We're a big fan of Larabars around here. They are easy to grab on the way out the door on those mornings when we just don't have time to pack a proper lunch (or are simply to lazy to do so). My favorite thing about them is that they boast a short ingredient list, which in my eyes makes them a clean-eating packaged meal, if there is such a thing. The major downside is the price tag. Luckily for us, making energy bars at home is simple thanks to that short ingredient list. These bars are highly versatile (my favorite are a remake of the Coconut Cream version") by switching up the type of nuts or add-ins.

Chocolate Coconut Energy Bar

20 Medjool dates, pitted
1 TBSP raw virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup dark chocolate chipsLine a 9x9 baking tray with parchment paper.

* If you are using a food processor, feel free to make the whole recipe in the processor. If using a Vitamix, I suggest transferring the mixture to a bowl after processing and mixing the ingredients together by hand. It's a little rough on the motor to blend it all in the Vitamix. I'll be giving directions for use of the Vitamix, but take note that it can all be done in one process if using a food processor.

In a food processor or Vitamix, blend dates and coconut oil to form a paste. Transfer the date mixture to a large bowl after processing. Add the almond, pecans, shredded coconut and cacao powder to the Vitamix, and process until crumbly. Transfer the mixture to the bowl, add the chocolate chips, and mix by hand until it all stays together. Press the mixture into the baking tray and refrigerate for an hour or two until firm and easy to cut.

- s


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