Real Life Paleo

Apple Pie Balls: Nut-Free Larabar Wannabes

We thought we’d seen everything with this blog. But, when we posted the Banana Bread Balls we were quite surprised by the amount of traffic and comments we got from people excited about a replacement Larabar – especially with it being nut-free. Obviously, we make these because Finian and I do our best to stay nut-free on the autoimmune protocol. But there’s another reason quite a few were excited.

Evidently, it was recently revealed that Larabars are owned by a company who donates money to the not-labelling-GMO-cause (Prop 37). And from what you tell us, quite a few of you stopped buying them when that happened. Further, for some of you (like us) they’re not really an option because for whatever reason, you’re not eating nuts.

When we were so wonderfully supported and encouraged by the positive feedback of the Banana Bread Balls I endeavored to make a few more flavors. And so, I work through my list… I have Coconut Cream Pie and Blueberry Muffin on my to-do list, but for today I present a nut-free alternative to the Apple Pie Larabar.

Even more exciting, we have some special guests who helped us make these – my sister Jackie and nephew, Jeremiah – who is a complete ham around the camera ♥ We’re currently vacationing together at Great Wolf Lodge and this was made specifically for us to take on the road!

Now, because we need a solid that offers some fat (instead of nuts) we use coconut here. This flavor reminds me of Apple Pie – but it’s not as exact a replication as I would’ve hoped. However, my sister tried these and responded with Oh. My. Gawd. These are so good. They’re BETTER than Larabars. I need to you guys to open a store so I can just eat your food all the time. So, we can wholeheartedly say they’re good the way they are!

see, she’s giving them the thumbs-up!

Apple Pie Balls
Vegan, Paleo AND Autoimmune-friendly!



  1. ♥ Add all ingredients, except raisins, to a food processor and pulse until they come together to form a ball when molded in your hand – about 1-2 minutes and the apple chips will be 1/4″ shards
  2. ♥ Add raisins and pulse a few more times, so that there’s still chunks of them (if you don’t want chunky raisins in your balls, then add raisins to main batch and save yourself this step, but we like the treat of surprise raisin bites!)
  3. ♥ Form tablespoon size balls, the dough shouldn’t be too sticky so we skipped rolling them in coconut flakes this time – but you can do that if you’d like.
  4. ♥ EAT!

If you don’t eat them all right away, you can store them at room temperature for probably quite a while – although if more than a few days, we recommend refrigeration – where they’ll stay for months, probably.

Given the fact that these are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and seed-free as well as being stable at room temperature they make a PERFECT school snack or treat as well as travel food!


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  • Whitney

    Ooo these look good!

  • Kristine

    So grateful that you are doing some nut-free options. One kid is in a nut-free classroom this year and I’ve struggled with “treats” for him.

  • Max in Canada

    This is SO AWESOME. You guys are a total inspiration- I manifest family like yours every day. Thank you so much for your presence in the interwebs Paleoland. Much love from Canada!

  • mary b

    These look like a perfect fall treat!!

  • Jill Mayer

    AWESOME … Now if you can only help me figure out how to make apple cinnamon chips so I can go homemade all the way.

  • Kate @ Eat Recycle Repeat

    We’re lucky that you are so good at creating Lara Bar substitutes – cheaper & GMO free! Thank you.

  • Made these last night before I ran out the door to meet friends. Super easy and very yummy.

  • Sarah

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Just enjoyed one of the banana ones this morning!! Will makes these soon!

  • Lynn

    Yum, yum, yum!

  • Cathy M

    Thank you! I had just decided to stop giving my money away on Lara Bars, and had discovered a product from Clif called Kit’s Organic, which are yummy, less expensive, and Cilf actually donated money in support of GMO labeling (as opposed to Lara Bar). And then we got a note that one of my daughter’s classmates is allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts. There went my go-to snack. And now here you are with two flavor options, and more in the offing! And they look super easy to boot. Wow. What a great find!

  • Sami

    Just made these today! I’m so happy to have a nut free treat! They are delicious 🙂

  • Rachel

    ideas for making these without a food processor? my kids cannot handle the sound (& duration of that sound) of any food processors I’ve tried. I’m hoping to acquire a vitamix in the near future. could i use it for this recipe?

    • We haven’t tried it, but a Vitamix or Blendtec is going to be loud too… maybe find ways to do it when the kids aren’t near or work with them on it? 🙂

    • Lisa

      Tupperware makes a hand-crank food processor. It takes a little muscle, but wouldn’t involve the sound!

    • Nancy B. sells a bunch of hand-cranked mills. They also have a hand-cranked blender. A VitaMix usually likes things to be a little less sticky, more liquid than a LaraBar mixture. It also tends to blend things to a nice, homogeneous cream. Are your kids old enough for noise-cancelling headphones? With music, in another room, they’re pretty good.



    • Calm down. There is certainly a solution for this problem, as noted in the post itself. We included a recipe for apple rings in our book, but even further from that, it is a fairly simple task to dehydrate apple rings in either a dehydrator or an oven set to its lowest setting. Now, please, bear in mind that we have no allergies in our house and chose to not eat nuts for a different reason. We make the claim that the ingredients listed do not of themselves contain nuts, but make no claims on the nut cleanliness of the facility that makes the products that we used or linked to .

      Thanks for looking at our recipe and we hope you find something to your liking.

  • skippyp

    okay okay, I’m a doofus… what’s the difference between the apple chips and rings (and if the answer is rings vs chips I’m gonna be mad)? I assume moisture content. But if I can make my own rings can’t I make my own chips? Suggestions?

    • The difference is that apple rings are dehydrated and apple chips are fried or otherwise crisped. We use the chips to provide the crunch you’d get from nuts.

  • I know you have way more to do than time to do it, yet I have a request anyway! I just started a weekly Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable through my blog, and I would love it if you linked up this recipe. I’m trying to expand resources for the AIP community. When you’re on the autoimmune protocol, good recipes are hard to find! Here’s the link:

  • Sabina

    Just starting out with paleo and love your blog. These were so easy to make and delish! Thanks so much.

  • Colleen

    Hello! Is there nutrition info for this recipe? It seems they would be quite high in sugars and I thought on the AIP, one is supposed to be careful of sugars, even fruit based or unrefined “natural” etc?? If you could set me straight on that, I would appreciate it.

  • Stevo

    Linda in Indy
    Indiana is a state that has a high percentage of it’s population having people with obesity, heart attacks, smokers, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, well, you get the idea. It’s a little lonely out here trying to eat & live a paleo lifestyle, but getting easier the longer I stick with it & try to turn my friends on to the delicious foods. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your Beyond Bacon cookbook. Not quite up to the head cheese level, but I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to render my own pork lard & make crispy lardons. I can never be without pork lard ever again!! Books like yours makes it so much easier to transition to a paleo kitchen. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the time & love you put into your books. It has helped me to stay paleo strong & has changed my life & my health forever. Just celebrated my 1 year paleo anniversary. Feeling SO much better!! I’ve lost 47 pounds, & have started to get off all my bad girl meds. Can’t wait for my 2 year anniversary!!