 min or until the mixture comes together and starts to form a ball. Remove mixture to a medium bowl.
Add almonds to food processor and pulse until they are small chunks. Add chocolate chips and pulse a few times until they are broken up.
Combine the nuts and chocolate with the date mixture and mix together. It’s easiest to smoosh it all together with your hands. Form into balls or bars or whatever you fancy. I got 16 ping-pong sized balls out of the recipe, all loaded with good fats, fiber, and a little bit of protein for an energy punch.
They should be stored in the fridge and should keep for a couple of weeks, not that they would ever last that long. The flavor combinations here are endless with all of the different dried fruits, nuts and seeds out there. I plan to experiment with these more in the near future.
These will be great to use for a treat at work, a healthy desert, or a pre-run snack.
What is your favorite healthy snack? Recipes welcome!