Apricot Almond “LARABAR”

I always have healthy snacks on me, whether it is a Ziplock full of veggie sticks or a bar of some sort. Protein/fruit and nut bars are quick, easy and help sustain me until my next meal. The one downside? They can be incredibly pricy for someone on a tight budget, especially if you tend to enjoy/purchase the most expensive ones on the market like I do. That’s why I decided to tackle a homemade version of a LARABAR earlier this summer. I love what this brand stands for, pure, simple and whole foods “as nature intended” with a nine ingredient max, however many of them are a bit too sweet for my taste bud’s liking. So I did what any cheap, recent grad would do. I bought nuts and dried fruits in bulk and experimented. Insert apricots, almonds, dates and a dash of vanilla extract. Oh, and of course cinnamon.

Ingredients
(Adapted from DAMY Health)
Makes roughly 6 bars
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dates
1 cup almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash (or two) of cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

Roughly chop your dried fruits and place into a food processor. Pulse until the fruit becomes a chunky paste before adding in your nuts. Pulse again until it reaches your desired texture. Either roll the mixture into little balls for an on-the-go pop of power (like my Mocha Coffee Protein Balls) or form into bars on parchment paper. Regardless of shape, refrigerate before digging in so they retain their form. Place in plastic wrap or Ziplock baggie for a purse-approved, healthy snack.

Next time, I will probably also incorporate some chia, hemp hearts and ground flax because, let’s face it, I sprinkle them on everything. I cannot wait to play around with other dried fruits, nuts and spices. Simple, tasty and, most importantly, affordable. What a great pre-workout energy boost or afternoon snack! I dipped one in a vanilla greek yogurt as dessert. Yeah, I said it and believe me, it was good. I highly encourage you to play around, substitute ingredients and create your own winning combination! Side note: check out DAMY Health. Amy Layne’s blog is amazing with bomb-tastic, innovative recipes and health advice. I am so glad I found her site through Pinterest.
Are you a fruit and nut bar addict? What ingredients would you incorporate?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

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