Life as a Lilly blog bio picture
  • About Heather

    Hi and thanks for stopping by!

    My name is Heather. I'm a child of God, wife of 12 years, and mom to two young boys nearing 3 & 6 years old.

    I have been blogging on and off since 2003 and have covered a variety of topics: recipes, cooking, photography, being a stay-at-home-mom, surviving melanoma, retiring from photography, my faith, hobbies, mommyhood, the array of therapies required for the special needs in our household.

    I'm far from perfect. His grace is enough! Join me as I share my journey...

Nut-free Energy Bars inspired by Lara Bar

My boys love Lara Bars, but Little Dude attends a nut-free school. SO, I recently replaced the nuts in my Lara Bar recipe with Pumpkin seeds.

Of course, I’m always tweaking and improving recipes, so I finally landed on this yummy, nutritionally dense recipe.

Little Brother calls them “Ba-Bars!” (I think that’s his best version of saying “Lara Bar”) – but they have more nutritionally dense ingredients.

  • 1 cup whole, PITTED dates (I like them at room temperature before mixing) (Vitamin Cottage, refrigerated section)
  • 1 cup raisins (because that’s what we usually have on hand) (Vitamin Cottage)
  • 1 1/3 cup organic raw* pumpkin seeds (yes, that’s 1.2 cups) (Vitamin Cottage)  *we prefer raw, but tried roasted for this batch, and it was fine
  • 1 T organic chia seeds (Costco)
  • 1 T organic hemp seeds (Vitamin Cottage)
  • 1 T organic hemp pro fiber (Vitamin Cottage)
  • 1-2 T organic goji berries (Vitamin Cottage)
  • 1-2 T organic maple syrup (Costco)
  • 1 t vanilla (Vitamin Cottage)
  • 1-2 T raw cacao powder (Amazon)


1. Measure the pumpkin seeds and blend in Cuisinart until you like the consistency. We like it without larger chunks (chocking hazard) but before it’s a fine powder.

2. Transfer the processed pumpkin seeds to another bowl for a minute.

3. Put dates and raisins, along with chia, hemp, goji, maple syrup, vanilla and cacao powder in the Cuinsart.

4. Blend this until its a big, sticky ball.  Be patient. You may think it’s not going to happen and be tempted to add water.  Wait another minute and then decide if you need up to 1T cold, filtered water. Or more maple syrup, because that’s yummy.

5. Add the processed pumpkin seeds to the sticky mixture and blend until it looks incorporated.

6. Keep in air-tight container in the fridge. You can roll them into balls or flatten them with a rolling pin into the standard “Lara bar” form.  We tend to put them in a glass bowl with a lid and spoon out a bite as needed.

This is a very versatile recipe and you can generally use what you have on hand and make them work.

We have not tested how long they last… they are gone by the end of the week. 🙂

nutfree lara bars

Please leave a comment below & share with your friends. All comments await my moderation.

Back to Top Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend Pin It!