A few years ago, my friend, Bewildered Bug introduced me to Larabars. Apparently, I missed the whole “Lärabar” boat because I had no idea what they were. She told me that she was a fan of the healthier-for-you treat, especially since it was gluten-free and she followed a gluten-free diet. It sounded great, but I had never tried a Larabar in my life.
Larabars once again appeared in my life when I was on a camping trip with friends. One of our friends made Larabars to take on a kayak and canoe trip. To be honest, I’m not much of a dried fruit person, so I didn’t have any. Plus, these were made with nuts and one of our friends had a severe nut allergy, so no one was able to eat the Larabars, lest the oils from the nuts transferred or spread. Washing hands in the lake would not remove the oils and we wouldn’t want anyone to get sick or go into anaphylactic shock. We needed nut-free larabars for our trip.
Lately, my six year old has been really into dates and dried fruit. She asked for feta-stuffed dates wrapped in Prosciutto last week. Since we had a big box of dates, I was trying to figure out what else to do with dates (other than just eat them). Once again, Larabars popped into my mind — Much to my husband’s chagrin, because the idea of some Nut-Free Larabars came to mind at 11:30 pm and the whirring, buzzing and grinding of the food processor woke him in a start! Insert evil laugh here.
My friend, Randa at The Bewitchin’ Kitchen‘s recipe caught my eye the other week and I bookmarked it and pinned it to try at a later date. That date had arrived! I noticed that coconut, walnuts and almonds were some of the ingredients. Though I absolutely love those three ingredients, I was making these for my Little One and her friends to enjoy. I tend to not make things with nuts when her friends are over. A few of her friends have nut allergies, so I like to be extra careful to not have nuts when kids are around. Let’s be honest…Kids are not exactly the best hand-washers and oils from nuts can transfer.
I’m saving Randa’s recipe for ME! Okay, maybe for our next girls’ nights I will bring Randa’s No Bake Coconut Bars! They sound delish! Make sure to check her recipe out!
Here’s my nut-free larabars version: 5 ingredients and no baking! I have no idea what to call these bars, since they’re a “from home” version of the popular trade-marked product. That Lara from Lärabar is one popular lady, if so many people are buying her Larabars and making home versions as well. What a smart cookie.
- 1 cup pitted dates
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
- ½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chocolate chips
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- In your food processor or blender, add pitted dates and "chop" until dates are chopped and create a sticky, but coarse "paste". Don't over-chop.
- Add sunflower seeds and pepitas, and pulse. Make sure mixture is well incorporated.
- Add chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Pulse until entire mixture is incorporated.
- Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and spread mixture. Make sure to press mixture into pan and refrigerate. I refrigerated overnight.
- Cut into squares and serve (or pack for snacks).