A couple weeks ago after a trip to Florida, I wrote about healthy eating strategies for traveling. And since J. lives in Illinois, it seems like I spend a whole lot of time traveling, eating on the go, and trying my best to stick to a healthy eating schedule. Not an easy thing to do!

Larabars have fast become one of my favorite nutrition bars, and it takes only a quick look at the ingredient list to know why. Most contain only four or five ingredients and absolutely nothing hard to pronounce. But as much as I love Larabars, I find it hard to justify shelling out $2.50 a bar when I can make them at home.

Cue the Homemade Larabar.

A base of dates and prunes keep these bars chewy and moist, while nuts and peanut butter provide healthy fat to keep you full and satisfied. If you’re adverse to prunes, swap them out for another favorite dried fruit, like apricots, cherries, or cranberries. And if peanut butter isn’t your thing, give another nut butter, like one made with almonds or walnuts, a try – or maybe even Nutella if you’re feeling decadent.

Anyone else have a favorite nutrition bar they go to when on the road?

Happy Labor Day!

Homemade Larabars
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
*10 oz. pitted dates
*1 cup prunes
*2 cups slivered almonds
*1 tsp. almond extract
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
*5 oz. dried mixed fruits (I used a mix from Target of dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries)

Instructions
*In a food processor combine all ingredients and pulse until nuts and fruit are finely chopped and begin to come together in a paste, about 1 to 2 minutes.
*Remove ingredients from food processor and press into an 8×8-inch foil-lined baking pan or dish.
*Refrigerate overnight or freeze for 30 minutes before cutting into bars of desired size. I cut mine smaller to serve as snacks between meals, but you can cut them into larger bars to serve as a meal replacement, too.

madison

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00574137379064024616 Southern Cernock

    I love Larabars, haven't considered making them. I can't wait to try it out. They're so expensive!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11863427572750525283 Natalie

    Just found your blog today and I am loving what I see!! You have tons of great recipes and I can't wait to keep reading :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04852249370460479451 Laura S

    These sound fantastic! Just wondering, in the recipe the last ingredient is listed as “mixed nuts” but then described as cranberries, blueberries, and cherries. Did you mean mixed dried fruit?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17728289485178979972 Madison Mayberry

    Laura -

    You are most certainly right! It should call for mixed dried fruit instead of mixed dried nuts. Thanks for the heads up. :)

    Madison

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01315182266304032137 Pam

    I have made these before too and so good! Your's look great! I have also made the Peanut Butter one too….so tasty! Enjoy and have a great day!

  • http://www.twohealthyplates.com Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)

    Your larabars look perfect! I've been wanting try make some for a while now, this looks like a good recipe to start with! I like how you add PB and almond extract!

  • http://tastespace.wordpress.com janet

    Kudos to some great photography. I can never seem to photograph bars very well.
    I have made a few energy bar recipes lately and prefer this one with some milk powder: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/chocolate-brownie-power-nibbles/

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0133ecb2bb1f970b Melanie

    These looks awesome!! Wowie, I definitely need to make these. I got really excited and got the urge to make them right away, until I saw that it calls for prunes, which I don't have. Boo, guess I'll just have to wait til my next shopping trip. Can't wait! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08243291889292899091 A Busy Nest

    I can't wait to make these bars! Thank you!

  • http://girlgardenfood.net rachel

    love this recipe, i'm going to make these, thanks :)

  • http://guiltykitchen.com Elizabeth

    Wow those look just like Larabars. I also find them to be pretty tasty yet expensive, though buying dried fruits and nuts (at least around here) is also expensive. When in doubt, make it yourself is what I always say though.

    Awesome recipe!

  • http://husbandwifemodernlife.wordpress.com/ husbandwifemodernlife

    Another I can't wait to try! What is your suggestion for storing them?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17728289485178979972 Madison Mayberry

    I found that the easiest way to store them was to wrap them in aluminum foil or Saran Wrap and then keep them in the fridge until you want to eat them. Of course, they don't need to be refrigerated if you want to take them along to work, in your purse, etc. It just helps keep the texture stable when you make a whole batch. :)

  • http://caitlindentino.com caitlindentino

    These seem to be the perfect on-the-go snack. Especially if you make a batch to have on hand. Now if only my food processor wasn't in storage right now…I think these might be first on the list when I finally get everything unpacked. That is unless I find something else on your site that takes the top spot. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02924464954110007674 Jenny

    Made these tonight but it seems my blenders are both too small, so ended up blending in batches the mixing well before blending a bit at a time again.

    In the fridge chilling over night – must now resist from eating too many at once! So tempted to go down there right now but its 10.30pm so should probably sleep instead!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02924464954110007674 Jenny

    my photo isn't as pretty of yours but needed to get a photo before i ate them all – trying to make sure i have just 1 a day!

    http://twitpic.com/3v3tqb

    http://twitpic.com/3v3ums

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17728289485178979972 Madison Mayberry

    Jenny -

    Thank you SO much for posting your photos of the Larabars you made! How fun to see a picture of them in your kitchen. :)

    Cheers!

    madison

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05958203104860849890 Jennifer

    When you say “creamy peanut butter” do you mean JIF type peanut butter? Or natural peanut butter? I try to use natural peanut butter because it has no sugar or trans fats and I wonder if it would work in this recipe.

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