I love Larabars. I used to buy them all the time because they are so satisfying. Of course, they are expensive. And honestly, easy to make. Once I realized that I could not only make a larabar, but make something even healthier, with chi seeds, goji berries, etc., I got cooking. My earlier recipe of chocolate truffles was just the tip of the iceberg. Now I add many more ingredients for their nutrients. I’ve found that chia seeds add a satisfying texture that larabars do not contain.
The dates I used are Medjool dates. They were VERY fresh. So soft, they mushed easily in my hands for pitting, and were extremely moist. You MUST use Medjool dates. If your dates do not say “Medjool”, they aren’t. Also, if they are pitted, they probably are not Medjool. If your dates are not quite as soft and fresh as mine, you may need to use a Tbs. of water or so. Add very little at first, you do not want to end up with a wet, sticky mess on your hands.
It is important to follow the recipe as written. There is a reason I grind the nuts first, then add goji berries, then add the rest of the ingredients. If you want to know the reason, just add the ingredients in a different order, and you will see why! Those dates are sticky and do not process smoothly if the nuts are not already processed and mixed with them.
Once you’ve tried these, feel free to play with the seeds and try different mixtures—hemp seeds, for instance, or maybe try using less dates and a few raisins instead. These substitutions have all worked well for us!
For those who are fans of the cinnamon-chocolate combination, try adding 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the dough (along with the cocoa). I am NOT a fan of cinnamon and chocolate together, so I will not try it!
1 1/4 c raw almonds
1 c raw walnuts
2 T brown (unhulled) or black sesame seeds
2T raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 c goji berries
1/2 c natural cocoa powder (I suggest Penzey’s)
1/4 c chia seeds
1 lb very fresh Medjool dates (this is the un-pitted weight, pit them after weighing—I think it was about 24 dates, but I’m not sure)
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large food processor (mine is 11 cup), pulse almonds, walnuts, sesame and pumpkin seeds until they are very well chopped, but not so chopped that they are flour. Add goji berries, pule a couple times to roughly chop. Then add dates, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Process until mixture forms a dough ball. Break up dough ball, add chi seeds, and pulse a couple times until dough ball is reformed. This is just to make sure that there are no large date pieces.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough and roll between your hands lightly to smooth.
If you so desire, roll dough balls in crushed nuts or cocoa powder. I prefer mine plain, though.