January 5, 2011

Homemade Banana Bread Larabars


I’m not saying they’re pretty. In fact, they look more like a play-doh experiment gone wrong than a delightful tea time snack. But I will proudly assert that these taste shockingly like the genuine article.

I made my own because I fear I will never be able to afford a house, snowshoes, or that amazing pair of ass-kicking boots I’ve been coveting if I continue to buy these babies. That’s the trouble with trying to do right by your health: sometimes it costs more.

Unless––huzzah!––you endeavor to make your own. If you can dress yourself, you can make these. Your food processor grinds the nuts into magic, heart-healthy fairy dust and turns crisp banana chips and dates into a sticky dough. Knead the two together, roll out flat (or between your palms into balls), and you’ve got a terrific on-the-go snack, on the cheap. Ingenuity: 1. Store-bought snacks: 0.

Homemade Banana Bread Larabars
from Oh She Glows
makes 4 bars

The banana bread flavor is one of my favorites, but there are many recipes floating around the blogosphere, including Cashew Cookie and the slightly fancified version that Clotilde manages to make elegant-looking.

1/2 cup dried dates or prunes
1/2 cup dried banana chips (or click through to the Oh She Glows recipe to learn how to make your own)
2/3 cup raw almonds or cashews

Throw dates and banana chips into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until they make a paste (mine came together into a ball). Remove to a small bowl. Add nuts to the food processor bowl and blitz for about minute, until the nuts are in fine pieces. Add the nuts to the banana-date paste and mix together with your hands until incorporated.

To make into bar shapes: Place the dough on top of a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten with your hand, and then using a rolling pin, roll dough out into a square shape. To get nice corners, press into a square baking sheet. Cut into four bars, wrap with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

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  • anne: Awesome! I love Larabars but hate the price. Seems pretty simple too.

    I recently made something similar – 1 c almonds, 1 c raisins, 1 tsp cinnamon whirled in a food processor. Then rolled into little balls. A perfect little snack!4 years ago

  • Those sound delicious, Anne, and are totally the same kind of thing. Super simple, delicious––it’s a no-brainer DIY snack, right?4 years ago

  • Kim: You just changed my life.4 years ago

  • You sure know how to make a girl feel good, Kim.4 years ago

  • Wow, yes you did! Those sound (and look) amazing!4 years ago

  • jennifer: Someone gave me dates over the holidays (I know,weird.) and I had no idea what to do with them. And so off I went to buy banana chips this morning, and I will be making these tonight!
    You inspire me.4 years ago

  • Jennifer, This is the totally opposite end of the spectrum, but I hear A LOT of good things about dates wrapped in bacon. Just saying… :)4 years ago

  • sebastian: beautiful photograph! yum!4 years ago

  • Kristine: Happy New year! I haven’t heard of Larabars (kinda reveals that I don’t reach for healthy snacks) but these sound yummy and easy. Thank you! And maybe I’ll dance around listening to your great music mix while I scarf them down too. Thank you!4 years ago

  • Sebastian, Thanks! My husband gave me a new lens for Christmas! 😉

    Kristine, That sounds like a killer afternoon you’ve got the makings for. :)4 years ago

  • jjumpjennifer: I made them two days ago and my husband declared they were the best snack he had ever had (they were pretty amazing) in addition (yes, there’s more) he was able to run THREE miles today instead of TWO because of them.


    You made him so happy. And healthy.

    Christmas present dates. Who knew?4 years ago

  • OMG, that’s AMAZING! Best endorsement for a recipe ever!4 years ago

  • Debbie S.: Looking forward to making them and since Earthfare had deal on organic bananas for $.25/lb, I bought several pounds. I don’t have a dehydrator, so dried the oven way – at 175 degrees for a few hours. I guess I started it too late in day as I was ready to get to bed. I quit and said they’re done, but 2 days later they are rubbery rather than brittle/chippy. I’m guessing I didn’t do it right? And either way, maybe still good to use?4 years ago

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Feeding people graciously and lovingly is one of life’s simplest pleasures: a most basic way of making life better for someone, at least for awhile.
- Anna Thomas