Fruit and Nut Bars

About a month ago I purchased a box of Larabars from Grocery Outlet, and over the month, I got hooked. It’s the perfect way to satisfy my mid-morning sweet tooth at work, and lets me keep powering on until lunch. However, I abhor the concept of buying a little treat in a foil packet. Too much packaging, unknown processing conditions, sitting on a shelf for however long they do. It’s the antithesis of the food I try to consume.

And it is so convenient and so tasty.

So I decided to make my own. I entered the recipe into Cronometer, and it comes out to about 150 calories a serving and about $1.15 a bar.  Not that much cheaper, but definitely fresher and definitely less packaging.  Definitely more self righteous. Which is really the most delicious part.

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Smug Bars

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 3/4 cup dates

3/4 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dried apricot

Method:

Put the cashews and pumpkin seeds into a food processor and grind up into a course flour.

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Roughly chop all your dried fruit and throw it in on top of the seed and nut mixture. Pulse the food processor at long intervals, so as not to build up too much heat in the “dough.” You don’t want the nut and seed oils to go rancid.

Eventually, the mixture will begin to clump, and then to form a ball.

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Now eat it!

…Just joking. I mean, do whatever you want. You’re an adult. But I’m going to suggest that you instead line a large cookie sheet or brownie pan with parchment and press the dough into it, about 1/4″- 5/16″ thick.

Let it chill in the fridge for 2 or 3 hours, and then cut it into strips about 1″x3″. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

These have become pretty indespensible in my daily routine. My mission lately has been to have the highest quality fuel with the least amount of daily effort, in an attemp to save time and maximize my personal productivity. I love to cook, and nutrition and cooking are definitely my passion, but I have other things on my proverbial plate as well. I’ve begun designating one of my days off as a cooking day, and the rest of my week is pretty grab and run until dinner time.

I love feeling like I can eat a convenient treat while maintaining both my dietary and budget plans!

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