Homemade Paleo Fruit and Nut Bars

This weekend was action packed, hilarious and so much fun. Times a billion. Between happy hour with the cousins (always good for laughing so hard that my side hurts), happy hour with friends (ditto), a BBQ/bonfire in Silverton followed up with more laughter – I was the DD for a carload of 4 guys, my Dad’s birthday and a family day up at Mt. Hood, saying good-bye to a dear friend, and topping off the evening with coconut paleo ice cream, this weekend was busy! And if you didn’t follow any of that, it’s okay. I’m still wrapping my head around it as well.

I received a text from a co-worker asking me for my paleo LaraBars.I had promised a few of my friends the recipe as well so here it is! (And thanks, Amanda for the reminder!) Since I changed around my diet, the concept of grab-n-go snacks has changed dramatically. Gone are the days where I think I’ll just grab “something” on the way. I actually have to think it out. Health bars are no exception. Larabars and Kind bars (not paleo – they contain rice and glucose and there are some nut blends that are no-no’s) are about all I can find that are suitable to my dietary needs.

The problem with both is their cost. At $1.50-2 per bar, it’s just highway robbery. So I sat down one day and looked at the ingredients list and then I made my own concoction based on what I had on hand and the deliciousness below was born.

Note: These are super super sticky – I haven’t tried it yet but if you have a food dehydrator, I’m sure that a couple of hours on low (or the fruit leather setting) will dry them out a bit. As such, they need to be individually wrapped in saran wrap and stored in the fridge until consumed.

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Homemade Paleo Fruit and Nut Bars

  • 10 Medjool dates, pits removed
  • ½ cup raw cashew pieces
  • ¼ cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup dried wild blueberries (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (NOT Dutch processed) or carob powder
  1. Soak the dates in boiled water in a medium mixing bowl until soft.
  2. During this time, process through the cashew pieces using small batches in a dedicate-for-nuts-only coffee grinder until are small – stopping often to stir (not going to cashew butter with this one). Pour contents into a small bowl and start over until all the nuts are processed in this manner
  3. When dates are soft, drain water and strain in a fine-sieved colander for a few minutes until the excess liquid is drained off.
  4. Return to bowl and with a fork, mash until dates are a pulp and the skins disintegrated.
  5. Mix dates, cashews, sunflower seeds, wild blueberries and cocoa powder until incorporated.
  6. Line an 8×8" pan with plastic wrap (with extra over the sides so you can wrap it when you are done) and fold the mixture onto it. Using the sides of the plastic wrap, form the mixture into a square about ½-¾ inch thick. Wrap sides of plastic wrap around the larabars and place in the fridge for a few hours or until firm. I
  7. If using a dehydrator, place on a rack, minus the plastic wrap, and place in the dehydrator on the fruit leather setting for a few hours, checking back often.
  8. When bars are chilled and firm, cut into desired size and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until consumed.