'Lara' Balls

Oh, treats that are healthy with 'sinful' tastes - 
How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways...

Firstly, this post is dedicated to my discovery of how easy it is to make Larabars at home. If you have never had a Larabar, they are one of those hippie-style energy bars that contain very few ingredients - ones you can pronounce. Yes, they're vegan, gluten, grain and dairy free, but they actually taste pretty good. I've been buying them as a great snack to have on hand, particularly when I want an energy boost or something a little sweet. Though they have no added sugar, the key ingredient is dates - which provides the structure and the delicious sweetness.

Secondly, Larabars are not cheap. Though I buy mine at Costco, most are sold individually for over $2.00 per bar. I tend to rationalize this cost as a 'health supplement', since there is a lot of fiber in each bar, courtesy of the dates. (You can only go so far with this - dates do have a lot of sugar, so eating more than one at a time is going to cause sugar spikes!) After my last purchase, I decided to seek out how easy it is to make your own....which leads me to...

Thirdly, homemade Larabars are everywhere and I just didn't know it. One quick 'google' led me to a series of Pinterest pins, blog posts and Instagrams all showing off the culinary brilliance of those more industrious than me - at least as far as homemade Larabars are concerned. So, I did what I normally do - reviewed them all and compiled what I liked into the mess recipe you see here before you. I'm pretty pleased - no - super psyched, actually - as these Lara Balls have not stood any chance in my house of remaining uneaten. They are far tastier than the store bought kind, and have a decadence that makes you believe they are off the limits. In ball form, you can have a few, and feel like you are cheating on some kind of regimen. Since these only take five minutes to make, you may end up making more than one batch...

Here's two different flavours to keep you returning for more:

Chocolate Brownie Lara Balls (about 12) 

- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whiz these ingredients in a food processor until the mix starts to come together. If necessary, add a few drops of water to make things 'goop' together. Roll into balls - this amount should make about a dozen. You can also make this into bars if you like! These are so chocolately with a fudgey texture - no one will know they are just dates!

Carrot Cake Lara Balls (about 12)

- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (if desired - drops of water would work as well)
- 1 tbsp dried pineapple pieces
- 1 tsp crystallized ginger
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or use cinnamon, nutmeg, etc)

Whiz 'em until the mixture comes together, and eat them well before anyone else discovers them. These are so much like carrot cake that I'm considering covering them with cream cheese icing. It certainly has provided a great alternative for those of us who no longer eat wheat.

Here's the nutrition info for a serving, which is two balls:

Chocolate Lara Balls

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Serving
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 63
Calories from Fat 16
Total Fat 1.8g3%
Saturated Fat 0.6g3%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 120mg3%
Carbohydrates 12.8g4%
Dietary Fiber 2.2g9%
Sugars 8.6g
Protein 1.1g
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1% · Iron 4%

This is definitely not enough!

Carrot Cake Lara Balls  

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Serving
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 80
Calories from Fat 30
Total Fat 3.3g5%
Saturated Fat 2.3g12%
Sodium 5mg0%
Potassium 110mg3%
Carbohydrates 13.5g5%
Dietary Fiber 1.6g6%
Sugars 8.8g
Protein 0.6g
Vitamin A 1% · Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 1% · Iron 2%



  1. You have my juices flowing.....

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