Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Little Balls of Energy

Whenever I get home from work, I am starving.  Since I go to the gym shortly after getting home, I try to find a satisfying snack that will give me energy for the gym without making me feel sick while working out.  For a while, my go-to snack was a spoon full of peanut butter and a handful of cereal.  While, I still occasionally eat this, my new snacks of choice are homemade Larabars.

My favorites are the ginger snap, key lime pie, and peanut butter jelly

For those who have not heard of Larabars, they are delicious! Larabars come in flavors like banana bread, blueberry muffin, carrot cake, peanut butter cookie, and much more. They are made of all natural ingredients (including mostly nuts and dried fruit) and are vegan and gluten free.  The ingredients are also what also makes them expensive to buy!  Making my own at home both saves money and allows me to make several different flavors at once.

Ingredients for my three types of homemade Larabars

I originally saw a recipe for homemade Larabars at Chocolate Covered Katie.  From this website, I got the recipes for both the Chocolate Chip Cookie and Oatmeal Raisin Cookie flavors.  Since I have always loved the Key Lime Pie Larabar, I looked at the bar of the bar and checked out the ingredients for my copy cat bar.  I then used the same nut to dried fruit ratios from the other bars and created the new recipe. Each batch makes about 6 balls at around 100 calories each (this is NOT exact).  Eat one or two for the perfect snack or pre-workout fuel.

Clockwise: cashews, pecans, walnuts

(In each recipe I increased the amount of ingredients used so that I could have more of each flavor. The recipes below are what I used to make mine.)

Chocolate Cip Cookie
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup dates
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Chocolate chips (I used chocolate covered cocoa nibs because I like that they are not as sweet as regular chocolate for pre gym fuel)

-Blend all ingredient in blender (minus chocolate).
-Hand mix in chocolate and form into balls.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
6 tbl quick oats
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

-Blend oats.
-Add raisins, walnuts, and vanilla to oats. Blend.
-Hand mix and form into balls.

Key Lime Pie
1/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup cashews
3/4 cup dates
1 tbl unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp key lime juice (my grocery store had no key limes so I used a little bit of lime and orange juice)

-Blend all ingredient in blender.
-Hand mix in chocolate and form into balls.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Key Lime (yes I know...they all look the same!)

Try out different Larabars to find your favorite and then experiment with making your own.

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