What if I told you that I made something healthy that tastes like a brownie? That you can totally enjoy, guilt-free, for a snack or a burst of energy before or after exercise. What if I told you that these “brownie bites” have no added sugar or fat, are vegan and gluten-free, and are made with only 5 ingredients. Bonus? They can be whipped up in just minutes.
About a year and half ago, whilst in the throes of a one-month challenge of eating no grains, I was searching for a healthy, filling, and nutrient-dense snack to eat between meals or before exercise. No grains meant no easy-to-grab items like granola bars, and I’d totally had my fill of trail mix, apples smothered in peanut butter, and veggies and hummus. One day while at the grocery store, I picked up a Larabar to try, after reading the ingredient list and determining that it passed the grain-free test. It was satisfying, both in taste and in curbing my appetite, and I appreciated the short ingredient list (just nuts and dried fruit). However, at $2.49 a pop, these little bars are a pricey snack.
Thankfully, these bars are a cinch to recreate in your own kitchen at a fraction of the cost. All you need is a food processor and a good supply of dates and nuts. Then, you can jazz up these little bites with additional flavors, like cocoa powder, coconut, spices, and extracts. Larabar has an impressive variety of flavors, from key lime pie to cappuccino, and peanut butter and jelly to ginger snap.
Without further adieu, here is my recipe for brownie Larabar bites. But be warned, once you pop one of these little nuggets of joy, you won’t be able to stop. Stash them in an airtight container in the fridge and grab them as needed for quick snacks or exercise fuel. They also do a mighty fine job of silencing a late-night sweet tooth. Not that I have that problem.
Brownie Larabar Bites
Makes 8-10 golf ball sized bites.
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans)
10-12 Medjool dates, pitted
4 TBSP. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until everything is finely ground and the mixture comes together in your fingers. Roll the mixture into small balls and store in an airtight container (I put mine in the fridge). You make also form the mixture into actual bars, but the recipe will yield a smaller amount (likely about 4 bars).