Recipe Redux Homemade Lara Bars
|December 21, 2012||Filled under Recipe Redux, Recipes: Cookies, Desserts|
This month’s Recipe Redux post is suppose to be about our favorite kitchen gadget or appliance. I live in a small cracker box sized house. This means that counter space is at a premium and cabinet space is even worse. Which probably explains why we have the majority of our canned goods and other food in several plastic cabinets (the type that you would normally find out in your garage) placed out in our backhall. One day I will have a HUGE kitchen and lots of cool appliances. Until then, what appliances and gadgets I do have, must fit neatly into the available space.
Enter my favorite pint sized kitchen gadget (yes, this is an Amazon affilate link…..I’m a full time student, there are always books to buy). Please note if you are reading this post in a reader the picture below may not show up:
This little guy has been busy chopping away for years now. At this point I’m not sure I would even want a full sized food processor to use on a regular basis. This one has worked great! The only tip that I would give is to not fill it up all the way. Overfilling just seems to chop the food at the bottom near the blades but it does not get the food at the top. This might mean you need to chop stuff in a couple of batches but that only takes a few extra minutes to do.
Besides not taking up much space the Black and Decker mini chopper is easy to clean. There aren’t tons of parts that need to be dismantled in order to clean it. And the price? Check it out….talk about a steal!
Here’s a recipe that I use my B&D chopper for. Again, don’t fill it up all the way when chopping the dates, raisins and nuts. Small batches work best.
- 1 to 1¼ cup nuts (varied depending upon flavor)
- ½ cup gound raisins
- 1 cup coarsely chopped dates
- Additional ingredients depending upon the type of bar your making such as spices, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, coconut, etc
- Coarsely chop the dates. Add them to your food processor and pulse until they form a paste. My food processor is small so I ended up being able to only process them until they began to clump together. Tthere were still finely diced bits in the dates.
- Repeat the procedure with the raisins.
- Don’t bother cleaning out the processor. Simply toss your chosen nuts in and pulse them until finely chopped. The nuts will help remove the date/raisin paste that is stuck to the sides of your processor.
- Add in any spices, vanilla or additional ingredients you may want. Toss the nut mixture into the bowl with your fruit.
- Wash your hands and then knead the nuts and fruits together until blended. Once mixed you can pat the mixture into bar shapes on plastic wrap.
- Or you can roll them in your hands to form little bon bon like balls.
Here’s the chopped fruit. The ground raisins are on the left and the dates are on the right side of the picture below. Put the ground fruit into a large bowl.
Add the nuts in and mix with a spoon or your hands. Using my hands actually made it a bit easier to mix together. This is probably where using a larger food processor would come in handy. But then I’d need a bigger house with a bigger kitchen in order to keep one of those around.
Forming the mixture into a bar shape.
Here’s the mixture rolled into little balls and then rolled in more chopped nuts.
I made two types of mixes this time. I tried to make an apple pie type of blend. I used a nut blend of half almonds and half pecans along with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a dash of vanilla extract. Along with the raisins and dates I added dried apple pieces. I don’t have an exact recipe since I sort of blend up large amounts of each item (nuts, raisins, dates, etc) and then blend them together until I like the consistency. It’s an annoying habit to not use exact amounts unless baking. Play around with the measurements because you never know if you’ll like something better unless you try.
The second blend I made was a chocolate chip cookie. In place of the almond/pecan blend I used only cashews and added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. In the raisin/date mixture I added 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips.
Do you make energy or some other type of fruit based bars? If so feel free to leave a link in the comment section below. I’d love to try some other types of bars.
WLS Tip: while these bars/bon bons aren’t made with added sugar please remember that dried fruits do contain a high amount of naturally occurring sugar. They may be tiny and tastey but over indulging, for some of us that might mean eating just 2 or 3 of these, can lead to a less than fun dumping session. The same can be said for those of use with diabetes or reactive hypoglycemia. Depending upon how big you make your bon bon I’m estimating that 2 will be 1 fruit serving/exchange or about 15 grams of carbs.