Friday, September 26, 2014

What I need vs what I have time for

I need to keep writing. Here. It helps me vent, rant, share and stay on track.

With fewer than 40 days to the election, and with the commitments I've made, I have very little time for writing, here or anywhere else.

Maybe for the near future I just need to pop in here and write a sentence or two, for me … a "good job" or "could have done better" or "you go, girl" post. Because I really miss writing and I really need it.

So I'm here today to reply to a comment – and to ask for forgiveness for taking so long to do so – asking how to make homemade Larabars. A Google search provides many options, but I don't remember which one I used to get started.

What I do now is soak an 8-oz. package of Sun-Maid Pitted Dates in hot water for 15 to 20 to 30 minutes – the time isn't critical, but it is helpful and kinder to your food processor if they've been soaked.

While the dates are softening up, whirl a couple cups of almonds or cashews or walnuts or pecans (or combine whatever you happen to have on hand) in the bowl of a food processor. I like to add about a quarter cup of cinnamon to the nuts. Watch carefully. You're not making nut butter or flour, but you definitely want the pieces to be tiny.

Pour the nuts into a bowl. Drain the dates well and add to the food processor with a tablespoon of vanilla. Process until it looks like date paste. Slowly add the nuts through the feed tube. Scrape down the sides as needed.

Dump the mixture into a shallow pan – an 8-inch square cake pan works fine for this – which has been coated with coconut oil spray. Press down evenly and chill several hours. Cut into squares and chow down!

Homemade Larabars are very forgiving. If I don't have a full package of dates, I add some raisins or prunes. Cashews are my favorite nut to use, but any of the ones I mentioned will do, and if you're not strictly paleo I imagine peanuts would be yummy, as well.

I usually process way more nuts than I need and when I've finished making the snack bars, I use the remaining mixture for nut butter. Just throw them back in the food processor and whirl away. It will take several more minutes for the oils to be released and the butter to congeal. Cheaper and fresher than store-bought, and I love that it's cinnamon-y, too.

So. What do I need? Homemade Larabars! And I think I'll take time to whip up a batch RIGHT NOW.


Toledo Lefty said...

I'm going to have to try these. I bet they'd be good with cocoa too.

Debbi said...

They are! My daughter-in-law found a recipe that included cocoa and she rolled them into little balls last Thanksgiving, just for me. They were like little brownie bites - delicious!

Toledo Lefty said...

There are also bloggers who make these into bite-sized balls, which would be a good option if you didn't want all the calories and sugar of a whole bar.