In response to my post about homemade graham crackers, my friend Elizabeth asked me whether I sleep. Her comment: "Seriously, do you sleep? Or have an elf? How you get time to bake and work and clean and run and oh, yea, take care of a mini person?! Go you!"
Oh, I wish I had an elf.
Yes, sometimes I sleep. Sometimes. But I also drink lots and lots and lots and lots of coffee. And I try to stock my cupboards with foods that are filled with energy. Protein and energy. And sometimes, when the mood strikes, I concoct my own protein-packed foods.
Annnnnd enter the homemade Larabar.
Mmmmm... yummy energy.
These bars are packed with good things. Chia seeds, apples, and nuts, oh my! Oh, and cacao nibs - if you're into insane energy :)
They're like homemade protein-packed, energy-stocked Larabars. Salty and sweet, chewy and crispy... a perfect symphony of fabulosity.
I was originally going for an apple pie-esque flavor, but with all the nuts it turned into a conglomeration of flavors... but all GOOD flavors. (sort of like my family, haha)
Warning: don't be intimidated by the lengthy list of ingredients... most are either spices, or they're optional.
1 c. dried apples
1 c. pitted dates
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. cashews (or whatever nut you prefer)
2/3 c. almond butter (or any nut butter, if you have an allergy *ahem, aunt Kenny*)
1/4 c. coconut oil (or vegetable oil, but you may need to add more oats if you go this route)
3 T. chia seeds
1 scoop (1/4 c.) protein powder
1/4 c. flax seeds
1/4 c. sugar (brown sugar would be phenomenal)
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 c. cacao nibs (optional)
1 t. salt (more or less, to taste)
1/2 c. Rice Krispies
1. Mix all ingredients (except Rice Krispies) in a food processor. You may have to stop/start several times and scrape the sides of the container in between. Also - if possible, pour all contents out of the mixer and back in to blend again. I found that the oil (from coconut oil/almond butter) sank to the bottom and never really rose to the top - so this "mix-it-all-up-well" step is important.
2. Once it looks like a sticky "meal" consistency, pour it into a bowl and get your hands in it. Pour the Rice Krispies in and mix it all up well with your hands.
3. Place a long piece (about 2 feet) of clear plastic wrap in the bottom of a 8x8 glass pan - make sure it's centered so that there's plenty of extra wrap hanging over each end of the pan.
4. Pour the mixture into the pan and press in with your hands. Once it's evenly pressed/spread throughout the pan, cover with the loose "extra" plastic wrap and press again - try to make as flat as possible.
5. Refrigerate for a couple hours (overnight is best).
6. Attempt to NOT eat the entire batch straight from the pan.
7. Cut into pieces - however big/small you want! I did mine in bite-size pieces, about 1"x1".
Note: I suggest keeping these refrigerated; not necessary, but doing so will keep them crunchy and intact.