The morning is a challenging time for me. During the week, I'm lucky if I can get up, ready & out the door with anything more than a giant cup of coffee. The chance of me making breakfast for myself (unless it's juice or a banana) is approximately 0%. Sometimes my hair is dirty, sometimes I'm wearing different shoes.
My days off are much more leisurely. I get up, drink 2-3 giant cups of coffee, maybe make some eggs or find something else to nibble on. I feel good about these days. I am able to feed myself something delicious that isn't pumped full of sugar or sodium.
In my recent efforts to cut out sugar (except for the ice cream I'm currently spinning in my KitchenAid and the Blackberry jam on my stove...) and foods that are not whole, I have discovered my love for Larabars. They usually contain five ingredients or less, and can be boiled down to just a few main things: dates, nuts, fruit and something else tasty (cocoa powder or peanut butter, most frequently.)
This is not a glamorous recipe, but it's a damn tasty one.
These bars are full of some of the most delicious things in the whole world. You maybe already know that I am head-over-heels OBSESSED with coconut. I'm really sorry. It's a problem.
I did not buy pitted dates, and do not think they're necessary. Dates are SUPER easy to pit. I took my paring knife, set it aside, and just squeezed the pit out of the date's soft flesh. If your dates are very dry, a paring knife might be helpful. I, however, am five years old and decided I wanted to squish them out. I recommend this method for Maximum Fun.
I think I should also mention one little thing. I was running low on cocoa powder, and did not realize it until I was already in the middle of this recipe. Instead of sending Jordan out to the store I improvised-- a.k.a. got awesome.
I was just a tablespoon or so shy of the amount of cocoa powder I needed for this recipe, so I substituted the missing cocoa powder with two Tbs(ish) of chocolate chips.
Yep, I'm the girl that ruined our healthy breakfast with chocolate chips. Not sorry 'bout it.
Chocolate Coconut Larabars slightly adapted from this recipe for Chocolate Coconut Copycat Bars by Katie Morford of Mom's Kitchen Handbook. makes 16 bars.
18 dates 1 cup unsalted almonds 1/2 cup unsalted cashews 2/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut, divided 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus a few chocolate chips if you want to party) 1/4 tsp. salt sprinkle of chia seeds (if you're into that sort of thing)
Boil 1 cup of water. While your water is boiling, pit your dates using a paring knife or my hands-on method. Once all dates are pitted, place in a large bowl, and coverer with boiling water. Allow to sit 5 minutes or so until they are rehydrated.
Drain water from bowl, and place dates in bowl of food processor. Pulse the dates just a few times to break them up. Add the rest of your ingredients (except for 1 TBS of shredded coconut) and blend until ingredients form a "dough ball" and all of the nuts have been chopped uniformly. If your mixture is too dry/crumbly and will not stay together in a ball, add 1 TBS of warm water. I left a few larger chunks in my bars- I like the texture!
Press mixture into an 8"x8" parchment-lined pan. I used cooking spray on the back of a spoon to achieve a nice, even bar thickness. Sprinkle reserved coconut over the top of your bars, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to set up.
Bars can be cut into 16th or 24th and wrapped in parchment, saran wrap, or snack baggies. Store in the refrigerator for a nice, firm bar.
Please note: the serving in my photos is approximately 6 total servings. I just cut them big to look pretty in photos. If you REALLY want to eat that many, I 'spose that you're an adult and may do so.