DIY delish energy bars

If you think all protein bars have as much flavor and appeal as a piece of cardboard, then I don't blame you.  I used to gag at the thought of eating one until I was introduced to Larabars. This after-workout snack (or anytime-you're-hungry-snack) is jam packed with protein-rich nuts and sweet-yet-healthy dates.  Here's the catch: They can be kinda pricey, so buying them in bulk isn't the best idea.  Instead, try making them at home.  We snagged a supes easy recipe from Nicole Sterzer, my sister and the chef behind Cole's Cafe.

Trail Mix Bars
The basics: You'll need one part nuts and one part dates for any Larabar recipe.
2 cups nuts (Try peanuts, almonds, pecans or cashews)
2-3 cups dates, chopped (Get dates with the seeds still in them to keep them moist and fresh. Before adding them to the mix, pit and chop the dates.)
The goodies: These are the tasty add-ins to give your snacks some scrumptious flavor.
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup oatmeal
2 tbs flaxseed
1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional
1 tbs coco powder, optional

Roughly chop your nuts in food processor. Add your goodies to the mix and roughly chop.  Finally, add your chopped dates to bind everything together. You'll know it's done when all the ingredients pull together.  If it's too dry, add more dates; too moist, add more nuts.  Take the mix out of the blender and press on wax paper.  Cut into 2.5"x1" rectangles, then refrigerate in an airtight container. Makes 10-15 bars.

If trail mix isn't your fave flavor, check out fruity Strawberry Banana and tropical Lime-Orange Coconut bars.


by Karmen Fox | 2/1/2016