When it comes to snack bars, it doesn’t get much simpler than this.
What I’ve always loved about Larabars is their simple ingredient list. The first flavor I ever tried was “Cherry Pie,” and the nutrition label included only 3 real ingredients: cherries, dates and almonds. Love that!
Unfortunately, I feel that the quality of Larabars has declined since the company’s sale to General Mills, and I don’t feel comfortable supporting a company that spent money to block GMO labeling initiatives, either.
Luckily, these bars are so easy to recreate at home, there’s no need to spend extra money on those store-bought varieties! These portable snack bars are loaded with natural sugars and antioxidants from the dried cherries and dates, plus healthy fats and protein from the almonds–> making them a perfect energizing snack!
Not to mention, these bars only take about 10 minutes to prepare. That’s faster than you could drive to the convenience store for another snack option!
Cherry Pie Larabars
makes 8 bars
Adapted from this recipe
1 cup dried unsweetened cherries
1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw almonds
In a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, combine the dried cherries and dates and process until a sticky dough is formed. (Be patient– this takes a minute or so!) Add in the raw almonds, then process again until the almonds are broken down and the batter looks uniform.
The resulting mixture may appear to be a bit crumbly, but it should stick together easily when you pinch the mixture with your fingers.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and transfer the batter to the flat surface. Press the dough into a flat, bar-like shape. (You could use a rolling pin for this, but I just used my hands.) Once the dough is evenly thick, you can slice it into 8 bars.
Separate the bars and store them in a sealed container in the fridge for best shelf life. When you need to keep a snack in your purse or bag, simply wrap one of these bars tightly in plastic wrap or parchment paper, and it should last an entire day or two at room temperature.
*Note: If you’d rather skip the bar-making process, you could also easily roll this mixture into balls for an easy-to-grab snack!
Cherry Pie Larabars
- 1 cup dried unsweetened cherries
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates , pitted
- 1 cup raw almonds
- In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, combine the dried cherries and dates and process until a sticky dough is formed. (Be patient-- this takes a minute or so!) Add in the raw almonds, then process again until the almonds are broken down and the batter looks uniform.
- mixThe resulting mixture may appear to be a bit crumbly, but it should stick together easily when you pinch the mixture with your fingers.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and transfer the batter to the flat surface. Press the dough into a flat, rectangle shape. (You could use a rolling pin for this, but I just used my hands.) Once the dough is evenly thick, you can slice it into 8 bars.
- Separate the bars and store them in a sealed container in the fridge for best shelf life. When you need to keep a snack in your purse or bag, simply wrap one of these bars tightly in plastic wrap or parchment paper, and it should last an entire day or two at room temperature.
Calories per bar: 182, Fat: 10g, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 4g
Hope you enjoy!
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite Larabar, or other snack bar, flavor?
Questions and Reviews
I just made 3 ingredient turtles yesterday; dates, pecans and chocolate. They were delicious as I’m sure these are. Looking forward to my next batch of dates so I can try these out.
Hello 🙂 Are your turtle bars made the same way as the Lara bars here?
I LOVE LaraBars peanut butter chocolate chip cookie or cashew chocolate chip cookie! But for the fruit one BLUEBERRY is my favorite 🙂 I agree with you about General Mills. I had no idea Lara bar was owned by them until a few weeks ago. But about a year ago I found out that they supported GMOs and have since learned that LARABar doesn’t support GMOS but it’s actually General Mills. I haven’t bought for that reason for over 2 years now. But also too because I feel like the carb/protein/fat ratio is a little too high for me. My body needs more protein, less carb.
Add some protein powder to the bars for higher protein.
I love lara bars! These look so easy to make too! You can’t beat only 3 ingredients!
Thank you for this recipe! Esp. now that I know Lara bars are owned by a company that doesn’t believe in labeling GMOs! (I try to stay on top of such info., but you’re post is what just informed me. – Thank you for keeping us informed about such important info.!) My favorite Lara bars are the lime + coconut one which I can’t find anymore, the Pb chocolate chip & the regular coconut one. I look forward to trying this recipe, & I’m glad that it would be so easy to alter your recipe to make my favorite flavor or any other flavor that Lara does or doesn’t make! For example this recipe with the addition of coconut and/or cocoa powder would be amazing! (What would we need to add to keep it from being too dry when we add a lot of dry ingredients; would coconut oil or water help? Thank you for sharing your creativity and your zeal for good health!
Can you use a vitamix?
It would probably work, but I’d be careful not to over process the mixture– you don’t want the nuts to release their oils, which would result in an oily bar!
I tried making the chocolate chip cookie dough Lara bars in my vitamix, and you have to be careful that the motor doesn’t burn – the dates are very thick and had to be done in small batches.
I used my vitamix to make these. I was worried about over processing so I stopped the machine when they looked good, and it worked great!
I love the peanut butter cookie Larabar, but I have discovered making a similar bar at home is just as easy!
Concerning food combining….I was hoping you could clarify…
Why is it that fresh fruits should not be combined with any other foods but it is okay to do so with dried fruits?
My son and I love making these. We use sunflower seeds, alomonds, walnuts , cashews, brazil nuts. You name we have tried. I got my inspiration from kits organic bars they are similar only 3 or 4 ingriendents. It is cheaper to buy everthing separate though and make your own but for a quick snack we will grab the kits organic bars in a pinch. What is your opinion on those bars?
Hi Megan. I just made dates & cashews larabars 🙂 So easy to make and sooo tasty! I’ll definitely try other combinations too. Love your blog. Thank you for sharing.
I have never liked cherries. Can I substitute any dried fruit and still obtain the same texture/consistency?
Yes, I’d assume so.
These look amazing! Any chance you would try your hand at the Coconut Cream Pie flavor?
I’d love to! I’ve actually never had that flavor, so I’ll have to go look up the ingredients… 😉
These look delicious! I love how simple. If you’re looking for an on-the-go completely raw alternative to Lara I’d suggest Thunderbird Energetica bars. I used to eat Lara and then I switched to Thunderbird not only for taste – but also because of the organic, non-GMO ingredients. I then discovered that LARA is GM – General Mills and Genetically Modified (I’m clever, ha). While they go under the label Small Planet Foods, they are still a subsidiary and therefore not independent at all from GM. Drives me nuts! I still have Larabars in my barjar in my apartment – will never have them again.
I’m so glad I found these – it’s easy to stock up on chocolate snack bars and other not so healthy treats – I’ve been looking for a recipe to make that’s a bit healthier. Thanks for posting this!
Just made these but didn’t have cherries. So I used unsweetened prunes. They are delicious! Thanks for your post. Can’t wait to try different ingredients. This is perfect for pre-workout. 🙂
HiMegan! These look great I can’t wait to try them! I love the tartiness of cherries 🙂
I’m glad you have your sight back up. You know, I had gotten some weird errors on here before but didn’t think much of it because they went away after I refreshed the page. I always thought it was my browser with the problem. Glad you’re back in action!
I recently started eating Larabars after buying “Clean Cuisine” and becoming a juice fastinista. Your site is fabulous – I certainly won’t support General Mills or non-GMO products. Your recipes are wonderful and I can’t wait to try the Tortilla soup. You are providing a very important resource for us. Cheers.
absolutely AWESOME. I agree with you about Larabars and thank you for this recipe .. it will be a ‘staple’ in our home. My 17 mos old LOVES these!!
I love it, so simple !
How long will these keep in the frig? Can they be frozen?
I think they can definitely be frozen for a long time, and they would most likely last in the fridge for up to a month if they are well sealed.
Thank you so much for posting this! I just made a batch and they taste great! If you have anymore of different variations, They would be much appreciated 🙂
Where do you buy the dried cherries? I’m having trouble finding them without added sugars or oils.
I found mine at Trader Joe’s, but if you don’t have access to one, maybe you could find some online? Otherwise, any other dried fruit should work as a substitute.
I made these with dried cherries, black and yellow raisins and almonds, and added fresh ginger and shredded coconut. Yum!
Just made these. So quick and easy. Will make again. Also made the chocolate donuts. My little ones were not crazy about them ( the coconut oil I think), but everyone else loved them. Thanks for all your hard work, Meagan.
I just made these with some organic Turkish figs and OH MY they are delicious!! Like a fig newton but so much more delicious!!
I agree on the Lara Bars, I stopped buying them about 6 months ago due to the poor quality and increasing sweetness, they were getting to be so sweet I threw the last batch out. By the taste and feel in my mouth I suspect they my be adding Fructose, for what reason I don’t know.
What are the best sources for unsweetened dried fruit? I find them very hard to find?
I mostly buy mine at Trader Joe’s. These are the dried cherries I love: http://amzn.to/12h4OBP
This is great!!!! I spend so much moolah on bars, and I always thought they would be so easy to make! If you try Thunderbird bars, I hope you post how to make those, too! The Thunderbird ones are AWESOME!!!!
I made these today and they’re great! I don’t know how you got such nice bar shapes with your hands though, mine are a little wonky. I even made some half-sizes for a quick kid snacks. Do you think they would freeze OK if individually wrapped? Thank you for this idea and recipe!
To keep things simple -I just made them into balls and they were delicious!!
Cherry pie Lara Bars are my favorite!! I can’t wait to make these, thanks for posting the recipe!
These are yummy snack bars. I couldn’t find cheap unsweetened cheeries here in UK, so I just used craisins, raisins, and some goji berries. A bit extra sugar but they came out good.
Thanks for the recipe.
I came home from college to visit my parents this weekend and I had been looking forward to trying these. I finally got around to doing it and they’re so delicious that I made one batch for my parents and one batch to take back to school with me! It’s the perfect snack and has such pure ingredients unlike most “health” bars! Thanks so much for the recipe! (P.S. Do you have any suggestions for variations of this bar? I would love to see more recipes like this on your site!)
I can not find unsweetened dried cherries anywhere. I saw that you wrote to someone else that you bought yours at Trader Joe’s which is where I primarily do my shopping, but have yet to find UNSWEETENED. Were the ones you made unsweetened or was sugar added to the dried cherries? Thanks for posting this recipe! Once I get my hands on these cherries I am psyched to make these bars!
Yes, I got mine from Trader Joe’s, and they don’t have any added sugar. The bag looks something like this: http://amzn.to/PAzYCQ
Yes. I have seen those before! TJ’s must have been out last week when I was there! Thank you!
I have some questions regarding health coaching if its possible to email with you. I am working towards my certification and would love some advice in how to get started!
I just made these and they taste exactly like Larabars. Delicious. My husband thinks they are quite tasty, too! Thanks for posting your recipe.
Could I make these with fresh apples that I process through my food processor? Instead of dried fruit since I don’t have any right now!
Can you tell me where to purchase unsweetened cherries ?
Are they a dried fruit or fresh ?
How do I know if they have sugar in them
I bought mine at Trader Joe’s, but they should be available at other grocery stores, too. They are a dried fruit, and the ingredient list will let you know if there is added sugar or not.
Hi. Can frozen organic cherries be used instead of dried cheeries? Thanks!
No, I think they have to be dried in this case, since it’s the dried fruit that helps bind these bars together.
I have a friend who has a nut allergy but is looking for more healthy snacks such as this recipe. What would you or could you use as a nut replacement!?!?
So THANKFUL that I found this site -my family and I are doing a year of no sugar and Lara bars were one of our go to snacks for the year -sad to hear that they’re a branch of GM’s! 🙁 But now we have an alternative!
Maybe sunflower seeds would work?
My first time trying this recipe (so awesome to find!) was so delicious I brought one to work everyday as a snack. The only thing I wished for was less almonds because the consistency was more crunchy than larabars. So my second round I halved the amount of almonds and voila! Perfect!
Who would have thought something like this could be so easy to make. Just when you think you know something about foods, you learn something else. Thanks heaps for sharing
We are a nut free house. Would sunflower seeds work in place of the nuts?
Yes, I think so! They tend to be more bitter, so you may need to adjust the flavoring slightly– just taste as you go. 🙂
I love these bars! I’ve made them twice in the last week. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Don’t have a food processor, but I do have a tough ‘lil blender. Think that would do the trick?
These are so yummy. they will not last two days in my house between me and the kids. I also think they are better than the Larabar brand bars which are yummy. yay for homemade!
Would it work to use fresh sweet cherries in this recipe?
Just made these. I love the tart flavor of the cherries. I made theses into 12 balls for simplicity. Excellent.
Thanks so much for this. I substituted with apricots & cashews, plus added some coconut. Yum! It enabled me to recreate a Trader Joe’s product I love, but have felt guilty about the excessive packaging (individually wrapped bite-sized pieces). So much better to make my own!
If I want to blanch the almonds and use fresh cherries, would I dehydrate the bars? Would the result be the same?