The flavor and texture of each is fresh, flavorful and satisfying: not-too-sweet, not-too-nutty, and perfect for fueling, snacking, or dessert-ing (apologies for the last noun-verb!).
They are expensive: about $1.75 to $2.50 per bar, depending on the store and state. And,
They are tiny! Itty-bitty, teeny-weeny-two-bites tiny, with each bar weighing in at 1.2 ounces/35 grams.
Being me, I had to figure out how to make my own, and then share the recipe with all of you!
Ready? Good, because what I’ve come up with is a cinch.
You have likely seen umpteen versions of homemade larabars (dried fruit + nuts), including right here on powerhungry (circa February 2008!). Grinding dried fruit and nuts or seeds to make no-bake bars isn’t the hurdle; adding greens–such as kale or spinach–is. Why? Because you cannot add it raw. Well, you could, but it won’t keep well (refrigeration or freezing would be required), the bars will break down (due to the water content from the greens), and in the case of kale, they will taste pretty repulsive.
The solution to all of the above? Dry the greens in the oven before adding to the bars, like so:
Ten to fifteen minutes in a 350F oven is all that it takes to render the leaves dry and crispy. How simple is that? The Larabar fruits and greens bars boast 1/4 cup of spinach per bar; my version has 3/4 cup (packed) per bar. You can add more or less, and/or vary the types of greens, to your liking.
Once your greens are cooled, chop them up along with chia seeds and dried fruit. I made both apricot and cherry bars, but you can do just about any dried fruit or dried fruit combination you prefer.
Once all is chopped, you can hand-shape into bars, or press into muffin cups for round “bars” (no cutting required!), as I have done here for both dried apricots and dried cherries.
Consider rolling these into bite-size bliss balls, too. I am in the final throes of training for the COWTOWN Marathon in Fort Worth in 2 weeks and the balls are perfect for refueling mid-run
Enjoy, everyone, and let me know if you give these a try!
Spread the spinach on the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the spinach appears dry but is still mostly green (watch closely during final few minutes). Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely on baking pan.
In a food processor, process the dried fruit until very finely chopped and sticking together. Add the chia seeds and crumble in the cooled spinach leaves. Process until very well blended.
Scrape mixture out of food processor and roll in an even log (any size). Cut the log into 4 equal pieces. Press each piece into 4 cups of a standard muffin tin (coated with nonstick spray) to make “pucks” or shape into bars. Chill about 1 hour until firm (remove from tin if making pucks).
Storage: Store, wrapped, in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, or the freezer for 6 months.
Parchment paper tip: Spinach, in particular, tends to stick like crazy to the baking pan; this is solved when using parchment. Wait until the spinach is completely cool before removing it from the paper (it will release easily once completely cool).
Greens: Any equal amount of kale, or other greens of your choice, can be used in place of the kale. Feel free to add more or less according to your preference!
I'm a little late to the game here, but I wanted to thank you for this recipe! I've been making a variation on this with kale, spinach, dried apricots and two tablespoons of flaxseed powder, and I think it's a big reason why I was able to lower my cholesterol a few points.
Monday 28th of December 2020
Wow, that is so wonderful, Kathryn!
Thursday 11th of June 2020
Has anyone used a green powder in place of the dehydrated spinach?
Thursday 11th of June 2020
Preeti, that is a brilliant idea! I think that would work perfectly (in fact, I have some greens powder in the pantry that needs to be used up). I would start with a few teaspoons at a time to get the balance of flavor and texture you like.
Thursday 8th of August 2019
What would be the best way of doing this with fresh fruit? If I buy dried fruit, I may as well just by the pressed by
Kind bars since it will be just as expensive.
Friday 9th of August 2019
Hi Laura, I’m sorry, I don’t have a method for making this with fresh fruit.
Monday 13th of February 2017
hi there, is there a recipe attached to this post? I do not see it.
they look yummy!
Thursday 16th of February 2017
Sorry about that, Jenna! I accidentally hit "publish" before finishing to upload the entire post :(