Larabars are one thing that can bring Paleo dieters and raw vegans together. Impossible you say! Well, strangely enough this is one delicious product that has the power to do the inconceivable. Raw vegans appreciate the fact there are no animal products and the ingredients are uncooked. Paleo adherents clamor for Larabars because they are grain, legume, dairy and sugar free. In my Paleo journey Larabars have become almost indispensable for a quick snack on the road or after a workout. I usually pair them with some beef jerky for protein – something frowned upon by our raw vegan friends. Sorry guys.
The problem with Larabars for some of us, wonderful as they are, is the price. While I appreciate that high quality ingredients do come at a premium it can get pretty expensive. The cheapest I have found Larabars is $1 per bar on sale at a local grocery store. The regular price is $1.89 at this particular store and I have seen higher prices elsewhere. Having pronounced the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar my absolute favorite I set out to create a recipe that matches up as closely as possible but costs much less. In this post I will provide the recipe as well as a cost calculation based on the ingredients that I used.
The recipe makes 4 Homemade Coconut Cream Pie Larabars.
- 1/2 cup raw almonds (or mix of almonds and cashews)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes
- 6 large dates – pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil
Place raw almonds in food processor and pulse until they are roughly chopped, continue to process for another minute or two until finely chopped. Add in the coconut flakes, pulse and then process until fine. Add the dates and continue processing for about 1 minute and finish by adding the 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil and process until the mixture clumps together (1-2 minutes).
Use plastic wrap to form the mix into bars – this recipe makes 4.
I purchased the raw almonds and dates at Costco and the Coconut Flakes and Oil at Whole Foods. The cost calculations below are based on the price I paid at Costco and the internet price for the Coconut Flakes and Coconut Oil. Not everyone has access to Whole Foods and frankly, as much as I love it, Whole Foods is nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” for a reason. So ordering the coconut items online makes sense financially and in terms of convenience. It can be pretty hard to find the Extra Virgin and UNSWEETENED (that’s key) Coconut Flakes and Oil at the regular grocery store. Believe me, I’ve tried. These products also keep very well. I put the flakes in the refrigerator and the oil is fine at room temperature for a very long time.
- 3 lbs bag raw almonds at Costco $11.65 - 9 cups of almonds per bag
- 2 lbs dates at Costco $9.23 – approximately 45 dates
- 7 oz bag Unsweetened Extra Virgin Coconut Flakes at Paleo Spirit Amazon Store $3.46 (includes shipping) – 2 1/2 cups per bag.
- 15 oz container Extra Virgin Coconut Oil at PS Amazon Store $9.98 (includes shipping) – 90 teaspoons per container.
This works out to approximately $0.67 per Coconut Cream Pie Bar which is significantly less than you would find at a store. The bars do not really need refrigeration but you can certainly freeze them if you choose to make a larger quantity to have on hand. In future posts I will go into detail about why coconut is our friend and the saturated fat found in coconut is actually good for us, not bad. For now, just trust me that this recipe is delicious and nutritious. To keep insulin levels in check you should pair the bars with some protein when you can and don’t scarf them like they are dessert – even though they taste like it.