If you regularly buy Larabars, Lunabars, or other energy bar, you should really try these! They are easy and quick to make, and if you buy ingredients in bulk, you will save some money in the process. At my local grocery store, I buy Larabars for about $1.25 a bar. This recipe makes 12 bars, and I estimate I spent about 7 dollars on the ingredients. Another terrific thing about these is that they are made completely without refined sugar, they are gluten-free, and naturally vegan, but they are decadently sweet and delicious. You need to look for a product called Earth Balance Coconut Spread. I found it at New Seasons. Do not substitute solidified coconut oil – it doesn’t have the buttery flavor we’re going for. You could try regular earth balance, but I think the coconut spread has amazing flavor.
- 2 C. raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 C. unsweetened, shredded coconut, I used the big flakes from Bob’s Red Mill
- 1 scant C. pitted dates, loosely packed
- 1 pinch of Kosher salt
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1/4 C. Earth Balance coconut spread
Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the cashews and coconut on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast for about 5 minutes, or until they just start to turn golden brown. Set aside about 1/4 C. of the toasted coconut. Pulse the nuts, the rest of the coconut, dates, salt, and cinnamon in the food processor until crumbled. Add the coconut spread and process until a dough-like ball begins to form. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper. Press the mixture into the pan evenly. Sprinkle the reserved coconut flakes on top and press in lightly to adhere. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least two hours. Cut into 12 bars. Wrap the bars in parchment or wax paper individually so that they don’t stick together. Store in the fridge.