Chocolate Pistachio Larabars (V, GF)
If you’ve taken anything away from reading this blog I’m positive it’s one thing: Becca likes making dessert. And you’d be right! I do! In fact, I make too much dessert. My family likes to joke that any time I’m home for a break from school they all gain five pounds because suddenly there are brownies in the fridge, cake on the counter, cookies in the oven, etc. Well, this post is for them (as was this one, although I didn’t call them out on it). This summer is the first time I’ve tried to make real strides with making my own healthy snacks.
These are the real Larabars. They’re gluten free, grain free, non-GMO, soy free, dairy free, and Kosher. Basically they win the special diets award. And they’re delicious. But I have to come clean: I spend waaaaay too much money on granola bars, especially fancy special diet conscious bars (I find them to be full of real ingredients instead of chemicals). Sadly, I’m a poor college student and can’t afford to buy a ginormous case of these every week, so I’m forced to buy the cheaper, crappier, “healthy” granola bars. After much time spent reading the ingredients on several different brands, I’ve found myself wondering why I don’t make them myself. I mean, what am I paying for? Oats, nuts, chocolate? Too much sugar for something claiming to be health food? I’ve discovered a few things: 1) yes, nuts are expensive, but consistently buying granola bars is easily just as pricey. 2) making them yourself is the perfect way to ensure what’s going into your body. There’s no added sugar in this recipe at all! 3) you control the portion size. If you’re planning on these bars being a grab and go breakfast, make them a little bigger; if they’re going to be a snack, make them smaller (even bite sized!) No recipe adjustments needed! You’ll notice I suggest adding a pinch or two of salt; this is where your personal preference comes in. You may not believe me, but dates are incredibly sweet. And as they make up 83% of the bar, I think a little extra salt works wonders. It mellows the sweet and makes for a very exciting snacking experience palate-wise, I assure you!
Bars (makes 6-8; adapted from My Name is Yeh)
2/3 c. roasted unsalted pistachios (or any nut that suits your fancy, but you’ll have to change the title of the recipe. I don’t make the rules, guys)
3 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
pinch or two salt
1 1/2 c. pitted deglet noor dates
1/2 c. oats
Grind pistachios, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a food processor until grainy (but not powdery). Place in a medium bowl and add oats. Stir. Place dates in the food processor and grind into a paste. Add dates to the nut mixture and knead together until combined.
Pour the mixture onto waxed paper and shape into a log. Wrap the log with waxed paper and roll the dough to make the log even. Flatten the log out and cut into desired amount of bars! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week, or freeze for weeks!