Stop Hitting the Bars!–or–How I Managed to Not Spend My Life Savings on Larabars

Readers, I can’t STAND the idea that any of us–me, you, your Aunt Ethel–ANYONE can purchase health. It’s disgusting how much some people charge for things that are supposed to improve your quality of life, appearance, weight, IQ, alertness, butt, whatever. Case in point, here is a blender you may have heard about–the Vitamix. Can you believe it’s only $450? It comes with a cookbook, but if you already have a Vitamix you can get the cookbook for the low, low price of $50! What a steal!

For the price of $450, you get…a blender! And to think I spent a measly $30 on mine!

Sure, it’s a really, really nice blender. Hell, from what I understand you can make your own peanut butter in it and that’s sort of cool, but at the end of the day, it’s a blender. Nothing more, nothing less. A blender.

Their marketing campaigns, like many other products meant to improve your health somehow, makes it sound like you NEED the Vitamix for optimum health, because if we make the same smoothie in different blenders mine will have less healthfulness to it. Sorry, I’m not buying it (literally), because if there is a difference, it is minimal.

Sometimes, a product really is different! For instance, there is a big, big difference between this: Quaker Chewy Granola Bars and these: Larabars, Kind Bars.

Not only do the last two have ingredients that you’ve likely heard of, they both contain considerably less sugar, and considerably more nutrition. In fact, Larabars are really just fruit and nuts mashed together. What a great product!

That’s why it’s so sad that as nutritionally amazing as this snack is, it’s so expensive. The cheapest I’ve ever seen it is $1 a bar, and that’s when it’s on SALE. I’ve seen these, and bars like these, sell for $2.50 a bar before.

Guys, I don’t think we have to be in the elite to be healthy. I don’t even think we need to be in the upper middle class. I sincerely believe that even working and lower class people have the ability to be healthy, with a little know how and willingness to try new things.

Which is why I made you this recipe, and I’m giving it to you for free. Because damn it, you deserve to eat something good today.

Easy, Healthy, Sugar Free Granola Bars
2 cups raisins
1 1/3 cups raw almonds
2 cups oats (yes, quick oats will work, but none of those flavored packet pieces of crap)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Soak the raisins in a bowl filled with warm water for fifteen minutes.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Drain the raisins and set them aside.

Now, if you’re lucky to have a food processor, the next few steps are much easier. You’ll just throw all that crap into a food processor and let it go. If you have that luxury, meet me a few steps down, when we start to shape the bars.

Unfortunately, if you’ll remember, my food processor died, so I had to go through a few extra steps. The good news is, I now know what will and will not fly when you’re using a blender, so I’ve saved you some frustration.

Wish I could have had those ten minutes back, though.

First, pulse the almonds in a blender until they look about like this:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Next, if you have big, fluffy, not crappy instant oatmeal, pulse that up a little bit. Don’t make oat flour! Just make the flakes a bit smaller.

Pour into the bowl with the almonds.

Finally, throw the raisins into the blender. Pulse them until what you’re looking at looks…well…unappetizing. It will look a bit like a paste. Raisin puree, I suppose.

Whatever you do, DO NOT try to blend all those ingredients together, or your blender will be ANGRY with you!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
See that? That’s a stopped up blender. Don’t DO that.

If you do the blender stuff they way I told you, that whole process will only take you about five minutes. If you do it like I did it you will become frustrated and ANGRY and it will take about fifteen minutes.

Next, mush all that stuff together with the cinnamon and nutmeg. I found it was best to use my hands.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Pat them into bar shapes. I made ten bars, but you can make little mini bars, if you prefer eating lots of smaller snacks. They should be about this thick:

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Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet.

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Bake for fifteen or twenty minutes until golden brown. MAKE SURE YOU LET THEM COOL BEFORE EATING THEM!!!!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Tuck these into your bookbag for a snack on the bus or at school, or enjoy one with a cup of coffee and some fruit in the morning. Either way, you’ll be saying “STUFF IT!” to all the people trying to separate you from your money, and an even bigger “STUFF IT!” to all the people trying to feed you refined carbs and extra sugar!

Feel free to stir in chocolate chips, whole raisins, or anything else you think tastes good in a granola bar. Seriously, these are DELICIOUS and really easy to personalize. I like peanut butter on top of mine!

I hope you love these and soon have a baggie with one in it on your commute. Enjoy! 🙂

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App


6 responses »

    • Oh, totally. I did a batch with dates at one point, too, and they were as yummy as yummy can be. But, raisins are much cheaper than dates, so I made the swap. Whatever dried fruit you use they should be great, just make sure you soak the fruit first!

  1. Pingback: Money Saving Monday–You Need to Buy a Lunch Box « Crunchy, Hip, and Painfully Broke

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