Today I'm excited to share this guest post from Jennifer of Sweet Plantains. Please head over to Sweet Plantains and check out Jennifer's amazing recipes and don't forget to follow Sweet Plantains on Facebook! -Jackie
We have a little grocery shopping tradition in our family. A light at the end of the tunnel, if you will. And believe me, you need a light when you attempt any sort of shopping with four kids. After we've gone through the whole store (and back again, since I inevitably forgot one thing all the way at the beginning), we head to the “bar aisle” for a Larabar.
We love Larabars. They're chewy, fruity, and filling; and while so many bars in the health food store are masquerading as healthy, it's like a breath of fresh air to find something a picky mommy like me can be happy to give her kids.
There are so many different flavors that I can grandly motion to a whole row, and say, “Pick one. Any one. Whichever one you want, you can have.” It feels good. Especially since chances are I just spent the last half hour explaining why we can't get soy-ladened-this, or food-colored-that. And even though I have to stand there for a full five minutes while each child agonizes and debates the merits of each flavor before picking the exact same one as the sibling before them, I get to feel the thrill of allowing my children to get a store-bought goodie wrapped in a shiny, colorful, crinkly package. A rare treat, indeed!
I'd love to pack up a whole basket of those great little bars to take home. Unfortunately, they're a little tough on the budget department. They're such a great portable snack that I just had to decode the formula and start making my own larabars at home. Which, as it turns out, is even better than buying them – and not just for the money saved. Making homemade Larabars is so incredibly simple and easy, and when I make them at home, I get to create any flavor my little heart desires.
Like Chocolate Pecan Pie. Yes, I did say Chocolate Pecan Pie. Sweet and decadent, it tastes like the perfect combination of fudge and pecan pie – all rolled into one healthy, energy-packing little bar. And while I do love making these with my kids, I will forewarn you – it's hard to share!
Chocolate Pecan Pie Energy Bars
- 1 cup toasted pecans
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
1. Put the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and process until they are the consistency of cornmeal. Set aside.
2. Put the fruit in the food processor and puree until smooth.
3. Add in the cocoa and the pecans and process until well combined.
4. Line an 8″ square baking dish (or equivalent) with parchment or wax
paper, leaving a few inches of paper hanging over either side.
5. Spoon the fruit mixture into the parchment-lined pan and flatten – either with slightly
damp hands, or by pressing down with the overhanging paper.
6. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for a few hours until hardened.
7. Place the hardened mixture on a cutting board, peel off the paper, and cut into bars of desired size.
8. Wrap each bar individually in parchment, or layer them in an airtight container with parchment between each layer.
Jennifer is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four. She is an avid cook, health enthusiast, and lover of all things homemade! At Sweet Plantains she shares original recipes, homeschooling tips, parenting thoughts, and anything else that strikes her fancy. In her spare time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, reading nutrition books, and being barefoot outdoors with her little ones!
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