4 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Energy Bars
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Energy Bars
4 simple ingredients and 10 minutes is all you need to replicate this popular LaraBar flavor.
“Snack bars! You’re the coolest” in my best Billy Madison voice. (I know he says Snack Packs but I’m improvising over here.) Endless quotes from this movie are stuck in my head after introducing it to my kids last night. My son thought it was hilarious and my daughter thought it was stupid and I don’t think laughed once. I guess that’s the humor difference between boys and girls…but wait, where does that leave me? I think the movie is pretty damn funny. Anyway…
I’m not a huge fan of bars for the purpose of anything other than a convenient snack. I find most of them are full of a long list of ingredients, mimic the nutrition of a candy bar, aren’t filling enough to be a meal replacement and honestly just don’t taste that great.
So let’s talk convenience for a sec and why I love these LaraBar inspired energy bars as a pre-workout snack. Recently, I started working out in the mornings after I drop the kids off at school. My stomach can’t handle a big breakfast before working out, but I do need something to give me a quick burst of energy and help power me through the intense hour long sessions. Additionally, I take Synthroid every morning due to the removal of my thyroid as a treatment for Thyroid Cancer almost 10 years ago. Medication directions are to take on an empty stomach and wait 30 minutes before eating anything for optimal absorption. If you are at all familiar with this medication or take it yourself, you know that adhering to these directions is a big deal for regulating TSH levels in your body and a drag to follow. So, with these guardrails in place, I need something that I can take on the go.
I've come to love the taste and simple ingredients of LaraBars. And, they provide the energy and convenience I need. Yet, the shit is expensive. So, I started making my own with only 4 ingredients for 1/3 of the price, and it takes 10 minutes tops. Imma also go out on a limb and say they taste better than the branded version...and my kids love them too!! I love to give them to my kids as a snack before sports practice when I just don’t have the time to get them dinner.
Pro Tip: I buy the ingredients in bulk at Costco so that I save on the cost and always have plenty on hand.
The base of these bars are simply dates, which allows you to customize this recipe for endless combinations of your favorite flavors.
Take 10 minutes and whip up these bad boys. You won’t be disappointed!!
Blender or Food Processor (I use a Ninja Blender)
9 x 13 inch baking pan
4 cups whole pitted, dried dates (I used Organic California Deglet Noor Pitted Dates)
2 cups roasted peanuts (I used Kirkland’s Super Extra-Large Peanuts)
1 cup chocolate chips (dark or milk)
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, divided
Line a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over the sides. Set aside.
Using a blender (or food processor), add the peanuts and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chocolate chips to the peanuts and continue to pulse until the chocolate chips are also finely chopped.
Transfer the chocolate nut mixture into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Add two cups (half) of the dates to the blender and blend until a paste forms and clumps together. Open the blender and add 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter and half of the chocolate nut mixture. Replace the lid and blend until evenly combined. Scraping the sides as needed. Once fully combined, scrape into the prepared baking pan.
Repeat with the remaining dates, chocolate & nut mixture and peanut butter.
When all of the ingredients are placed into the baking pan, cover with parchment paper and press down to evenly distribute the mixture in the pan. You can use something heavy to help evenly press and distribute the mixture.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.
Unfold the parchment paper and slice the bars into 20 even squares.
Gently remove the bars and place in a tightly covered container or in individual plastic bags for on-the-go convenience.
Store in the refrigerator.