Banana Bread Larabar DIY Recipe & Artisan Bread Pandemonium

It’s Tasty Tuesday where I bring you some of the awesome things we have freaked out over enjoyed in the last week. While I am typing this, I can’t stop thinking about Amanda and that she is very likely to have her baby today even though she would prefer he didn’t come til Wednesday. Sending her good vibes! Funny how in addition to your real sisters, you find soul sisters that you love the guts out of. I’m getting weepy or it’s raining outside or something (Flight of the Conchords silliness) and I’m digressing….

Three ingredients, that’s what I love about larabars! I buy them when they are on sale like hotcakes, they are so simple and pure: Dates, Bananas and Almonds! When they aren’t on sale or I’m feeling particularly crafty…. I make these. If you know anything about Mormons, you may or may not know that we really don’t have horns, but we do stockpile food storage like its going out of style, and that sometimes we end up with items we aren’t quite sure what to do with, enter – freeze-dried bananas, they have a 25 year shelf life and have been getting all lonely and dusty in my storage area, and strangely, they are considered a raw food.  If you don’t live in Utah and don’t have access to affordable freeze-dried bananas in ridiculous quantities, you can always buy them online  or use this recipe here instead. Although my banana ratio is higher and therefore, superior super tasty.

DIY Banana Bread Larabar

1 1/3 C. pitted dates, chopped (measure whole dates into measuring cups, then chop)

1 1/2 C. freeze-dried bananas

1 C. raw almonds

(ok, so there is really 4 ingredients in my recipe)

water

Method: Process dates and freeze-dried bananas in food processor until mixture is fairly fine and crumbly. Add almonds and process until all pieces are pea sized or smaller. Add water, a teaspoon at a time (no more than 6 teaspoons total) and pulse after each addition. The freeze-dried bananas need some re-hydration because they basically turn to powder when processed. How much water you need will also depend on how moist your dates are. Mixture is ready (may still seem a bit dry) when you can pull some of the mixture out and it will stick together when pressed into a ball.

I formed the recipe into balls instead of bars because it’s simpler, cuter and enables me to control my portions a little better so I don’t eat the whole batch. The recipe made 25 balls. Each has 46 calories, 2 grams healthy fats, 6 grams carbs and 1 grams protein. Store them in the fridge and they should stay fresh for up to two weeks. Pack them in your lunches, have them for an afternoon snack, take them for running fuel, love them.

Have you heard about the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day revolution? Seriously out of control. This bread practically makes itself: you don’t knead it, you don’t double-rise it, you don’t even add any sugar or oil! you make one big batch of dough, put it in your fridge and can use it for 2 weeks for seriously less hands on time then 5 minutes a day!?! I feel like a fake french bakery chef in my kitchen whipping out amazing loaves of bread that are crazy delicious with a lovely crispy crust and amazing large holed crumb interiors. I learned about it from Amanda and Jen’s earlier posts on this blog. Why haven’t I known about this until now?

Here is the master recipe (white) with video demo (must watch to get technique)

Here is the wheat version recipe with video demo

I ended up buying both the books because I have never made such incredible bread in my whole life (and I really make a lot of bread).

The only thing I do different from the recipes above is use this dutch oven method here to bake instead of their traditional stone and steam method. It gave my bread a much better rise then their recommended method and made it even more amazing than before. For troubleshooting visit their FAQ’s page. And buy the dang books! You won’t be sorry! So in love with this bread!

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34 thoughts on “Banana Bread Larabar DIY Recipe & Artisan Bread Pandemonium

  1. I love simple recipes. I am going to try your fauxlarabars! heh heh…and that bread is gorgeous. I’m not much of a baker but even I might consider it if it’s as easy as you say.

    • Thanks! The bread is seriously so simple! You won’t regret it. Try the white master recipe first included in the link and make sure to use the method I have at the bottom link and you cannot fail. It will be amazing!

      As for the faux larabars….Just try not to eat the whole batch! Oh and keep them in the fridge. I better update my post to let people know that!

      • That is a good point. Well, both good points–I tend to find all kinds of things to edit into previous posts! I will watch the video before I do anything with the bread. Thanks for the response!

      • Fixed it! Enjoy the breadmaking ;) your family and friends will think you have become a french patisserie chef!

  2. You’ve done it again Somer! This simple recipe could be so easily twisted into so many flavors! Here in TN I don’t know that there is a place to buy really cheap banana chips (especially ones that are not covered in non-banana stuff,) so I’ll have to try that recipe as well. And the bread? Geez. I wish I didn’t have to go to work – I’ve got so much to do! Thanks!

    • Oh man, can’t wait to make and then post chocolate chip cookie dough, apple pie and more….. Larabar purchases may just end in this house hold! I also have a crazy amount of freeze dried apples! I just did a google search and found a REALLY REASONABLY priced freeze dried banana on amazon. I am sure I paid twice as much at my local store. Here is a link:

      It says dehydrated, but reading further in the description, they are totally freeze dried. And I love that the only ingredient is BANANAS. I will edit the post and put in the link.

      Otherwise, I am sure the other recipe is amazing, but I would be tempted to double or triple the bananas!

      Try the bread when you finish work, will seriously change the way you make bread!

  3. Sorry to disappoint you, Somer, but still hanging – literally – in there. Have walked my stairs a million times, cleaned the bathrooms, doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, hefting ZJ around, and I’m guessing i’ll just keep waiting around. Can’t wait to try your fauxlarabars. I’m going to have my work cut out for me when I rejoin the living.

    • SO CRAZY! I thought for sure I would have a phone call sometime this morning. Who stays at a 5 for two days? Ah well. I think I’m getting less and less patient for you!

      I will just have to bring you the said fauxlarabars and Cafe Rio in the hospital when the call comes. I may bring an assortment!

  4. Jen here. I started making the date-based larabar thingy a couple of months ago and love them. One of our favorites is “coconut cream pie” with dates, nuts (almonds, peanuts, and/or cashews), coconut and coconut oil. Can’t find the link, but I’ll look. There are about a billion variations on these bars (we press them into a pan or storage container, let them set, then cut them into squares or bars).

    • SO COOL! Must have links, I would love to add them to the recipe page. You are posting on your own blog now right? Come back to goodcleanfood ;)

      That coconut cream pie one sounds radical.

      • Oh and pressing them into a pan like granola bars is totally clever, makes the ball thing sound like a ton of work. On the other site I linked the recipe to on this post she rolls them out, uses saran wrap, ugh too much work!

      • I just haven’t been posting much of anything lately. Trying lots of things, though. I’ll look for links for the other bars. And, I may have more time for posting soon. Thanks for taking care of my sister, since I can’t be there for her.

      • That would be awesome. I wish I was taking care of her today. Offered child care, she ended up dropping the kids off at Erika’s. They are in the best hands though ;) Still waiting to hear something. I am sure you will hear news before I do!

      • Found the link (and, of course, I’ve heard about the baby; yay!!!)

        http://theelliotthomestead.blogspot.com/2012/02/homemade-larabars-baby.html

        We loved the coconut ones (turns out a little coconut oil is a great, healthy oil for our bodies). Our chocolate ones were a bit strong in the taste of cocoa powder, but they tempered well when I added a bit of coconut oil (which also helped to hold them together better). We haven’t tried the PB&J ones yet, but I did make some a couple of months ago with dried blueberries and cranberries mixed, that was pretty tasty.

      • Can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the link. I made no-bake, no-stovetop cookies today (my own version of larabar that tastes exactly like a no-bake cookie!) So fun. I will have to post it soon.

        Funny how people kept reprimanding Amanda about not being able to grow a healthy baby on a plant based diet. 9 lbs 13 oz with natural birth is crazy!

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  10. Hey, where do you get your freeze-dried bananas? I am going to try pina colada flavor since I have freeze-dried pineapple, but would love a banana-bar flavor. Maybe we should do a freeze-dried fruit exchange … if you haven’t already consumed yours with your homemade bananabreadlarabars. Are you healthy yet???

    • I inherited them from family who moved back to Australia last year and gave us all their food storage. I think bananas dried in your excaliber would probably be cheaper and just as tasty…. We could totally do and exchange though. Not all the way healthy. This thing is keeping an iron grasp on me :/

  11. Hello, I’ve made homemade lara bars now twice. The first time the dates were a little hard and my processor wasnt really happy with them. This time, I tried soaking the dates for 5-10 minutes (based on another persons recommendations) and they didn’t set up correctly. I was thinking about chopping some nuts and rolling them into balls. Do you have any advice on what I can do with a pan full of mushy larabars? :)

    • Yes! You can add rolled oats, dried coconut, dried fruit or nuts until you get the right consistency. I never soak the dates, but sometimes if my dates are really dry, I do need to add water a tablespoon at a time. Good luck!

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