Homemade Larabar-Style Energy Bars: 6 Easy Recipes


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The homemade Larabar is a popular substitute for energy bars and protein shakes. Larabars are made with organic, natural ingredients and provide the right balance of healthy fats, carbs, and protein that you need to stay full until your next meal. Unlike homemade energy bars or homemade protein shake recipes that require a lot of preparation time, homemade Larabars can be whipped up in minutes using a Breville food processor. In this post, I will share my basic recipe for homemade Larabar-style energy bars that will save you money and keep you full.

Lara Bars are going to cause me to go bankrupt.

Not really, but at the rate my family goes through them sometimes I feel like I either need to take a second mortgage or seriously consider buying stock in the company.

So I started making my own at home. They’re really easy with a good food processor! You can make them into bars by spreading them out in an 8×11 or 9×9 Pyrex dish and setting them in the fridge.

I usually make them into balls. Seems easier, but mostly because they last longer that way. When my kids take bars they tend to eat the whole thing. But they’ll eat one ball and call it good (one bar is the same as about 2 balls).

I can pick up Larabars (and still do!) for $1.00 a bar if I can find them on sale. Usually, they cost about $1.50. I can make these at home for an average of $0.85 per bar. That’s not a massive saving, but it adds up.

Let’s get to it. I’ll walk you through the full process of making the Cashew Cookie and one of my own creations. The process is the same for the rest of the bars, so I’ll just list the ingredients and amounts for those.

Table of Contents

Equipment You’ll Need

Food Processor

To Soak or Not to Soak

Always soak your dates for about 5 minutes in warm water.

No need to soak peanuts or cashews. They’re pretty soft to begin with.

Always soak almonds for at least 6 hours. Unsoaked almonds are hard and really tough on your food processor.

I usually don’t worry about soaking walnuts or pecans.

General Homemade Larabar-Style Recipe

1 1/2 cup soaked dates – fresh Medjool dates will give you the best results, but Deglet Noor dates are great as well (which I get for super cheap at Costco)

1 cup nuts – any type! Cashews and almonds are the most common nuts used by Larabar, but my favorite recipe is the peanut butter chocolate chip.

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 – 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (depends on how sweet you want your bars to be). My family likes 1/2 cup.

Don’t pour out the water you soaked your dates in! Your recipe may need water during processing. Use the date water! It’ll have more sweetness than plain ol’ water.

Homemade Energy Bar Instructions

Step 1: Process the nuts.

Breville Chopping Nuts

To achieve the same smooth texture Larabars have you definitely want to process the nuts first by themselves. If you try and process the nuts and dates at the same time you will end up with a lot of nut chunks. Add the nuts to a food processor fitted with an S-blade and pulse until the nuts are crumbly.

Step 2: Add your soaked dates.

Add Dates to Your Chopped Nuts

Now that the nuts are fully chopped, add the dates. Pulse until well combined. You want the mixture to be slightly crumbly, but it sticky enough to hold together. If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon or so at a time of your date water and pulse until again.

Step 3: Add your extras.

Breville Snack Bars With Chocolate

Toss in your extras, if the recipe calls for them, and pulse until mixed.

Step 4: Shape the mixture.

Breville Lara Balls

Now you get to decide how you want your homemade energy bars to look. You can make either bars or balls.

If you are going to make bars, simply transfer the mixture into a parchment paper-lined baking dish and press it into a smooth, even layer.

If you want to make balls, simply scoop out a large tablespoon of your mixture and roll it into a ball. Just remember to wet your hands first! These are going to be a bit sticky. Sometimes I take two pieces of wax or parchment paper and roll the mixture between the two pieces. This will save you from sticky hands.

Step 5: Chill.

Cover your mixture and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. If you are making bars, remove them at this point and cut. If you are making balls, leave them in the freezer or move them to the fridge.

Storing Your Homemade Energy Bars

You can keep your homemade Larabar-style energy bars out on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer.

They will last about 1 week covered on the counter, 1 month covered in the fridge, or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Personally, I keep them in the freezer most of the time. We go through any one of these recipes twice a week on average. I just keep them in the freezer because they are so good cold!

Homemade Larabar Recipes

Here are the ingredients for my family’s favorites. You may want to only use 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, but we pretty much always go for 1/2 cup. You can’t have too many chocolate chips!

Start here and play around. The ratios below of nuts to dates work well. But, with any of these recipes, if you want them to be nuttier, go with 1 1/2 cup nuts to 1 cup dates. Sweeter, 1 1/2 cups dates to 1 cup nuts.

Cashew Cookie – 1 1/2 cups cashews, 1 cup dates

Chocolate Chip Brownie – 1 1/2 cups dates, 3/4 cup almonds, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, pinch sea salt

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – 1 1/2 cups cashews, 1 cup dates, 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 1 tsp vanilla extract, pinch sea salt

Coconut Chocolate Chip – 1 1/2 cup dates, 3/4 cup soaked almonds, 1/4 cup cashews, 1/4 cup shaved coconut flakes, 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip – 1 1/2 cups dates, 1 cup roasted peanuts, 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, pinch sea salt

My Own Creation – 1 1/2 cups dates, 3/4 cup cashews, 1/4 cup almonds, 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, pinch of sea salt

Why Don’t My Homemade Larabars Feel Like the Ones I get in the Store?

Storebought Larabars are dehydrated. This way they are shelf stable for longer. If you have a dehydrator you can skip the freezing step and transfer your mixture to a food dehydrator instead.

Homemade Larabar-Style Energy Bars Conclusion

There you have it! Energy bars are so convenient. to have around. Keeping snacks on hand that you enjoy will prevent you from getting too hungry or reaching for things that won’t help you reach your goals.

This blog post has provided you with homemade Larabar-style energy bars that are easy to make using a good food processor. All of these recipes can be whipped up in minutes with little advanced preparation. And all for less than $1 per bar!

Give these a try and let our community know how they turned out in the comments below.

Until next time, stay fit.

Plant-Based, Plant Built

*Author's Note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The content of our articles is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It's always best to speak with your doctor or a certified medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise routine, or trying a new supplement.

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Matt Walter, CHN, M.A.T
I studied Food Science and Human Nutrition at Washington State University and interned as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the WSU football team. I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and former personal trainer and competitive CrossFit athlete. My mission is to make embracing and adopting a healthy vegan lifestyle simple and fun!

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