Monday, November 11, 2013

Chewy cashew goodness


I have my mother to thank for putting me onto this possibility.  Like so many people, my mother has had to cut out gluten from her diet, which means she's had to vary up her eating options.  The other day she excitedly told me about how she threw some dates and cashews into the food processor and got a concoction that she described as "Lara bars out of a jar."  She found the result tasty and would simply take spoonfuls of the stuff.

I immediately thought, "Why not make them into Lara bars?!" and began to google "Homemade Lara Bar recipes."  Do you know what I found and how easy and delicious it is?

Well then, let me tell you.

For the Basic Cashew bar, all you need are dates, cashews, vanilla extract, and salt.  Basically the options thereon out for variations are endless.

I initially used this recipe from Chocolate-covered Katie, but I quadrupled it since I had tons of dates and cashews (thank you, local Indian grocery store, for selling these for cheap) and figured I wanted to have a good number of bars.  Since the original recipe calls for a "tiny pinch" of salt, I figured four "pinches" was about a quarter to a half of a teaspoon of salt.  It ended up being a bit too salty but it was still tasty.

Later, I tried the recipe from Damy Healthy.  I followed the Key Lime Pie recipe and used her cashew-date ratio; however, I was less pleased with the consistency (too much cashew) and ended up adding more dates.  I did like the lime and coconut, though, so I'll probably make that variation again.

Last night I tried my hand at making a "macaroon" variation by adding coconut and chocolate chips to the date-cashew base (because who wouldn't want to eat that?).  Ummm ...  Delicious.  I added approximately 3/4 cup of both coconut and chocolate chips.  It's almost as good as a cookie.  Seriously.  But with only a quarter of the guilt.

So basically, here's what you do for the basic recipe ...

1.) Take your ingredients:
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 2/3 cup date
(I recommend using this ratio.  I quadrupled it and was very happy with the result)
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 
- Pinch sea salt

2.) Blend together all the ingredients in the food processor.  It'll finish up looking like a giant ball of chewy date and cashew goodness.

3.) Then you can use your hands to shape into bars or you can roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper as thin or thick as you'd like.  If you roll it out, allow it to chill in the fridge before cutting into bars (the pizza cutter worked beautifully)

4.) Enjoy!

5.) Store any remainders in a tupperware container in the fridge.

I can't say how much I have enjoyed these the past two weeks, especially with a glass of cold milk.  Mmmm.  These bars really came so in handy for when I needed a super quick breakfast or lunch or simply a snack.  I've never done the Paleo Diet, but I'm presuming these are Paleo friendly.  They're high in fiber, protein, and deliciousness.  I hope you try them out, because they're going to be staples around our house for a while.

12 comments:

  1. Yum! Dates are such a miracle food.

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  2. Those look yummy! I'm thinking we might have to try those. My husband is ALWAYS hungry and I think that might keep him full for a little bit haha.

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    1. I've been sending them with Jacob when he goes off to class because inevitably he's super hungry by the time he's home from classes; he says they're really filling. I hope you like them! Just play with them. The possibilities are endless.

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  3. Thanks, Miss Martha, Dear! This month I've been experimenting with cutting out wheat (I'm still not very good at it) just out of curiosity to see what the results would be. This has led to all sorts of great experiments in the kitchen and now you have given me one more fun thing to try! :) Now... where to find a nearby Indian grocery...? ;)

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    1. Oh just pick up dates and cashews any ol' place. :) Also … you need to let me into your little Built House because it's just not cool that you started another blog and I can't read it. <3

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    2. Weeelll, it's not really a blog yet. I can't seem to find my voice yet, my 'writer's voice'. I'm not sure how to go about beginning, I mean, I tend to gush when I write and I'm not just not sure how personal I should get with the world...does this all sound weird to you? How did you figure it out? I want to connect with other bloggers, it seems like the neatest idea, and I also want to better document these passing days, but I don't want to cross over some line where I am just revealing too much of my private life with the world to see, ya know? Give me tips, Obi Wan.

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    3. That could be your next blog post! Tips for Lexie, your dear old friend, the ever-hesitant new mom blogger!

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