Friday, April 8, 2011


Have you ever tried a LaraBar?  I LOVE them. Especially the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor.  No joke, it tastes like cookie dough. Have you ever read the ingredient list on a Larabar? 
Chocolate Chips

I'm sorry, what? Four ingredients to make these bars and they taste like the real thing?

Well, my friends, after a little inspiration from MamaPea, I decided to try to make these guys myself. But this time, I made them into Balls. TaraBalls Scratch that. Let's go with Tara's Treats.  I'm not sure if any name sounds good with balls behind it. 

On my first attempt to make these, I decided to go with Medjool Dates (Costco), Raw Almonds (Costco), Unsweetened Cocoa Power, Vanilla, and a dash of Sea Salt. Blend. Form. Refrigerate. Heaven.  I could not believe it---they tasted almost EXACTLY like cookie dough.  

(Side note: This picture actually contains some roasted almonds that I was blending for dinner tonight. I use raw-unsalted almonds for these treats)

I gave a piece to Ryan without telling him what it was....

Ryan: Mmmmm, did you make cookie dough?!?!
Me (giggling fit, jumping up and down):  NO, it's dates and almonds blended together!!!
Ryan: Um, that's kind of weird. But they're good. 
Me: And they're healthy!! (High five in the air)

Okay, the high five part didn't really happen, but it would have been a nice touch.

Since that first batch, I've experimented with different flavors---Ryan's favorite is cinnamon vanilla. My favorite is still Cookie Dough.  Today I tried to make a Gingersnap one...all of them delicious. All of them with the main ingredients of Dates and Almonds.  

(Gingersnap in the back, Cookie Dough in the front)

Nutrition-wise...each batch makes about 12-16 depending on how large you make them.  I usually shape mine into 15 balls each packing about 60 calories a piece.  Not too shabby when two of them are enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.  

You can also make these into bar form by just pressing the mixture into an 8x8 pan, refrigerating, then slicing.  Whatever which way you choose. 

(Tara)Bar Treats

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
6 large Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 cup raw unsalted almonds
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of Sea Salt
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Using a food processor or blender (I've tried both...the food processor is easier to get the mixture out of, but the blender grinds the almonds better), blend the almonds until chopped finely.  Remove from container.  Place dates, vanilla, salt, and cocoa powder in processor and blend until dates are completely chopped and form a ball of pastes.  Add in chopped almonds.  Should make a coarse mixture.  Pour into bowl and mash together with hands.  Form balls and place on cookie sheet (or press into pan for bars) and refrigerate.  Eat at your leisure.  I store mine in tupperware and keep in the fridge.

Cinnamon Vanilla
6 large Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 cup raw unsalted almonds
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of Sea Salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Follow same instructions as above.

6 large Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 cup raw unsalted almonds
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of Sea Salt
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves

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