Some mornings can be overwhelming with two little ones, especially when we have to get out of the door by a certain time for something like preschool. One little tantrum or a missing sock can turn into a dragged-out fiasco. It’s difficult to be on time these days, but I try my best.
I have to keep breakfast simple because mornings are just hectic. I confess, if we are in a hurry, I will sometimes give my kids Larabars. It makes me feel better knowing that they are healthy and made with minimal ingredients. S loves them. I am honestly amazed at how a two year-old can eat two of these bars at one sitting and ask for more (I usually don’t give him more than two). But at $1.50 a bar, it can really add up at the rate S eats them.
With a great recipe I found from Oh She Glows, I can now make my own Larabars. The simplicity of the ingredients couldn’t have made it any easier to make a big batch of these energy bars. There are also endless possibilities of different variations (ie. walnuts, cashews, peanuts, raisins, dried cherries…etc.). I have found that Costco has the best price for dates. To make it even easier, I usually buy Trader Joe’s “Just Almond Meal” instead of grounding up my own nuts. It results in a finer texture than my food processor can allow.
E thinks these bars are chocolate bars. I am loving the fact that my kids actually love something that’s somewhat healthy and natural. H, on the other hand, has no sweet tooth, and won’t touch anything remotely “healthy.” It’s too bad because these bars are too good to be shared!
Cranberry Chocolate Chip “Larabar”
(adapted from Oh She Glows)
Makes 10 bars
1 and 1/2 cups almond meal or raw almonds
3/4 cup tightly packed dates
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
*Note: If using raw almonds, process that first instead of dates.
1. Soak dates in a bowl of water for 30 minutes. Drain and dry well.
2. Add dates and cranberries in a food processor and process until the dates are broken down into tiny pieces.
3. Add almond meal into the mixture in the food processor and process until the mixture are well-combined.
4. Add vanilla and chocolate chips. Process until they are well-incorporated.
5. Line a loaf pan with a piece of plastic wrap large enough so that removing the content will be easier later. Pack the mixture from the food processor into the lined-loaf pan. Using the back of a silicone spatula, wooden spoon, or your hand, pack the mixture really well. The harder you pack it down, the better the bars will stay together and not fall apart.
6. Freeze for 15 minutes. Remove and cut into 10 bars with a sharp knife. Wrap in individual plastic wraps and store in refrigerator.