Homemade Banana Nut Fruit Bars

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In an effort to start eating less processed foods {even "healthy", organic processed foods}, I went searching for a recipe for homemade Larabars. We LOVE Larabars. BUT. They are expensive and when you need at least 2 to feed the kids, it can add up quickly. I wanted a cost effective way that didn't use 800 ingredients. I came across a few recipes, but really wanted to use what I had on hand so after seeing that I could dry bananas and use those, in addition to dates, I set out to create this recipe.
You'll need to dry your bananas first. I'm not sure how store bought dried bananas would work because these need to be somewhat sticky and help hold the bar together. 
Set your oven to 170 degrees {that's as low as mine goes}. Cut your bananas into slices lengthwise and place on a drying rack. 

Place drying rack on top of a cookie sheet to catch any bits that may fall off during the drying process. Place in the oven and allow to dry for 8-10 hours. I started my batch at 2pm and turned off the oven at 10:30pm and left the bananas in the oven overnight. They were the perfect consistency in the morning.
Recipe: Homemade Banana Nut Fruit Bars
What You'll Need:
3 bananas (dried first - see above for drying instructions)
1/4 c or approximately 8 small dates (this is the type we use from Costco)
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/4 c other nuts (almonds, cashews, hickory nuts, peanuts, etc.)
Blend dried bananas and dates in food processor until they form a sticky dough. It should clump into a ball. 
Blend in sunflower seeds and other nuts {we used peanuts this go round} until finely chopped. Turn out onto wax or parchment paper and form into a ball with your hands. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 
Cut into desired size. 
We used peanuts this time because it's what I had on hand. You could also form these into balls instead of bars. 
Based on the ingredients I used, these bars cost about $.31 a piece. When making 6 bars this saves me almost $1 per bar based on the price of Larabars at our Trader Joe's. Worth it!
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