Homemade Larabars

I’m always on the hunt for on-the-go bars. Not only should they taste delicious, but the perfect bar must be made of real, whole foods. Larabar gets an A in my book because of their minimal ingredients – real, whole food that we’re all familiar with…which also means that they’re pretty easy to recreate, customize, and they involve no baking whatsoever. Shall we?

Homemade Larabars: (makes 10 bars)

Ingredients:

  • 10 dates
  • 2 generous tablespoons nut butter (peanut, almond, or cashew butter are all great)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of sea salt
  • water as needed
  • totally optional modifications:
    • 1/3 cup oats (for a serving of healthy carbs)
    • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
    • 2 tablespoons coconut butter or shredded coconut
    • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (for added protein)
    • 2 tablespoons high quality protein powder (for added protein)
    • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (for picky kids with a serious sweet tooth)
    • replace 1/2 of dates with other dried fruit of choice, like apricots or goji berries
    • 1/4 cup blueberries for blueberry flavor

Add all ingredients (except water) to food processor and mix. If mixture is too dry to stick together, add a teaspoon of water and continue to blend. Once mixture is consistent, transfer to a square pan or glass container and smoothly spread it as evenly as possible. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove and cut into square or rectangular bars and remove bars as you wish (ideally with a flat metal spatula.) You can either keep in same container or individually wrap bars for travel. Enjoy a bar as a snack, pre-workout energy boost, or a sweet treat!

One Healthy Breakdown: oh the possibilities with homemade Larabars!

No Bake Chocolate PB & J Cups

Introducing Lisa Hayim, founder of The Well Necessities, and her Chocolate PB & J Cups that are sure to make your mouth water…at least ours did.

These are seriously my most loved dessert creation, so easy, and come out so damn good!

pbcups

Recipe: (makes six PB & J cups and takes about one hour)

Ingredients:

1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons jelly
1/4 cup powdered peanut butter OR 4 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
2 tablespoons water
6 cupcake tins

Instructions:

1. Add almond milk to chocolate and heat until just melted and smooth. Use a fork to mix.

2. In a separate bowl, mix peanut butter with water until creamy.

3. Using half of the chocolate mixture, evenly distribute into the cupcake tins, spreading so that it is even on bottom, about 1/2 inch thick.  Place in freezer for 10-20 minutes until cool.

4. Remove cups from freezer, add jelly to each cup,(about 1/4 inch thick) and add remaining chocolate on top. Place in freezer again about ten minutes until cool.

5. Evenly distribute the peanut butter mixture on top of each cup.

6. Place in freezer to harden and enjoy in 30 minutes!

One Healthy Breakdown: dessert done right, RD approved and delicious!

* Lisa Hayim is the founder of The Well Necessities and TWN Collection. She is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist in New York City and created The Hugly (healthy ugly) cookie.

 

Homemade Nut Butter

Homemade nut butter. Why didn’t I do this sooner?! Ever since I hopped on the almond butter train, I’ve been shocked by the price (over $20!) of organic, almond butter! When you go through the good stuff as fast as I do, that’s quite an investment. So, I started to wonder if I could ever be one of those really cool people who make their OWN nut butter. From scratch. At home. I did a little research on best practice and gave it a whirl. Literally. It worked like a charm. So, I kept it up and now I rarely buy jars at the store anymore. There are so many fun combinations of nut butter to try!

almondbutterHere’s how: Use about 1 cup of nuts for about 1 jar of nut butter and a strong blender or Vitamix. Just blend away. Check every so often to spoon mixture from sides (if it all builds up on the side, the blade will start to burn out.) It takes about 10 minutes for the oils to come out and take the mixture from powder to smooth and silky buttah. Watch my very own almond butter video here and enjoy!

You can make nut butter out of:

    • Almonds
    • Cashews
    • Walnuts
    • Peanuts
    • Sunflower seeds (and most other seeds!)
    • Hazelnuts
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Pecans
    • A whole lot more!

Feel free to mix and match. If you love the taste of roasted nuts, just roast your nuts before blending. Lastly, if you like your nut butter crunchy like me, add in some nuts at the end for one last ‘blend.’

Try some add-ins to really get creative:

Sea salt
Dark chocolate chips
Unsweetened coconut
Banana (keep refrigerated after)
Cacoa powder
Carob chips
Cinnamon
Honey
Maple syrup
Sea salt
Vanilla extract
Pretzels
Pumpkin puree
Cranberries
Raisins
Goji Berries

One Healthy Breakdown: you’re nuts if you don’t try this at home!