The boy and I are completely obsessed with Larabars. It all began back when I was first pregnant with Jude and I was looking for a snack that was good on the go and packed a protein punch. I discovered the Cherry Pie Larabars and was done for. It wasn't until I began making baby food for him that I realized I could make my own, and later whipped up the Baby Truffles version for his little fingers. Time went by, I got lazy, I forgot about Larabars. Then I got knocked up again and realized it is a pretty good time to start looking closely at what I'm putting in my mouth.
Since Larabars are almost never on sale and the jumbo packs on Amazon don't have all the yummy flavors in them, I have had to go back to making my own. And you know what? I like them so much more! They take literally minutes to make, and you can use absolutely any combo of dried fruits and nuts. Jude still loves the PB&J and Pina Colada flavors, but now Oatmeal Cookie is my favorite. It's sweet, but not too sweet, and gives us both enough energy to make it through a full morning of art class, playtime, and Morrisey-esque meltdown drama (because toddlers). Keep them in the fridge for up to two weeks, but they likely won't last that long!
Oatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut Bars
makes 8 bars
10 oz. walnuts
10 oz. raisins
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pour raisins into a shallow bowl. Pour enough boiling water into the bowl to just cover the raisins. Set aside for 10 minutes to re-hydrate. Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with a full sheet of wax paper. Drain the raisins and squeeze out any excess water (you want them plump and moist, but not drowning).
Add raisins, walnuts, oats, cinnamon and vanilla to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined and a ball begins to form. If the mixture looks wet and very sticky, add a bit more oats and pulse again. Turn the mixture out into one end of the prepared pan. Fold the wax paper up and over the mixture and press it down into the ends and corners of one half of the pan, until you have a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Slice into bars and refrigerate up to two weeks wrapped in wax paper.