Friday, May 14, 2010


Since this weekend is calling for rain, rain and more rain I've decided to focus on other aspects of training - stretching (yoga) and nutritious foods. The Sosa household is undergoing a very slow food revolution (less processed, more organic and more importantly, eating at home).

So, I've been doing "internet research" for recipes of my favorite things and I love, love LARABARS. They are a raw, vegan, whole food bar that have 5 or fewer ingredients. You can find them at most stores, but they range from $1.59 to $2+ a bar, and really, I need to save my pennies for more gear :)

Below is a recipe taken directly from, Enlightened Cooking (thank you). You can click on the title above for a link, or follow directions below. These are great and super easy, even Coach Sosa approved! and Costco has a big container of fresh dates! Note the formula below can easily be double, tripled, etc...

Very Cherry Bars

LARA BARS use a multi-layer package that keeps out UV light and oxygen, which, in turn, maintains freshness without the use of preservatives. I use plain old plastic wrap and my refrigerator, then pop one in my bag when I’m ready to go. (Use this as a template for almost any combination)

1/4 cup chopped dates (roughly chopped whole dates, not pre-chopped)
1/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
1/3 cup whole pecans, almonds or walnuts
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Set out two pieces of plastic wrap for shaping and wrapping the bars. Do this first; you’ll have sticky fingers when you need it.

Place the dates and cherries in a food processor. Pulse until processed to a paste. Transfer paste to a medium bowl (don’t clean processor).

Add the nuts to the processor and pulse until finely chopped (photo 2). Add the nuts, along with the cinnamon, to the bowl with the fruit paste (photo 3). Use your fingers to knead the nuts into the paste (just keep squishing, it’s fun; brings back memories of play-dough.

Divide mixture in half. Place each half on each of one of the sheets of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around each bar and start squishing into a bar shape form, 3 and 1/2 inches long, 1 inch wide and 3/4-inch thick); press against countertop to flatten bottom side, flattening top side and ends with flat of hand. Tightly wrap the plastic around each bar and store in the refrigerator. Makes 2 bars.

Nutrition per Serving (1 bar): Calories 207; Fat 9.4 g (sat .8g, mono 5.2g, poly 3.1g); Protein 3.9g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 24.9g; Sodium 0.4mg. (Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)

A Few Ideas for Variations:

Apricot-Almond: Use 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped dried apricots and 2 tablespoons date (to measure 1/2 cup total); use almonds for the nuts.

Tropical: Use tropical fruit bits (these come pre-packaged at the supermarket); use raw cashews for the nuts. Add 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, and 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice to the mix.

PB & J (cheap and delicious!): Use 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries and 1/4 cup raisins or dates; use raw or roasted peanuts (lightly salted or unsalted) for the nuts.

Blueberry Bliss: Use 1/4 cup dried blueberries and 1/4 cup dates; use almonds for the nuts. Add 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, and a drop of almond extract to the mix.

Cashew Cookie Dough: Reverse the proportions of fruit to nuts--Use 1/3 cup dates for the fruit and 1/2 cup raw cashews for the nuts. (AWESOME)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Same as cashew cookie dough, but add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, pinch of cinnamon and 1/2 ounce very finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate to the mix.

Pistachio Heaven: Same as cashew cookie dough, but use raw pistachios and add a tiny drop of almond extract.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough: Same as cashew cookie dough but use raw or roasted (lightly salted) peanuts for the nuts.

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