Do you have nut allergies? It’s pretty common these days. Personally, I’ve had a few since I was a teenager and it’s pretty annoying. Always double-checking ingredients when we go out to eat. Keeping liquid allergy medicine in our cars just in case. You know in the movie Hitch where his whole face is swollen and he’s sipping Benedryl and he’s totally loopy? Yeah, that’s been me a time or two. Ok, maybe not quite that bad.
In trying to incorporate more raw foods into our diet, my allergies have become problematic because a couple of nuts are essential, namely cashews. Are cashews even good? I couldn’t tell you. I’m always fawning over raw cashew cheesecakes or creamy cashew dips and dressings but unable to try them. Any tips on creating all that yumminess without cashews is more than welcome!
Another snack I love but often can’t have thanks to allergies are fruit and nut bars. A popular example is Larabars, which you can find in so many great varieties these days. Unfortunately, the Larabar, though one of the best as far as a simple ingredient list goes, uses cashews in almost every one of their bars. So in my mission to create delicious raw foods without the nuts I have allergies to, I decided that the Larabar would be simple to attack.
This recipe is for a Larabar that doesn’t exist but would if I had any control over their flavor selection. I really, really love lemons and being that it’s spring (nearly summer for us), lemons and strawberries seemed a natural combo.
I checked out the ingredient list they supply for every one of their bars and went from there. Almost all their bars have some variety of nuts and dates/figs so that is the foundation of my Strawberry Lemon Larabars. I chose almonds (best nut!) and hazelnuts, which have such an amazingly complex flavor. They make these bars seem a bit gourmet. 😉 So then I figured if the intent is to have a nutrient dense, protein and fiber-packed snack, why not add a few more things in? Hemp, flax, and goji make a tasty appearance in these bars. And they came out just wonderful! The light lemon flavor enhances the flavor of the dried strawberries and goji. And the natural tartness of all three create a lovely balance against the sweet figs. Each bar has 7 grams protein and 6 grams fiber, more than actual Larabars!
These bars lend really well to experimentation. Especially if you are working to add more raw superfoods to your diet, I’d highly recommend checking out any Navitas Naturals foods. They’re carried in Whole Foods in the raw section but if you don’t have a Whole Foods nearby, their items are available on Amazon for less than WF sells them (see the previous link). They have common items like flax, chia, and wheatgrass but also some fun ones like mulberries, which you can see my use of in this recipe for Raw Overnight Muesli.
How do you deal with your nut allergies? What tips or tricks have you learned when trying to eat raw foods but needing to compensate for a nut allergy? Since I’m still far from being a raw foods expert, I’d love to hear your stories.
Strawberry Lemon Larabars
Yields: 8 bars
1 c almonds. soaked 4+ hrs
1/2 c. hazelnuts, soaked 4+ hrs
1 c. figs or dates
2 T. hemp seeds
2 T. ground flaxseeds
3 T. coconut oil, plus more for greasing
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 c. raw honey
1 t. pure lemon extract (optional)
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 t. sea salt
1 oz. package freeze dried strawberries
1/4 c. Navitas Naturals dried goji berries (optional)
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients but the strawberries and goji berries. Pulse until well combined, about 60 seconds. Clean the sides and mix through with a spatula and pulse for another 30 seconds. The mixture will be become thick and difficult to pulse.
Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan and dump the mixture into the pan. Stir in the strawberries and goji berries and press into an even layer. Refrigerate for 1 hr before cutting into bars. Wrap bars individually in wax or parchment paper and store in the refridgerator for up to 2 weeks.