Monday, December 9, 2013

DIY Larabar Recipe

When you make your own energy bars, you can cut them in whatever size you like, wrap them in cling wrap and stash them in the fridge to keep them fresh. And for the low price of about $4, you can make the equivalent of about 14 Larabars – what a bargain! Did I mention that you can make a batch in less than 10 minutes?
Runners, it’s time to take performance foods into your own hands.
Runners, what’s your favorite pre and post-run fueling strategy? Share your training secrets in the comments…
Cherry Cashew Energy Bars
Makes approximately 14 bars (3×2”)
105 cal, 3.7g fat, 180mg potassium, 18g carbs, 2g fiber, 12g sugars, 1.7g protein
The recipe below is merely a guide. To experiment with your own flavors, use a 1:1 ratio of nuts to dried fruits, with dates being the largest proportion of the fruit – grate in a dash of lemon or orange zest if you’re feeling adventurous. Almonds, cashews and pecans work really well – if you want to use some peanuts, you’ll need to cut them with cashews or almonds, otherwise the bars will be too soft to hold together because of the higher amount of oil in peanuts. Cherry Pie Larabars are my favorite variety, so this is my version. I might be bragging a little, but I think these are even better than Lara’s.
1 cup of unsalted, toasted cashews
¾ cup of dried, pitted dates
¼ cup of dried tart cherries
1 pinch of kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Equipment: Parchment paper (or waxed paper), sheet pan, food processor, rubber spatula, paring knife, cling wrap
  1. Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Add add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is ground fairly fine, and just begins to clump up into a rough paste.
  2. Turn the paste onto the parchment paper, and use rubber spatula to smooth the paste into about 1/3″ thick sheet. Fold the parchment over the top of the bars, and use your fingers to press very firmly and evenly distribute the mixture to form nice, uniform bars.
  3. Stash the sheet pan in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes, then remove and cut into bars with a sharp paring knife. Individually wrap in cling wrap and store in the fridge to keep them fresh for a couple of weeks (if they last that long).
Note: If you feel like getting fancy, you can freshen up the flavor of the nuts by popping them into a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Be sure to let the nuts cool before you make the bars, otherwise you’ll be making homemade nut butter…which is a post for another day

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