Larabars are a popular snack bar made out of dried fruit (mostly dates) and nuts. In honor of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for trees, I made a homemade Larabar recipe using pomegranates, pistachios and carob powder.
Tu B’Shevat literally means the fifteenth day of the month of Shevat and is when the trees begin to bloom in Israel. The source for the holiday is biblical and is tied to agricultural laws. In modern times, Tu B’Shevat has taken on environmental significance and is know as the Jewish Arbor Day.
It is customary to eat from the Seven Species (shivat haminim) of Israel on TuBshevat: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranate, olives, and dates. But the custom tends to extend to any fruit mentioned in the Bible or associated with Israel, like apples, quinces, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios.
Carob is also traditionally eaten on Tu B’Shevat. It is indigenous to this region, but there are many symbolic reasons as well. There is a talmudic story about an old man who was planting a carob tree. A young man passed by and asked why if the tree will only bear fruit in 70 years. The old man responded that he is planting it for the next generation like those that did it for him. Imagine if we all lived thinking about our future generations…
This recipe combines many of the customary foods of Tu B’Shevat. But it’s easy to substitute ingredients and use those you prefer.
I don’t use carob powder in too many recipes but the flavor worked really well mixed into the dates and nuts. So even if you are not a big fan I recommend trying it.
Homemade Larabars for Tu B’Shevat with Pomegranate, Pistachios, and Carob
The base for homemade Larabars is the nut and date paste and the additional ingredients can be substituted to your taste. If you don’t have carob powder, either omit it or use cacao powder.
2 cups walnuts or almonds
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup dried figs, or use dates
2 tablespoons carob powder
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup pistachios
1. Place walnuts, dates, figs, and carob powder in a food processor and process until it forms a paste.
2. Add pomegranate and pistachios and pulse just until mixed in or knead in additional ingredients with your hands.
3. Scoop the nut paste onto a large sheet of parchment paper, form into a square and refrigerate to harden.
4. Cut into bars and serve. Keep refrigerated (if you omit the pomegranate seeds and only use dried fruits and nuts it can be stored at room temperature).