It seems as though I am not the only one who has had a go at recreating the various types of date bars on sale in Health Food Stores (whether it’s the Nakd Bars now available in the UK or the Lärabars initially available in the US but now more easily found here in the UK as well) since I have seen a few recipes for home-made bars around the blog-world. This should not really come as a surprise, given their awesome taste and very short ingredient list (they are mainly made from dates and cashews plus flavouring in the form of raisins, dried apples, pecans, cocoa, orange … the list is endless). Last year, I experimented with a few flavours already … I made some plain date bars, some with vanilla and sea salt, some with chocolate chips and orange zest and, Alessandro’s favourite, mock ‘Bounty’ bars (with chocolate and coconut) (which helped sustain us on our tortorous hike through Gola di Gorrupu (aka Europe’s deepest canyon) during 35 degree heat). Then, the colder it got and the less I worked out, I stopped making these bars since I was less hungry and less in need of a snack to fuel a workout.
Now, I have just started training for my next race (29 May, Brussels 20k) and after my first long run (13 long km in the gym last Saturday) and my first interval session I suddenly felt the urge for some healthy snack bars. And, if last year’s experiments taught me anything, it is that the homemade creations are in fact better than the Lärabars/Nakd bars you can buy (and, at about 90p a pop, those bars are much more expensive as well!).
So…the next question was what flavour I wanted to play with this time round. And then I had an idea – one of my favourite treats is a Blueberry Muffin … so why not create a bar that tastes of blueberry muffin? And what can I say, these were a huge success (as confirmed by my flatmate Verena).
Blueberry Muffin Lärabars (makes 6x30g bars)
60g Cashews (unroasted)
40g Dried Blueberries
10g Small Porridge Oats
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
A Pinch of Sea Salt
1. Start by processing the dates, together with the sea salt and vanilla essence to a rough paste using a food processor. Next, put the date paste aside in a bowl covered with clingfilm (to ensure that the date paste does not dry out while you continue with the recipe).
2. Next, process the cashews and blueberries until the cashews are chopped into fairly small pieces (but be careful to not grind them into a powder).
3. Transfer the processed cashews and blueberries into the same bowl as the date paste and knead to combine the two. Once all of the nut-blueberry mixture has been combined with the datepaste to form a homogenous paste, slowly start adding the oats to the mixture (I usually only use half the amount of oats mentioned above, otherwise the mixture gets to dry and does not stick together).
4. Roll out to a rectangle that is roughly 1/2 inch thick and cut into 6 bars. Wrap well in clingfilm (to avoid drying out).
And best of all: in less than 10mins you can go from this: