I came upon this recipe for homemade lara bars a couple of weeks ago at Foodie with Family. Even if the convenience factor totally outweighs whatever you might save in $$, this recipe is so worth making because (1) it's completely customizable for whatever flavor combos you like (2) it's a good way to reduce the amount of packaging and (3) it tastes better than any pre-packaged mass-market product. Really, I had no idea just how stale my energy bars tasted until this recipe came along.
Now, the original notes said to use the fresh plump dates, which cost $7/12oz in my local grocery. I opted for the super-dry pack ($2/8 oz) and rehydrated 'em with a little water. I'm not sure if it was the [weanie] motor on my blender or this swap that caused my blender to be really ineffective at mixing the dates with anything else, the original post has the author happily whirling everything together in the food processor.
|Whirled nuts and chocolate|
|cheapest dates I could find - good until 2014 without refrigeration!|
|after adding a couple TBS of water|
Homemade energy bars
adapted from Foodie with Family
2 c chopped dates
1/2 c chocolate chips
1 c almonds (I used whole, but chopped or sliced would work equally well)
1 TBS peanut butter
In your blender pulse chocolate chips and nuts till fine. Set aside in another bowl. In the blender bowl (no need to clean) add the dates an pulse until it is a gooey mass or your blender doesn't seem to be doing anything. Add a little water to rehydrate dates. Mix dates, peanut butter and nut-chocolate chip mixture together by hand until it forms a big ball (like cookie dough). Press into an 8 x 8 pan lined with wax paper. Refrigerate at least 2 hrs before turning out onto cutting surface and cut into bars. One pan makes ~20 servings @ 150 cals.