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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chocolate Almond Date Bars - No Sugar!

Do you like Lara Bars?  I do.  But I don't buy them often, because I'm frugal.  I've been wanting to make some at home, for quite some time.  I found a recipe that looked doable, and I tweaked it to my liking.  If you love chocolate, you will love these!  I almost can't believe these don't contain refined sugar.  The dates provide all the sweetness.  And these are easy on the budget!

2 1/2 C. pitted dates
3/4 C. almonds, toasted
2 TB. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, grated
1/4 tsp. salt (I like Celtic Sea Salt)


I placed my almonds on my pizza stone and toasted them in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes.  Let cool.  Then I placed them in my food processor and processed until fine (top picture, top left).

Using my finest grater, I grated the chocolate.  I used Baker's brand.  You can use any brand, as long as it is unsweetened.  Surprisingly, the block of chocolate does not melt in your hands, as you grate it.
Here you see how finely the chocolate is grated.  I use a large bowl to catch the gratings, because they tend to be statically charged and will try their best to fly out of a smaller bowl.

Add the cocoa powder, grated chocolate, and salt to the food processor bowl.  I actually like a bit more than 1/4 tsp salt.  I love salty and sweet together (top picture, top right).

This is my jar of Celtic Sea Salt.  I buy it from here.

Add the dates (top picture, bottom left) and pulse in the processor, until you can no longer detect dates in the mix (top picture, bottom right).  I find that by processing the almonds first, the dates will process easier.  When I tried processing the dates first, they jammed up in the machine.  I also found that processing room temperate dates was better than processing cold dates.  I've been storing mine in the fridge, and that makes them harden up.  I used Deglet Noor Dates that were pitted.  Found here.

Place waxed paper inside an 8x8 pan.  Pour crumbled mixture into pan.  With wax paper place on top, press really well, until it's one solid mass, evenly distributed.
Cut into bars.  I like to make 9 servings with this recipe.  The first time I made it, I rolled it in wax paper to make a log shape and then sliced off 45g-size pieces (weighed on my digital scale)--because Lara Bars are 45 grams each.  We got 10 servings out of that first batch.  It's too tedious to weigh every serving, so now I just cut into 9 even pieces.  I priced my pieces at $.45 each, the first time I made these.  That's half the price of regular Lara Bars, even when they're on sale!

And enjoy!  We like to eat ours with slices of cheese, for a balanced snack.  My daughter can't believe I let her eat chocolate for lunch!  I like to keep these wrapped in the wax paper, stored in the refrigerator.  But they don't last long!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you can get it and 40 others in my new cookbook!

This recipe has been included in Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday blog carnival.  Check it out, for more great real food recipes!


  1. Those look like a wonderful alternative to brownies laden with sugar and wheat! I am going to try these for my husband when I go back and buy dates.

    I am linking up from Real Food Wednesday, and it would be great if you could drop by sometime http://mywildcrazylife.blogspot.com

  2. Thanks for stopping by! I think your husband will love these bars! I will go visit your site, thanks!

  3. I loooove brownie-alternatives ~ especially ones with natural ingredients! Thanks ~ :)

  4. You're welcome! I need to go make another batch, they sure don't last long. :)

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