Homemade Coconut-ey Lara Bars with EXTRA Protein!

Who doesn't like a sweet, chewy, satisfying Lara Bar?? They are pretty darn tasty but such a treat! We don't buy them often but I do appreciate their real food, whole ingredient nature and have made many, many similar bars before back in my raw vegan days--so I knew I could make an even more nourishing and satisfying homemade version!

I've shared my homemade protein bar recipes before (plain/PB flavored and cranberry vanilla almond) and those are awesome tasty, easy-to-make, balanced snack bars that I love. But, sometimes I want to go completely grain-free and sometimes I don't mind a little extra treat feeling of dried fruit and a little higher fat content. (Years ago I used to have a bit of a dried fruit and nut addiction so I try to limit them to special treats most of the time!)

DIY/homemade "Lara Bar" type bars are SO, so easy to make at home with a food processor and pretty much any nut and dried fruit ingredients, and there are millions of variations and recipes out there, but I really wanted to try one with added high quality protein powder. I experimented and came up with this recipe which adds unflavored collagen protein (the good stuff! Helps nails/hair/skin, muscles, bones/joints, and metabolism) and results in a really tasty, great texture, nutritious treat bar. (I've tried RX Bars before as well which are a similar concept, but they use egg white protein and I find they're really chewy and not quite as pleasant. I was happy that this one turned out great and easy to eat!)

Homemade Coconut-ey Lara Bars with EXTRA Protein!


Ingredients:

  • 1 c. raw cashews
  • 1 c. pitted dates
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened dried coconut
  • 4 scoops collagen protein powder (I haven't tried it with unflavored whey protein powder but it might work--this one is a budget-friendly high quality option)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Makes 6 bars. Lara Bars say there's 1/4 c. of dates in each bar so this has slightly less than that and is still plenty sweet!

    Instructions:


    1. Combine all ingredients in food processor for several minutes. It will be dry and crumbly at first and you may think of adding water, but don't; just keep processing till it looks like this.

    2. Roll out onto plastic wrap and flatten with a rolling pin or between counter and a cutting board/flat surface. Refrigerate about 30 minutes. 

    3. Cut into 6 even pieces.  

    Wrap between plastic wrap or freezer paper and store in an airtight container in the freezer.

    So many options:


    You could try ANY flavor with these, as the Lara Bar brand has done, and more!
    • Substitute peanuts for the cashews for a peanut butter cookie flavor
    • Add cocoa powder
    • Substitute any dried fruit for some of the dates (dried cherries would be great, apricots, blueberries, figs...)

    What's your favorite??

    Enjoy!

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