One day while grocery shopping, we were all hungry and saw Larabars on the shelf. I had heard of them and knew they were a healthier snack option, but had never tried them. I bought one for the kids and me, and we ate them as soon as we got to the car. We tried the Cashew Cookie and Coconut Cream variety and thought they were pretty good. I decided to try making them since I’m on always on the lookout for healthful, portable snacks that can be made in bulk. I asked the kids what kind they’d like me to make, and even though they hadn’t tried the Pineapple Upside Down Cake Larabar, they liked the name of it, and they LOVE pineapple, so they said to try making that kind. They turned out really well, and they’re one of our favorite snacks. They can really be made with almost any nuts you have on hand: cashews, pecans, walnuts, or almonds. Here’s the recipe:
- 3 cups almonds
- 2 cups loosely packed Medjool dates, pitted*
- 1 package freeze-dried pineapple (1.5 oz.)
- ¾ tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Process almonds in food processor until coarsely ground. Add dates, freeze-dried pineapple, sea salt, and vanilla extract. Process until mixture has come together. It should hold together if you squeeze it with your hands. If the mixture is still crumbly, add a teaspoon or so of water, or if you have pinapple juice on hand, you could add a teaspoon of that.
- Line two nine inch loaf pans with parchment paper, leaving enough paper hanging over the sides to have a “handle.” Press mixture firmly into the pans, pressing down well with an offset spatula. Place the mixture in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove pans from freezer and pull out the parchment by the “handles.” Slice bars into the size you like. I just slice them across the “loaf” into 1 inch wide rectangles. Store cut bars in the fridge or freezer. These make wonderful lunch additions. We store them in the fridge and pack several in a glass container as we head out the door.
*Be sure dates are ALL pitted. I usually count my dates and then count the pits after I’m done pitting them to make sure I have matching numbers. I ruined a food processor bowl by leaving one of the pits in my dates. The pit burned a groove into my food processor bowl, and I had to replace the bowl!