Homemade Lara Bars Recipe

Do you buy packaged bars because they have few ingredients and are healthy? What If I told you that it’s really easy to make them yourself?

There are so many choices out there when it comes to snack bars.  In a pinch, I’ll often grab a box of Z Bars or Lara Bars, to add to lunches or pack in soccer bags for a post practice treat.

What I’ve found though, is that making a homemade version of Lara Bars really couldn’t be easier.  And the bonus?  My kids love them even more because they can help make them.  The ingredient list is as short and sweet and the time it takes to make them.

This recipe allows for all kinds of room for experimenting with new flavors.  Swap out the peanuts and peanut butter for almonds and almond butter.  Add in dried fruit instead of chocolate chips.  Maybe a dash of cinnamon to celebrate the flavors of fall?

There are so many combinations to try, you could make a new flavor every week! These add the perfect extra nutritional boost to a MOMables lunch if you have an older child or an athlete. Thanks to the Wannabe Chef you can make these at home.

Homemade Lara Bars
This recipe comes from The Wanna Be Chef.
Cuisine: Snacks
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup of chocolate chips
  1. In a food processor, process dates and peanuts until they begin to form a paste.
  2. Add in peanut butter and continue to process until a dough begins to form.
  3. Add in chocolate chips and pulse a few times to combine.
  4. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap and spoon in date mixture. Press into rectangle, about ¾ of an inch thick. Refrigerate 1-2 hours until firm. Picking up parchment liner, remove from loaf pan and cut into individual bars. Wrap individually and store in refrigerator. They are good for about a week.




  1. Kathryn says

    Do you have any suggestions of ingredients to use in place of the nuts and peanut butter? Nut allergies :(

  2. Jess says

    Do you think this recipe would still work if I added some protein powder?
    Perhaps with some kind of additional moisture? Also, can we substitute
    for the dates, they aren’t my favorite! lol

    • says

      Jess, you can sub the dates for any dried fruit. apricots, apples, raisins, craisins, berries… you name it. just keep the same measurements. protein powder..not sure. never done them like that but it’s a matter of trying. i am sure if you mix 1 scoop of powder, 1TB of water with the peanut butter, then follow rest of instructions. let us know how they come out! :)

      • Jess says

        Thanks Laura. I use Momables b/c I have kids in school, but I also use a lot of the recipes and ideas as a way for portion control for myself. I need to eat high protein, low carb and will be testing out some of the recipes with protein powders, egg beaters, etc to see how they work out.

  3. says

    Those dates have a ton of sugar in each one… (16g each.)I think a cup of dates is, like, 7 dates, so 112g sugar in the whole pan, plus the chocolate chips. How many bars does this make? 6? 8? (Looks like 4 equals the size of a Lunchbot, so trying to think how a Lunchbot compares to a bread pan… Maths is hard!) Either way, over 14-18g sugar per bar. Do kids like them as much as candy bars? These sound like a healthier alternative to candy, with the fiber, iron, vitamins and little bit of protein (less than 1/2g per date.) But with all that sugar, it would have to sub for dessert.

    *Kids 2-8 should have 1000-1400 calories per day, so less than 22g sugar daily (22g is the recommended limit for a 1600 calorie diet.)


    • says

      Thanks for doing the math! we aren’t saying that these should be eaten every day. Our goal is to provide a homemade version of what is purchased at the store. this recipe had dates but you can omit them, reduce the amount or substitute for another dried fruit. I often think or LaraBars as an adult bar myself-my kids don’t find much appeal to all of their nut and fruit load. thanks again!

      • says

        Okay. I can see it being a Mama’s “dessert.” Many more nutrients than the empty-calorie candy bar kinds! And I could see tossing a date into a batch of smoothies instead of the same grams of sugar via honey or agave!

      • says

        The Larabar PB-chocolate chip ones have 19g sugar per bar.
        Usually dates are too rich for me; I can only eat a few at a time. So being able to mix in a variety of dried fruit might help cut down on the richness too. :) Although the PB might do that already…

      • Jeanine Pedersen says

        So pleased to see the recipe. With 3 hours of gymnastics 3x a week plus swimming and volleyball I need something that packs a wallop as a before practice snack. Peanut butter and dates give a lot of bang (flavour, protein & carbs) in a healthy snack. Thanks so much.

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