In Need of a “Bar”eak

I’m in need of a break here from studying hardcore for my nursing med surg exam on Monday… and what better way then to take the time to update my blog? ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, this means I found my camera! Silly camera.. hiding at the bottom of my hamper!

As I am a busy on the go nursing student, I find that lately I’m relying a lot on easy on the go snacks and bars to keep me properly nourished. One of my biggest lifesavers have been bars… they’re portable, quick to eat, nutrient dense, and delicious to boot! My favorite bar to eat? Larabars, of course! I have been on a larabar kick lately.. I just can’t seem to get enough of them! My #1 fave flavor has got to be Peanutย  Butter Cookie, hands down! It’s just chock full of peanut buttery goodness! It is followed closely by the Cashew Cookie flavor, which sublime and subtle flavor has me craving it regularly.

But in order to avoid monotony, I decided to break out of my comfort zone to try two new flavors my store started to offer.

dscn2056I really really liked the Key Lime Pie flavor! It truly felt like I was eating a slice of Key Lime Pie and I thoroughly enjoyed my quick retreat mt tastebuds took to the tropics. The lime flavor permeated throughout the bar and complemented so well with sweetness of the coconut and dates. Another new fave indeed!

I was intrigued to try the Ginger Snap flavor, since I do enjoy this particular spice, especially during the Fall/Winter seasons, so I was really looking forward to this bar, but when I took my first bite, I was overwhelmed by the strong and potent ginger flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I do like ginger, but I guess I like my ginger to be more subtle than be in the starring role. I suggest this bar only to those who really like a strong ginger flavor. Sadly, this larabar was not for me, though.

My new found love of Larabar had me buying quite a lot of them.. which meant I was spending a bit too much money on them. So, I decided the best way to take care of my Larabar cravings without breaking my bank was… to make my own! I had a ton of nuts in my freezer just waiting to be consumed, so I bought some fresh Medjool dates (don’t bother with anything else!), got out my mini food processor, and started to make my own larbars. Using the larabar ingredient list as my guideline, I made my larabars with 2 tbsp of nuts and 2 chopped and pitted Medjool dates. First, process the nuts. Then add the dates. Process and voila! your very own larabar!

What about taste-wise? Do these homemade larabars live up to the storebought ones? Thanks to larabars wholesome and pure ingredient list, these homemade larabars taste EXACTLY the same as their storebought counterparts!

Which flavors did I decide to make? I decided to keep things simple and just make my top two fave varieties: cashew cookie and peanut butter cookie.

dscn2051So I encourage you guys to try and make your own larabars.. they’re so easy and much cheaper to make, too! Go make ’em now!

Another bar that I’m really enjoying are Clif Nectar Bars, probably because they are, in essence, larabars. I love how simple their ingredients list is, too, and my current fave is Lemon, Vanilla, & Cashew. Omg.. it is so good guys! Definitely try this flavor if you ever see it! I’ve also tried the new Apple Cinnamon flavor (it has hazelnuts in it!) which I also found to be quite tasty as well.

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Is anyone familiar with the Macrobiotic diet? The only time I’ve heard of it was with reference to Madonna, who I heard follows this type of diet. Well, anyway, I saw these macrobiotic bars pop up at my health food store, and when I found out they were vegan and the ingredients list was simple, I decided to give them a try.

I bought the Macrobars Peanut Protein flavor and the MacroNutrient High Protein Cashew Mesquite bar.

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dscn2402Wow, these bars were good, in their own way. They kept me well satiated for at least 5 hours (great for clinical days!) and while they are not as great as Larabars, they provide different nutrients and protein that you won’t usually find in bars. I’d say give these bars a try if you ever find them. I especially recommend the Peanut Protein one, just cause I love anything peanut, haha!

Some random eats I’ve had lately… Vegan with a Vengeance’s Fronch Toast served along SmartLife Bacon. YUM!! This is the BEST FRENCH TOAST recipe EVER! If you haven’t tried it, do so soon!

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And I tried tempeh for the first time ever. I had heard that tempeh can be quite bitter, so I did as many other blogger’s advised and boiled it before baking it with Annie’s BBQ sauce. I can now say that I am in love with tempeh! So good and a protein powerhouse to boot!

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And I can’t conclude a post without my favorite part of the day.. dessert!

While browsing Katie‘s awesome blog, I stumbled upon her recipe for Vegan Cheezecake, and luckily, I had all of the ingredients on hand. And since Katie’s recipes are always simple yet delicious, I decided to bake myย  first ever vegan cheezecake. The only substitution I made was that I used Wholly Wholesome’s Spelt Pie Crust cuz that’s what I had on hand. The result?

dscn2059dscn2068A slice of vegan heaven!!! Omg, was this so good!! I can only imagine how much better it is with a graham cracker pie crust, but my version was yummy. So much so, my family went back for thirds (and, I did, too), but how could you not? This cheezecake tastes great and is soooo much better for you than its dairy counterpart. Thanks for the amazing recipe, Katie.. as I always say, you are a frickin’ genius!

I’ve also baked a batch of Vive Le Vegan’s Homestyle Chocolate Chip cookies…

dscn2062AMAZING, as all of Dreena’s recipes are.

And I’ve got to thank Caitlin from See Bride Run for turning me onto to Clif Z bars.. I’ve become obsessed with them as well. My favorite flavor has got to be Blueberry, but I love the Peanut Butter one, too. I did try the Honey Graham flavor (I don’t have a problem with honey consumption), but I found it to be just ok. Maybe they should come out with Agave Cinnamon flavor.. hmm..

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And guess what this naughty vegan had for breakfast this morning?

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That’s right.. I ate a donut! Not just any donut.. a VEGAN one! Yumo! I hadn’t had a donut in forever.. so you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I found these at my health food store. And guess what? You can order these online! They are so good guys, and way better for you than the ones over at Dunkin Donuts.

Well, this post took me a bit longer than I wanted it to, so I’m gonna go back and hit the books one more time before hitting the sack. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.. ’til next time!

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20 thoughts on “In Need of a “Bar”eak

  1. I dont’ know what to comment on first!

    I just bought a couple Larabars to try because I’m trying to eat more healthy fats but the idea of making my own is excellent!! My mom would appreciate it too since it’s her money i’m spending. Uhh and I almost grabbed those two nectar bars but opted for teh chocolate raspberry instead. Next time…

    I still need to try tempeh!!!

    Yay a good review on that cheesecake! I have been tempted to make it but wasn’t sure because it looked too simple to taste like a real cheesecake. but wait this is CCV i’m talking about, everything she makes is delish!

    OMG! I am totally with you on the Agave Cinnamon flavor! I just told my mom that the other day!

  2. LARABARS!!!!!!! VEGGIEGIRL’S DAILY EAT AND OBSESSION!!!!!!!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Love your homemade version too!!

    Loving all the vegan eats and product reviews!! This is great!! French toast, cheezecake, donuts, cookies… wowza!!

    Good luck studying, my friend!!

  3. I wish we had more flavours of Larabars in Canada!! Argh, it’s killing me. The French toast and cheesecake look phenomenal. It’s admirable how you are still finding time to cook healthy, delicious food despite being bogged down with schoolwork. I could only ever muster PB sandwiches and stir-fry during my mid-terms and finals.

  4. I’m so glad you’re back!

    Larabars are a definite favorite of mine, as are Clif Z bars – I eat them on a daily basis! I’ve yet to try the Honey Graham flavor (I also don’t have a problem with eating honey) but right now I’m in love with the PB flavor!

    Seeing your plate of delicious tempeh reminded me that I have an unopened package of tempeh just waiting to be consumed!

    Good luck with nursing school!

  5. Glad to know I’m not the only one ok with honey. I never want to admit that on my blog, because I don’t want the militant vegan police to come after me! Have you tried the chocolate chip z bar or chocolate-brownie one? Those are my faves (hmmm, might have something to do with the fact that they contain chocolate?)

    Now I really want to try making Larabars (or Jocalat bars, which I like even better).

    And thanks for the shout-out. You are seriously one of the sweetest bloggers I know!!!

  6. We have the exact same taste in Larabars! PB Cookie is my #1 favorite too, closely followed by Cashew Cookie. I hated the Ginger Snap my first try too, but I had it a second time a year later and liked it. Since we obviously have similar tastebuds, I next recommend the Coconut Cream Pie if you haven’t tried it. Sooo good! I haven’t made any homemade Larabars since the summer, but you’re so right: homemade is a great money saver and just as yummy!

    The cheesecake looks like heaven. You did a fabulous job on it — the slice on the plate looks too perfect for words! I have been wanting to try Katie’s recipe for awhile now…must be awesome if you and your family went back for thirds!

    Hehe, they have those donuts at one of my local health stores too. I’ve been scared to try it, but I have been secretly imagining having one with my daily espresso. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Thanks for all the reviews! I love larabars too! And, just yesterday, I bought a set of wholly wholesome crusts. One is for pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and now I’m thinking I need to make cheesecake too!

  8. Anamaria says:

    Evy,
    i dont think we can go to New York, because we will get the finger!:P
    anyways i know that its doesnt have to do with anything with your blog!
    :DD well ttyl

  9. this post is fun of so many wonderful things!
    i’m so impressed by your homemade larabars… i’ve been contemplating making my own and you’ve convinced me
    i’ve totally gotta make that cheezecake! maybe on thanksgiving??
    hope you have a great night!

  10. Ok so how sad is it that I’ve NEVER tried a Larabar…ever. I got a box of free Jamfrakas in the mail, so that’s the closest I’ve been haha. Thanks SO much for the positive comment on my blog…I passed my two last masteries!!! I’m SO excited and I can’t get over how much I’ve learned this past semester…it’s crazy!! I hope your classes are going well girl…and YAY for Thanksgiving break coming up!!

  11. What a brilliant idea!! Homemade larabars!! I must try this immediately! I always bring a bar of some sort along on clinical days, and a homemade version would be so much more economical! I’ve been thinking of making a homemade version.. Thank you for the great recipe!

    Good luck on your med surg test – I know you did awesomely!

  12. hey!!!! long time no see!!! (well you know what i mean) your pie looks delish!!! and i def wanna try to make my own lara bars! they look so amazing!!!! hope all is well and that your exams arent making you too crazy!!!

  13. yayy haha i’m glad u found my blog..it let me to yours
    and i love it…that cheesecake looks amazing…i’m hungry hehe! i luv ur blog im gonna put it on my favorites x] thanks. and yeah, i think there are not much vegan latinas..i guess..right? But it’s nice! ^_^

  14. Char says:

    I had wondered how easy it would be to make Larabars at home. I Googled it, and up came your website! Cashew Cookie is my favourite, and Peanut Butter Cookie is right behind, haha. Anyway, I soaked my cashews for about 30 hours beforehand, and then drained them and stuck ’em in the fridge for a few hours. I chopped up ALOT of dates (I made a huge batch, and didn’t measure at all…I just kept adding as I went). They came out tasting like a storebought Larabar ๐Ÿ™‚ I was so excited. The only problem I had was that my dates were very sticky for some reason (the Medjool ones, they aren’t usually like that), so forming them into bars would have been a pain. So I rolled them between my palms and made “Laraballs”, haha. Still super delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ Next time, I’ll try to make Peanut Butter Cookie.

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