Raw Coconut Blueberry Lemon Bars

May 31, 2012

in Cookies & Bars, Snacks

Coconut Blueberry Lemon Bars

We go through a lot of nuts and dried fruit at my house. I eat small handfuls of almonds throughout the day, medjool dates when my sweet tooth gets the best of me, and Aaron snacks on about ten servings of homemade trail mix on any given workday (this is only a slight exaggeration – his metabolism is out.of.control.).

Homemade Fruit & Nut Bars

We tend to rotate between the same foods – almonds and dates, sunflower seeds and raisins, cashews and dried cranberries. Rinse and repeat. I can eat the same thing for months on end, but I know Aaron’s sick of something when I start finding Clif bar wrappers in the washing machine, along with the standard doggie poopy bags that we’re constantly carrying with us. Things that I’ve learned: 1. you can never be too prepared when it comes to Olive and 2. I really need to get better about checking pockets before I do laundry.

Raw Dried Fruit & Nut Bars

Honestly though, it pisses me off when I find these wrappers, and not just because I’m recovering from a daily Clif bar habit several years ago that’s left me with a hypersensitivity to even the smell of them. It’s more like a combination of being annoyed that we have a fridge and pantry full of good food and also that I generally think I can make a homemade bar that’s a million times more delicious with none of that soy protein isolate crap.

Homemade Larabars

So, that’s exactly what I did. Except these bars are more like Larabars in texture, and they happen to be one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations – coconut blueberry lemon. Hey, if I have to clean the food processor, I’ll make what I like.

Fortunately, Aaron is also a big fan. I haven’t done laundry in the last few days, but I feel pretty confident that there won’t be any Clif bar wrappers hidden in his pockets. It’s a good thing too, because I’m 99% sure that I’ll forget to check them in my attempt to balance getting my $2 worth out of the washing machine while still ending up with clean clothes.

Raw Coconut Blueberry Lemon Bars

Coconut Blueberry Lemon Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 bars, depending on the size of the bars
 
Simple ingredients with a texture that's similar to a Larabar, but at a fraction of the cost. These bars can be easily customized to suit your tastes.
Ingredients
  • 15 Medjool Dates
  • 2½ C. Raw Almonds
  • 1 C. Coconut Flakes (or Shredded Coconut)
  • 1 C. Dried Blueberries
  • Zest of 3 Lemons
Instructions
  1. Soak the medjool dates in water for 1 hour, then remove the pits.
  2. Add to the food processor the soaked dates, almonds, coconut, blueberries, and lemon zest.
  3. Process until no large chunks remain (about 4-5 minutes). You may need to occasionally scrape down the bowl.
  4. Using your hands and/or a spatula, press the mixture into a 9x13 inch pan.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  6. Bars can be stored in the fridge or the freezer.
Notes
If possible, use organic lemons since you'll be using the zest. Organic blueberries are also best, as conventional berries are very high in pesticides.

 

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning May 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Ha! You’re going to hate part of my blog post today- I got Clif Bars in my Foodie Pen Pal box. :) I rarely eat them (not because I don’t like the taste- I do- but just like what you said, I can make something bigger and better with less sugar and fewer calories), but my husband likes to just grab them to take with him when he’s mountain biking. I always have “emergency” bars on hand (of all different brands), but only resort to them if I am in a rush or running out the door after work to go teach a class and need something substantial.
Lemon Blueberry is currently my favorite flavor combo. I’ve had it in the form of oats, yogurt, pancakes, granola and muffins (which used coconut flour!) within the last week! You need to try the kind made by Nature’s Indulgence- it’s incredible!
Your bars definitely look great!

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Amanda May 31, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I used to love Clif bars, especially the carrot cake flavor, and I just totally burnt out on them. It’s been several years since I had one, but the thought still makes me a little ill. haha

I really want to try that Nature’s Indulgence granola – it sounds awesome!!

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Lindsey May 31, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I love making raw bars or bites, this will be my recipe to make this weekend!

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Amanda May 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Awesome! Let me know what you think of them!

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Lindsey June 3, 2012 at 12:21 am

These are awesome! I had to let you know :)

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Amanda June 3, 2012 at 12:46 am

Yay! Thanks for letting me know! :)

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Michelle Collins May 31, 2012 at 6:38 pm

These look right up my alley – I, too, love my dried fruit and nuts!

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Rachel May 31, 2012 at 7:15 pm

hehe, my husband’s metabolism is the same way. It’s not fair! When he’s not happy with what I’ve sent him for lunch he gets mexican food with coworkers.
I really, really need to get into the habit of making homemade bars. This looks like a truly yummy flavor combination!

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Amanda May 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Thanks, Rachel! They’re super easy too. And I hear you on the metabolism envy – my husband basically has to eat constantly in order to maintain his weight!

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Frederike May 31, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I was looking for a delicious vegan bake, not because I don’t eat eggs or milk, but I like the change and I try to bake things that taste delicious and help keeping your body balanced. Your blog is beautiful and full of recipes I want to try. Thanks for sharing!
Medjoul dates are always on my list when I visit the farmer’s market, and this seems like a great and yummy way to use some of them.

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Amanda May 31, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Thanks so much, Frederike! I also love medjool dates – whether they’re plain or in a recipe. I actually only discovered them a couple of years ago and now I can’t believe I went so long without them! :)

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Kristen May 31, 2012 at 8:59 pm

These look awesome! and medjool dates, yep, they are nature’s candy ;-)

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Amanda June 1, 2012 at 12:28 am

I remember hearing that apples are nature’s candy, but whoever said that clearly hadn’t tried medjool dates. ;)

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Shelby (everydayvegangirl) June 1, 2012 at 5:22 am

I got a Clif’s bar (white chocolate mac nut) in my vegan food swap that I posted about today. I don’t normally make it a habit to eat these, as I prefer to make my own, but they’re always nice to have on hand for emergencies, like having in your purse for a long day of shopping…nothing worse than low blood sugar in the middle of a store! I’m addicted to making Larabar inspired bites…yours look wonderful and pretty! I love the blueberry and coconut combo…I made similar ones this past week! Oh, and I know what you mean about the checking of the pockets…do you know how many things of chapstick have made it’s way into the dryer…gross!

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Amanda June 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Yes! I am so guilty of putting chapstick in the dryer! I hate that!

I’ve been thinking about joining a vegan food swap. Seems like a lot of fun. :)

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Shelby (everydayvegangirl) June 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Yes you should! You should check out Cat’s food swap…this is the one I did this month http://www.theverdantlife.com/p/vegan-food-swap.html
So fun!

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Amanda June 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Thanks for the link!

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Heidi @ Food Doodles June 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm

These kind of bars have to be my favorite treats too! I’ve never tried using blueberries but I need to now that I’ve seen yours. So pretty!

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Amanda June 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Thanks, Heidi! The dried blueberries are so good!

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Gena June 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Lovely snack! I enjoy bar making, but have yet to experiment with blueberries.

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Amanda June 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Thanks, Gena! I highly recommend the blueberries!

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Jen June 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Yum!!!

P.S. Phone Date Soon!

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Amanda June 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Yes! :)

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Julia June 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Hi Amanda!
I’ve been guilty of eating the kids cliff bars aka Z bars as a of late. I breastfeeding my new baby boy and I can’t seem to eat enough. I think I’ll make these this weekend to have on hand because I’m practically gagging down the cliff bars. I already plan on hiding them from my husband or they will be gone in a day.

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Amanda June 2, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Congrats on your new baby!!! I haven’t had a Z bar in a while, but I used to really like those – much more so than the regular clif bars. I think the coconut blueberry lemon bars would be great to have on hand and they’re really easy to make. Also, if you find that you get sick of the flavor, you can always swap out the blueberries for another dried fruit and play around with different spices. :)

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katie @KatieDid June 2, 2012 at 11:27 pm

such a fun flavor combination. Homemade Larabars are fun to experiment with in endless combinations and they are the only nutrition bar I can stand to eat!

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Lauren June 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I just bought a container of dates and have been really getting into the raw desserts lately, so this recipe is perfect! Maybe a dumb question, but do you think frozen blueberries would work here?

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Amanda June 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Not dumb at all! I think frozen blueberries might have too much water for the bars to hold together, but I haven’t tried them and can’t say for sure. Perhaps if you used them, you could store the bars in the freezer to enjoy frozen.

Plain, frozen blueberries are actually one of my favorite snacks (minus the resulting blue teeth). :)

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ATasteOfMadness June 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Wow, what a delicious combination!
One of my friends has a clif bar habit. He eats them all the time. But this is way better!

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Amanda June 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Thanks, Cathleen! These are much cheaper than buying individual bars too!

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Cheryl August 31, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Having decided that of all the Lara Bars flavors my favorite was the Blueberry went on line to see if someone had figured out how to make a homemade version. And you popped right up. These sound wonderful.
So, where do you get dried blueberries?

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Amanda August 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Thanks, Cheryl! I bought them at TJ’s. :)

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Sanja September 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm

This is exactly what I’ve been looking for – I like to have a bar as late afternoon snack, but don’t like the price or additives. Going to try these with TJs dried strawberries.
My fiancée really likes Cliff bars too, especially the peanut butter kinds. Any suggestions on how to incorporate PB into home made bars? Would using PB instead of almonds make it too runny?

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Amanda September 4, 2012 at 8:06 pm

You might be able to reduce the almonds and dates and sub in some peanut butter, but I’m not sure of the exact ratios. Perhaps I need to come up with a peanut butter bar? ;)

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Sanja September 8, 2012 at 12:45 am

Please do! The strawberry version i made turned out great. I rolled them in coconut to make easier to handle.

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Emily September 8, 2012 at 8:44 am

Just use peanuts ladies. Did anyone ever check the larabar website? The lists of ingredients are all on there.

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Amanda September 8, 2012 at 9:09 am

Thanks, Emily! I thought of that after I responded. haha I’m blaming pre-vacation brain for not seeing the simple answer. :)

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