Homemade Lara Bars
Delicious no-bake Homemade Lara Bars are Whole30 compliant and paleo. Packed with flavor from dates and cashews, they are the perfect bite. Variations include apple pie, cherry pie, and chocolate.
Have you ever tried a Lara Bar? They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan to boot. But shockingly, they are not taste-free; they’re absolutely delicious. I was dairy-free while nursing Jack, and I ate my fair share of Lara Bars, but at $1+ a pop, they’re not an everyday snack.
Are Lara Bars Whole30 Approved?
Yes, to an extent. Lara Bars are allowed on Whole30 as long as they do not contain vanilla extract, peanuts, or chocolate chips, and aren’t meant to be a dessert. From the Whole30 page:
“They’re an okay choice for on-the-go food—stash one in your gym bag, desk at work, or purse for those stuck in traffic/late night at the office/cross-country flight kinds of days.*
However, not all varieties of Larabars are Whole30 compliant. Those that contain vanilla extract, chocolate chips (which are sweetened with sugar), or peanut butter are out for your program. Here’s a list of compliant varieties, compiled by Whole30 Instagram follower @Gettin.Body.Back.Girl (and vetted by the Whole30 team).
Compliant: Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Carrot Cake, Cashew Cookie, Cherry Pie, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Coconut Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Bar, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie.
Non-compliant: Blueberry Muffin, Cappuccino, Chocolate Chip Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Coconut Chocolate Chip, Gingerbread, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cookie, Snickerdoodle.
Leave the vanilla extract out and then yes they are. Don’t go crazy with these during a round of Whole30 as they’re meant to be an occasional snack and not considered a treat.” (source).
To make these Lara Bars Whole30 compliant, leave out the vanilla extract. Keeping the cocoa powder in is up to you as technically cocoa powder is Whole30 compliant…but these walk the line of SWYPO.
Here’s How to Make Them:
- Pulse nuts in a food processor until they are in small pieces. Some larger pieces will remain, and some of the pieces will be very small.
- Add the pitted dates, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Process until the mixture comes together in one large ball. Depending on the size of the dates, you may need to add a few more to get the mixture to come together.
- Pinch off a small bit of mixture and roll it into a ball about the size of a small ping pong ball. If desired, roll the ball in unsweetened shredded coconut.
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:
- Need to make more or less of the recipe? Click and slide the “servings” number on the recipe card and the ingredients will adjust as needed. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
- Make sure you are using the “pulse” function of your food processor instead of the “on” or “blend”. This will make sure they are chopped into pieces instead of becoming nut butter.
- Store in an air-tighter container on the counter. They will keep for weeks, but I guarantee you’ll eat them all prior to that.
Dates- $8.39 for a package. It will make 4 batches, so $2.09
Homemade vanilla – like $.04
Nuts – $.97 from the bulk section
The recipe made 20 balls for a total of $.15 per ball.
Variations of Homemade Lara Bars:
- Apple Pie Lara Bars (add cinnamon and dried apples)
- Cherry Pie Lara Bars (dried cherries. Use unsweetened dried cherries to be Whole30 compliant)
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Lara Bars
Homemade Lara Bars are stupidly easy and fast to make. Everyone loves them, they keep forever (but they’ll be gone within a few days), and they are free of refined sugar.
The base recipes of dates + nuts allow you to be super creative with new combinations. The possibilities are endless. The number of “balls in my mouth” jokes being made in the house? Also endless.
Making this recipe or others?
Homemade Lara Bars are incredibly easy and super delicious. Just four ingredients gives you a healthy and fast gluten-free treat.
Pulse nuts in a food processor until they are in small pieces. Some larger pieces will remain, and some of the pieces will be very small.
Add the pitted dates, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Process until the mixture comes together in one large ball. Depending on the size of the dates, you may need to add a few more to get the mixture to come together.
Pinch off a small bit of mixture and roll it into a ball about the size of a small ping pong ball. If desired, roll the ball in unsweetened shredded coconut.
Make sure you are using the "pulse" function of your food processor instead of the "on" or "blend". This will make sure they are chopped into pieces instead of becoming nut butter.
Store in an air-tighter container on the counter. They will keep for weeks, but I guarantee you’ll eat them all prior to that.
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