Homemade Copycat Larabars

Hey guyysss. It's been a while since I've posted any recipes or food ideas lately, but working all day with my internship makes blogging and taking food pictures a tad difficult. I can only take pictures in the afternoon, and since I work until 5 or so, I'm forced to work on my blog during the weekends. And every weekend has been so busy...Hence, the long sabbatical since I've posted. 

Example of what's keeping me busy during the week--adult ballet and tap lessons. Yes, I'm serious. I've always wanted to dance, but never did as a kid. Every time I watch Step Up (the original one) and Dancing with the Stars, my heart just longs to be a dancer.  As a kid, all of the Disney Channel movies had me convinced I was born to be a star, but that my parents had dropped the ball by not enrolling me in dance or acting lessons. I had opportunities in college to take dance classes at our school workout facility, but never wanted to make the time commitment (so maybe I can't blame my parents for my lack of dancing skills?). A few weeks ago I watched some old Dancing with the Stars episodes which then led me to watch some Singing In the Rain clips which then led me to look up adult dance classes in the area. And now one night a week I'm getting my inner Kathy Seldon on in tap lessons. Boy have I got a long ways to go.

Homemade copycat Larabar
Homemade copycat Larabar
 

With my busy schedule, meal planning is key. At the beginning of each week, I plan out all of the dinners and then make a grocery list. Then during the week, I prep food the night before if I know we need a quick dinner or if I know I'll be getting home later the next night. I grew up eating at 6:30. 8 o'clock dinners just won't do around the Smith household (I get super hangry).

Quick and easy snacks are also important when we're on the go. These bars are wannabe Larabars. I found the recipe last year and have modified them for our taste and budget. I've tried other granola bar recipes out there, but these remain our favorite. And honestly, they turn out different every time because I normally just thrown in differing amounts of the prunes...and sometimes I add in other ingredients like instant coffee. But lucky for you, I measured it out for this blog post. 

 

So prunes. Most copycat Larabar recipes I see out there use dates. Dates were HUGE there for a while for various recipes. But here's the thing...they are super expensive. And not easy to find if you don't have a Sprouts or Whole Foods or health market where you live. So instead, I use prunes. I get mine at ALDI for pretty cheap. I did some research on dates vs. prunes, and weight-for-weight, prunes have fewer calories, about half the sugar, about 5 times the amount of vitamin A, and higher amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants thought to be beneficial for eye health. The only area that dates win in is higher folate levels. SO, prunes are actually nutritionally superior and way cheaper. I'm gonna stick with the prunes.

Homemade copycat LaraBar
 

Enough of all my rambling, let's get on to the recipe. Branch out and enjoy trying something new this week that you've been wanting to do but have never found the time or confidence to. Maybe you should try a new snack while you're at it!

Copycat Lara bar