Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Larabar Imitation Recipes

I started making homemade raw bars when I worked part time at a gym. I got into a bad habit of snacking constantly because of boredom and watching everyone work out didn't help. I wanted to be healthier, but I couldn't think of a way to curb the obnoxious snacking without replacing it with chewing gum or smoking a pack a day, so I went all out and decided to become a raw vegan.

Obviously, it didn't work out for me - it was expensive and time consuming, and to be honest, I didn't stick around to see if it made me feel better or more energized. I'm happy with being Vegan. (Besides, there really isn't anything better than a nice bowl of steaming hot soup on a cold and dreary day.) But, I did keep these helpful little guys as part of my snacking routine - now that I work in an office most of the day, I find that I still have this bad snacking-from-boredom habit. These help because they are full of natural sugars and nuts to make my stomach feel fuller - plus they are delicious and require only a little effort.

My best advice if you want to make these is to get a really good food processor or blender. The better one you have, the less likely it is that you will need all the agave in the recipe - since I only use it as a binder. (Our blender is on the fritz, so I try to play nice). In all honestly, the dates should break down enough to provide a sticky "batter" for the whole thing to stay together.

As a tip, don't buy the pre-chopped dates, since most of the time they are coated in sugar and not usually sticky enough. Try getting your hands on some nice Medjool or Deglet Noor.

For all the recipes below, the process is the same. Roughly chop your dates and add them to your blender/processor, and blend them down to a paste (if you can get your machinery to do this. If not, get them as close as you can). Add the nuts first, and blend them together with the date paste. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend until you have a nice sticky "dough". Spread it out on a sheet of wax paper in a large square (spread evenly), and top with more wax paper. Then refrigerate for 1 hour at least. Your bar will cut into bars a bit more easily when it's cold.

Banana Nut Muffin
1/2 c dried bananas
1/4 c oats
1/2 c cashews
1/4 c walnuts
1/2 c dates
2 tbsps agave

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie
3 tbsp cacao nibs
3 tbsps agave
1/4 c dates
1/2 c coco oil
1/2 shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 c walnuts

Apple Pie
1/3 c dates
1/2 c almonds
1/2 c dried apples
1/4 c walnuts
1/4 c raisins
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 of a vanilla bean
1 tsp agave

Peanut Butter Cookie
1/3 c dates
1/2 c peanuts
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp agave

To make it a PB&J, add 1/4 c dried raspberries or cherries.

Strawberry Shortcake
1/2 c cashews
1/4 c almonds
1/4 c dried strawberries
1/4 c dates
2 tbsps agave

Blueberry Fudge Brownie
1/3 c dates
1/3 c walnuts and almonds
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp agave
1/4 c dried blueberries

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
1 c oats
1/3  dates
1/3 c raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsps molasses or agave

Cookie Dough
1/2 c cashews
1/2 c mini chocolate chips (Try Enjoy Life Dairy Free)
1/3 c dates
2 tbsps agave or molasses
1/4 vanilla bean

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