Homemade larabars are a chewy, delicious, all-natural snack or dessert made from just nuts and dates. This recipe has FOUR variations by changing up the type of nuts: almond and hazelnut, walnut (or pecan), cashew and macadamia, and pistachio. I don't want to overwhelm you with endless possibilities, but every variation in this post is AMAZING. They kind of remind me of cookie dough but better.
Why I Love This Recipe
My first date bar was a Larabar, which is a common well-known package date bar in the US. I used to eat them all of the time, especially while I was pregnant. Once I moved abroad, I couldn't find Larabars anywhere. I'm utterly shocked at how easy and quick it is to make homemade Larabars.
Not to toot my own horn, but I think these chewy date bars are better than the packaged Larabar. I think that's because the dates I use taste more like caramel and the flaked sea salt adds some salty tones.
- Dates: Medjool and Sukkari dates are my favorites to use for these bars. Medjool dates will yield a darker bar color, whereas Sukari dates will yield a more caramel color bar.
- Flaked Sea Salt: I prefer flaked sea salt because the texture goes really well with these homemade larabars.
- Nuts: I tested the following nuts: walnuts, pistachios, cashews with macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts with blanched almonds.
How to Make Homemade Larabars
Homemade Larabars are made with all-natural ingredients: dates and nuts. Here are four variations that taste amazing! Add the nuts and pitted dates into a food processor. Blend until fully combined (about 30 seconds).
Pro Tip: The ratio is ⅓ cup of nuts to 8 ounces of dried pitted dates (about 1 and ⅓ cup) for a serving size of 6 bars.
For some reason, these pistachio bars turned out the stickiest of the 4 variations. So, I also made these into pistachio date balls and rolled them in crushed pistachios.
Of all the 4 variations, these walnut Larabars were the most robust. You can play with the nut ratio a little more to make these bars thicker.
Cashews and Macadamia Date Bars
Cashews have a milder taste than the macadamia nuts, so they complement each other really well. These date nut bars came second (behind the pistachio date nut bars) in softness.
Blanched Almonds and Hazelnut Date Bars
I'm not going to lie, I had blanched almonds and hazelnuts on hand that needed to get used. These were excellent! I'm going to try adding some dark chocolate next time to these date nut bars.
How to Form the Larabars
Scoop the date and nut mixture into a parchment paper lined dish. Place another parchment paper on top and press firmly and evenly down until flat. The image below shows quadrupling the recipe by making the four variations at the same time inside a 9" x 13" baking dish.
Remove the parchment paper. Cut the homemade Larabars into any shape.
Pro Tip: These Larabars can be formed without a dish on a parchment paper lined surface.
Tips and Tricks
- Use a food processor. You can't make these in a blender (unfortunately), so you will need a food processor.
- Use parchment paper. These date nut bars can get a little sticky (like cookie dough), so parchment paper really helps when forming these into bars.
- Make sure the dates are not too dry or too sticky. Dried dates come in many ways, so it's best to choose a date that can be pitted fairly easily.
- Don't forget to remove the pits. Dried dates have a pit in the middle that needs to be removed prior to making this recipe.
- Use flaked sea salt (if possible). I highly recommend flaked sea salt because of its texture. If you don't have flaked sea salt on hand, you can use any other salt.
Store these homemade Larabars in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Use parchment paper to prevent sticking to one another.
- Food processor to mix the dates and nuts together
- Parchment paper to form the date bars
- A knife to cut the date nut bars
Medjool and Sukkari dates are the best for making homemade Larabars. However, any dried dates are suitable. Just make sure the consistency of the dates is not too dry or too sticky.
Squeeze the date in the middle breaking it into two pieces. Remove the hard pit in the middle of the date.