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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Homemade Lara Bar Recipe

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This easy to make chocolate homemade lara bar recipe takes just ten minutes of prep time and has no added sugar. With just 5 natural ingredients, it’s the perfect healthy snack or dessert!

Homemade Lara Bar Recipe - bars stacked on wire rack

If you’re like me, you probably love Larabars. They’re such a sweet and delicious snack – and are perfect for a healthy dessert!

But, you may not love spending about $2 per bar, and you might want to customize it a little more beyond the varieties on the grocery store shelves.

That’s where this recipe comes in! This homemade lara bar recipe is super easy to make, requires very few ingredients, and is lower in sugar than its grocery-store-Larabar counterparts.

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

How to Make Homemade LaraBars – Step by Step

Step 1: Add all of the ingredients into a food processor. Blend on high until the ingredients form a smooth dough.

Step 2: Press the dough into an 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours to set.

Step 3: Cut into 6 equal rectangles and serve.  

Homemade Lara Bar Recipe - bars against a blue background

What Makes This LaraBar Recipe Healthy?

  • Vitamins and Nutrients: Macadamia nuts are heart healthy and a good source of fiber, protein, manganese and copper. Almonds are high in fiber, protein, Vitamin E and Magnesium. And dates contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc!
  • Healthy Fats: Nuts are a great source of heart healthy fats, since most of the fat in nuts is a combination of Omega 3 fats and monounsaturated fat.
  • No Added Sugar: These bars are naturally sweet thanks to the dates, and require no added sugars to make them feel like a decadent dessert.

Will Kids Enjoy This Homemade Lara Bar Recipe?

My kids thought they were eating a chocolate brownie bar when they tried this recipe. They loved the sweetness from the dates and the texture of the ground up nuts! This is a great healthier snack option for picky kids who have a sweet tooth as well!

Homemade Lara Bar Recipe - bars stacked on wire rack

Why is it better to make larabars at home?

Larabars are made with just nuts and fruit, but taste like dessert. Because of that, they tend to be pretty popular with kids and adults alike!

However, they can be quite pricey, especially if you’re eating them on a regular basis.

So why make homemade larabars instead of buying them?

  • Cheaper: By buying ingredients in bulk, you can cut down the cost per bar pretty significantly compared to store bought.
  • Healthier: Traditional Larabars have about 20g sugar per bar. While it’s all natural sugar from the dates for the most part, that’s still a lot of natural sugar to be eating on a regular basis! These bars have only about 10g natural sugar per bar, which makes them a much better option for a daily snack or dessert.
  • Customizable: Since the base of lara bars are just nuts + dates, you can add almost anything to this recipe to customize it for your family’s preferences!

Variations for This Homemade Lara Bar Recipe

  • Cashew Cookie: Switch the macadamia nuts for cashews, use cashew or almond butter, and omit the cocoa powder.
  • Dark Chocolate Brownie: Switch the macadamia nuts for almonds and add 1/2 cup walnuts and 1-2 tablespoons of 88% dark chocolate chunks (preferably from a dark chocolate bar vs. chocolate chips)
  • Apple Pie: Switch the macadamia nuts for pecans, add 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 cup dried apples. Omit the cocoa powder.
  • Peanut Cookie: Switch the macadamia nuts for peanuts, and use peanut butter instead of almond butter. Omit the cocoa powder.
  • Cookie Dough: Switch the macadamia nuts for peanuts or cashews, omit the cocoa powder, and add 1/8 cup mini chocolate chips.
  • Pecan Pie: Switch the macadamia nuts for pecans and add 1/4 cup almonds. Omit the cocoa powder.
  • PB&J: Switch the macadamia nuts for peanuts, omit the cocoa powder and add 1/8 cup dried raisins or cherries.
  • Banana Bread: Switch the macadamia nuts for almonds, omit the cocoa powder, add in 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup dried bananas.

Notice a trend here? Basically you can switch the macadamia nuts for any nut of choice, add in dried fruits as needed, and omit the cocoa powder if you want something less chocolatey!

You can also add any combination of seeds to this recipe: pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, ground chia seeds or sunflower seeds would all work well.

Homemade Lara Bar Recipe - bars against a blue background

Top tips for making This Homemade Lara Bar Recipe

  • Feel free to switch the nuts and add in dried fruits according to your taste preferences: any nuts, seeds and dried fruit will work well in this recipe.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, using parchment paper to separate the bars. These bars will not hold up well if you freeze them.
  • Do not use chopped dates, since they are typically coated in sugar or cornstarch.
  • Make sure to refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting them – but longer is even better.

Check out these other healthy dessert recipes!

If you have tried this homemade lara bar recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Homemade Lara Bar Recipe - bars stacked on wire rack
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Homemade Lara Bar Recipe

Made with just 5 ingredients, this homemade lara bar recipe has zero added sugar but is still amazingly sweet and decadent!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 bars
Calories: 167.8kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup organic Medjool dates pitted and chopped (comes to about 4 dates)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole macadamia nuts
  • 2 tbsp almond or cashew butter
  • Dash of sea salt

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients into a food processor. Blend on high until the ingredients form a smooth dough.
  • Press the dough into an 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours to set. Cut into 6 equal rectangles and serve.  

Notes

Top tips for making This Homemade Lara Bar Recipe
  • Feel free to switch the nuts and add in dried fruits according to your taste preferences: any nuts, seeds and dried fruit will work well in this recipe.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, using parchment paper to separate the bars. These bars will not hold up well if you freeze them.
  • Do not use chopped dates, since they are typically coated in sugar or cornstarch.
  • Make sure to refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting them – but longer is even better.
Variations for This Homemade Lara Bar Recipe
  • Cashew Cookie: Switch the macadamia nuts for cashews, use cashew or almond butter, and omit the cocoa powder.
  • Dark Chocolate Brownie: Switch the macadamia nuts for almonds and add 1/2 cup walnuts and 1-2 tablespoons of 88% dark chocolate chunks (preferably from a dark chocolate bar vs. chocolate chips)
  • Apple Pie: Switch the macadamia nuts for pecans, add 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 cup dried apples. Omit the cocoa powder.
  • Peanut Cookie: Switch the macadamia nuts for peanuts, and use peanut butter instead of almond butter. Omit the cocoa powder.
  • Cookie Dough: Switch the macadamia nuts for peanuts or cashews, omit the cocoa powder, and add 1/8 cup mini chocolate chips.
  • Pecan Pie: Switch the macadamia nuts for pecans and add 1/4 cup almonds. Omit the cocoa powder.
  • PB&J: Switch the macadamia nuts for peanuts, omit the cocoa powder and add 1/8 cup dried raisins or cherries.
  • Banana Bread: Switch the macadamia nuts for almonds, omit the cocoa powder, add in 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup dried bananas.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 167.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.6g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 11.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.9g | Sodium: 31.1mg | Potassium: 203.1mg | Fiber: 3.7g | Sugar: 10.5g

Posted In…

Dessert ·

Indulge your sweet tooth with some of my lightened-up treats. From gluten-free brownies to fruity crumbles, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to check out holiday favorites like my healthy pumpkin pie!

16 responses to “Homemade Lara Bar Recipe”

  1. I’m so glad you offered some variations because I didn’t want to wait to try these. There were no macadamia nuts in the pantry but I was able to replace them with cashews. And, we just received a package of medjool dates in our misfits market box. I couldn’t wait to try these and they are just as perfect and wonderful as the original. Thank you!5 stars

  2. I’m a huge fan of Larabars so these are perfect for me! I love the variations you listed, they all sound delicious. The cookie dough and banana bread will be the first I try!5 stars

  3. What a great bars’ recipe it is! I love how Medjool dates bring natural sweetness. Made it today and am still enjoying it!5 stars

    • Hi Angel! Medjool dates are just a specific variety of dates (they are very sweet and soft which is why I like them) – but any type of dates would work in this recipe! I’m sure you will love this recipe!

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