We buy and love eating Larabars, “The Original Fruit And Nut Food Bar”. Tom can carry one in his golf bag. I, on the other hand, love them with a cup of tea in the afternoon. I also carry them with me in the car in case I get too hungry while doing errands.
I have read that several people’s favorite is “Cashew Cookie”. And I have to agree! It’s the most cookie-tasting (to me) of all the Larabars. And I think of them when I want a dessert-like treat!
When I finally discovered the Cashew-Cookie at our local co-op, they were $1.79 a bar! For as often as we’d like to eat them, it seemed like I needed to find a comparable homemade (hopefully cheaper) alternative. And here it is:
- 1 cup Medjool dates (around 12 large, pitted–or .38 lb. before pitting–amount may vary depending upon moisture content of dates)
- 2 cups raw cashews, separated into 1-cup portions (around .57 lb.)
Servings: 13 48-gram “bars”
Put dates and 1-cup cashews into food processor bowl. Process until mixture forms a ball and rolls around the outside of the bowl.
Measure out 48 gram portions into a silicone mold (your shape preference) and then pop onto a plate. Cover with Stretch-Tite. Freeze those you won’t be eating soon. (I love eating them straight from the freezer!)
Tom and my daughter and I had these “cookies”. The flavor is exactly the same as a Cashew-Cookie bar. The texture is slightly more chewy (less crumbly) and just as delicious (we all agree). My son, on the other hand, doesn’t like fruit/nut bars, and doesn’t think the word “cookie” applies here. (Goodie! More for me.)
I will check the cost of the dates and cashews for a price comparison, and add it here. (I am certain it is significantly cheaper than $1.79 per bar.)
[Edit on 10/19/09: Today I purchased the ingredients at an organic foods co-op. The medjool dates were $2.43–at $6.39 a lb. The raw cashews were $3.41–at $5.99 a lb. Each bar cost 45¢ to make, at a savings of $1.34 per bar! These ingredients were expensive; I’m sure you can find cheaper sources. My Costco medjool dates are 2-lbs. for $7.99, which would make the bars 37¢ each—a savings of $1.42 a bar! And Costco’s medjools are also the best I have found for snacking: each one is ooey-gooey delicious!]
I am excited to think of all the possibility of dried fruits (cranberries, apricots, sour cherries, prunes) and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts). And think of all the fruit-and-nut combinations, too!
[Edit on 10/19/09: The Ginger Snap flavor, which is fruitcake-like to me, is made of: dates, almonds, pecan, ginger, cinammon, and cloves. For those who like fruitcake.]
[Edit on 7/5/10: These can be shaped/rolled into balls, for a smaller sized treat. The balls can be rolled in a coating: unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened coconut flakes, etc.]