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Chocolate, Banana, and Mango Lime Coconut Homemade Larabars are a delicious, easy, energy-boosting snack. These homemade protein bars taste like a treat.
We real foodies love our homemade Larabars. They are a wonderful, protein-packed snack made primarily of nuts and dried fruit. The store-bought version comes in all sorts of delicious, decadent flavors like Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Chip Brownie, and Cherry Pie. The only problem with these little treats is that the can be expensive. The lowest shelf price for Larabars in my area is $1.25 per bar at Target. If I were to stock these in my pantry and use them as a regular snack for my family, it would eat up a big portion of our snack budget.
I’m happy to report that you can make your own homemade Larabars without breaking a sweat or breaking the bank. They’re very easy to make. The key ingredient in Larabars is dates, which sweeten the bars so much that they don’t need any added sugar. I’m including three homemade Larabar recipes, but feel free to improvise with whatever fruit, nuts, and other flavors you like.
Three Homemade Larabars
- 1 1/2 cups dates
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 bananas sliced and dehydrated
- 1/2 cup dates
- 2/3 cup walnuts
- 1 small mango chopped and dehydrated
- 1/2 cup dates
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 2/3 cup almonds
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tsp. lime zest
- Chocolate Larabars: Put all the ingredients in a food processor and whirl for 1 to 2 minutes. You want to see some small chunks of all the different ingredients, so don't mix for so long that it becomes a uniform paste. Transfer the mixture to an 8 x 8 pan and press down to make it level. Refrigerate for an hour, and then cut into 12 bars. Transfer the bars to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Banana Larabars: This one takes a little more time, unless you want to buy dried banana chips. Slice the bananas and put them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Put them in a 175 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours. When they are mostly dried out, remove them from the oven. Place all three ingredients in a food processor and mix for 1 to 2 minutes. You want to see some small chunks of all the different ingredients, so don't mix for so long that it becomes a uniform paste. Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan and press down to make it level. Refrigerate for an hour, and then cut into 6 bars. Transfer the bars to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Mango Larabars: This one is my favorite. The mango needs to be dehydrated before mixing, but leave a little moisture for flavor. Place the chopped mango on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Put it in a 175 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours. When they are mostly dried out, remove the mangoes from the oven. (Alternately, you can buy dried mango and use it for this recipe, but the mango flavor won't be as prominent.) Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix for 1 to 2 minutes. You want to see some small chunks of all the different ingredients, so don't mix for so long that it becomes a uniform paste. If it seems too moist, add more nuts and coconut until you have a thick, paste-like consistency. Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan and press down to make it level. Refrigerate for an hour, and then cut into 6 bars. Transfer the bars to an airtight container and refrigerate.
Three Homemade Larabars Cost Breakdown
Banana: The banana bars are the least expensive by far. The batch of 6 bars costs $2.24, which comes out to $.37 per bar.
Chocolate: The chocolate bars come next, with the batch of 12 bars costing a total of $5.75, or $.48 per bar.
Mango Lime Coconut: The mango lime coconut bars are my little splurge. This batch costs $3.55 to make, or $.59 per bar. This is still less than half the shelf price of a store-bought Larabar, and the Larabar company doesn’t actually make a mango flavor!
Let’s say my family of four goes through 48 of these bars a month (that’s 3 per person per week). At Target I would pay $60 to support this habit. With my homemade bars, I pay $23.08 to make a variety of the three recipes listed above. That’s a savings of $36.92 per month that I can use to buy other food. Over the course of a year, I would save $443.04 by making my own Larabars instead of buying them. That is some serious cash! It’s amazing how much money we can save by making homemade Larabars from scratch.
How many dates are in 1/2 cup for the banana recipe? I’m trying to calculate what the cost would be for me based on grocery stores in the area or online options. I’m finding numbers online that I’m guessing are saying more dates are needed than is actually the case.
Could you break down the banana bar cost?
Lydia, it will really depend on the size of your dates. Sometimes they’re really big and you only need 4 or 5 to make 1/2 cup. A smaller batch of dates will require 10 or more dates to reach 1/2 cup. You can use my price chart to see the breakdown of recipe ingredients, and adjust it to the prices in your area if needed. https://realfoodrealdeals.com/price-chart/
Wow, thank you so much! That was a great answer!
I blew the motor on my very old food processor making a similar recipe today. Any suggestions on what to replace it with? I have two young kids and have been working the food processor hard with black bean brownies, granola bars, etc.
I have a meat grinder, so will give that a try next time.
Janelle, I love my Blendtec blender (http://bit.ly/2aRP2ab). It has an 8 year warranty, so it’s built to last and withstand a lot of activity. You can get one of the refurbished models (also covered under warranty) if the new models aren’t in your price range. Good luck!