Do you need to bring a quick dessert to a party? Here is a recipe that requires no baking, is fast, tasty, and best of all, is TOTALLY healthy for you!
I was on a trip with a group of friends, and on the car ride my friend Jen gave me a Peanut Butter Cookie Lara Bar. It absolutely rocked my world. It was so good, and I looked on the back of the label for ingredients and saw it only had three ingredients, dates, peanuts, and salt. I COULDN’T believe it. With only 3 ingredients, I thought I could attempt it. After the trip, I came home and googled “Homemade Lara Bars” and found Chocolate Covered Katie.
The Lara Bar introduced me to the wonderful world of dates, yes, dates!! Using dates is a way to create “no sugar” recipes and gluten free recipes, because they bring a sweetness to every recipe and they hold or glue ingredients together. Dates are really amazing. If you haven’t “baked” with them before, you really should give them a chance. I have been buying them every week at WinCo in the bulk section now, where they have THE best prices for dates (and for the walnuts, too). The whole pitted dates only cost $2.40/lb.!! At Fred Meyer the pitted dates were $8/lb., and Trader Joe’s they were in the $4 or $5 range with the pits, and it was the pits to pit them.
Also, I didn’t have the cashews, so I, instead, used walnuts. Here it goes.
- 1 cup of dates
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup oatmeal (use certified gluten free oats if needed, or you can omit the oats. The balls will just be more moist.)
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor until the mixture forms one big ball.
- Remove, and roll into 1 inch balls.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.
The Variations and helpful hints:
- In the 1st picture above, after the processing all the ingredients, I added pecans.
- In the 2nd picture above, I put 2 T of cocoa powder to make what I call, Chocolate Lara Balls.
- Besides walnuts, I have used pecans, cashews, peanuts, and/or a nut butter for the nut.
- You can also add 2 T of protein powder, shape into bars and eat them as a protein bar, as pictured below.
- I often double the recipe or 1 1/2 the recipe.
- If the mixture is too moist, gradually add more oats.
- If the mixture is too dry (this has happened to me when my oatmeal came out too fast), add more dates.
I am not a vegan, but on the quest for better healthy, you simply can’t ignore some excellent, nutrient dense vegan fare.
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