Recipe: “Better Than Larabars”

May 28th, 2013 - filed under: The Food » Recipes


Larabars have long been one of our very favorite snacks. They’re sweet and delicious and easy-to-transport, which makes them pretty ideal for kids. I love their simple ingredient list and their wide availability. But, they also have their drawbacks. They’re not organic, for one. And also, dang they’re expensive!

But Waits adores them and so they became a staple in our lives. That is, until we moved back to SB, and the purse strings got a whole lot tighter. That’s when I decided to finally put together my own Larabar recipe – but these would be even BETTER than Larabars, because they would be organic, more nutrient-dense, higher in protein, and of course, homemade with love! ♥


Waits and I like to make these together. He mans the food processor while I measure ingredients. It’s such a simple process, and he takes pride in food that he helps to prepare.

Here’s our basic recipe . . .


* 1 1/4 cups raw almonds
* 1 cup pitted dates – we use these honey dates from our Farmer’s Market because we score them for a song, but you can use any kind you have around, like medjool or bahri
* 1 cup other dried fruit – I like cranberries, cherries, or apricots
* 1 scoop protein powder (I use Sun Warrior vanilla)
* 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (for extra iron and calcium)


Add all the ingredients to your food processor and blend until they’re fully combined. The mixture will start out crumbly and then get stickier and stickier. It’s done when it begins to move around the blade as a ball.


Transfer the “dough” ball from the food processor to an 8×8 baking dish (or equivalent vessel, it doesn’t really matter) and use your fingers to press it down flat. Try to spread it as evenly as possible and press it down to get it as dense as you can.



Cover the pan and refrigerate over night. In the morning you’ll be able to cut the bars into whatever size you like.

You can keep them in the pan, in the fridge, for a few weeks. You can also store them individually wrapped in saran wrap or waxed paper. I like to store them in the pan and then send them for lunches in small mason jars (like this).



  • Graham Phillip Smith

    They look like a perfect snack and so very nutritious , thanks will definitely give that recipe a go .

  • Derrie

    Another reason to avoid Lara Bars is that they are owned by General Mills, which has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the effort to defeat GMO labeling in California.

    And making your own is so easy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Deirdre

    making my day. thanks amiga :)

  • Hannah B.

    Yum!! These remind me of the Halva that my husband and I used to make. We were obsessed for a season!

  • Cate

    Nice! I want to get back to making my own. The great thing about this recipe is how adjustable it is: take out the other fruit, add coconut and cocoa — mmmmm, chocolatey! Reduce it to just peanuts and dates, or toss in all the nuts and seeds in your cabinet. Derrie, thanks for the kick in the pants to drop our Lara Bar habit.

    Have you priced it out? Is it really cheaper to make your own?

  • lysette

    Totally better than Lara bars! Thanks Waits & Sayward.

  • Lynn

    Those look great!!! I’ll definitely give them a try!

  • FellowshipoftheVegetable

    These look amazing, I’m going to try this!

  • Katrina Donovan Fleming

    You are in the land of dates and almonds, you lucky duck! :)

    How amazing that Waits gets this experience of preparing his own food. I’m a third-grade teacher and it always surprises me how few kids actually get in the kitchen and have some fun. I remember creating some pretty awful concoctions at Waits’ age (not like the cool stuff he makes!) but, dang it all, I learned how to work in a kitchen.

    Hopefully you realize what a cool Mom you are. But if you don’t, I’m telling you. You are a cool Mom.

  • Manda Grubner

    Yum! My little vegan loves to help with food prep but is petrified of the blender or any appliance that makes loud noises. I’ve made a version of this with a few tablespoons of tahini in it too. Protein powder and molasses are a good idea, I’m going to try that next time.

  • skeptk_vegan

    Hooray for this easy recipe! Thank you! Also glad to see all those dollars not going towards GM. :)

  • Kelly Hache

    Nice! I have been making my own energy bars and gels (for running) for a little while now. I tried your recipe but added coconut and used goji berries for the dried fruit and Chocolate Vegans Protein Plus for the protein. YUM!! :)

  • linda

    Just a question – how much is a scoop of protein powder. I have some yellow split pea protein powder but there’s no scoop in it . Thankyou :) Great recipe by the way – I added 1/2 tsp cinnamon & some berries (as the additional fruit) & I love it – the kids are yet to do a taste test ….

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It can be as much or as little as you like. I’d say I use a heaping tablespoon, maybe 2 tablespoons. It’s imprecise though – just as much protein as you prefer.

  • linda

    I just made your recipe with the dried cranberries, 1 tsp cinnamon & 1 dessertspoon of cocoa & it is honestly the most delicious thing I have ever eaten in my life. We are trying to not eat all of them at once !! Thankyou so much

  • Sayward Rebhal

    What awesome feedback! Thank you linda, so glad you enjoyed them. =)

  • Karen Myers

    I just made two pans of these and the “dough” was delicious. I cleaned out the food processor with my fingers!!! I did one batch with a little maple syrup for sweetness and some chocolate chips and goji berries for my husband. For my batch, I used apricots and cranberries. I am hoping he loves them! Trying to curb his CLIF bar addiction. Not only are they expensive, but they are loooooaded with sugar.

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