All you need to make these delicious paleo energy bars are 5 simple ingredients – dates, coconut, hemp seeds, cashews and coconut oil.

They’re sweetened naturally with dates so have no added sugar and the coconut oil gives them a soft, almost creamy texture, somewhat like Coconut Larabars.

Stack of 3 paleo energy bars with a few more bars and dates scattered and out of focus in the background and foreground.

They’re easy to make too, simply blend everything up in a food processor, then press into a pan, firm in the freezer and slice into bars.

Regardless of your dietary preferences, these bars are absolutely delicious and can be enjoyed by everyone!

Highlights

  • Vegan and gluten-free.
  • Paleo-friendly (grain-free, no added sugar).
  • Easy to make with 5 ingredients.
  • No baking required!
  • Customize with different nuts, seeds and other add-ins.
  • Perfect for a healthier snack, breakfast on-the-go or dessert.
  • Great for hiking, road trips and travel.

Ingredients

Dates, coconut, cashews, hemp seeds and coconut oil in a food processor.
  • Dates: You can use any variety of date as long as they’re soft and moist. If not, you can soak them in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before use.
  • Coconut: You can use fine or medium desiccated (dried and shredded) coconut.
  • Hemp Seeds: Sometimes labelled hemp hearts. These can be found in well-stocked grocery stores, health food stores or online.
  • Cashews: Use raw cashews with no added oil or salt. The cashews can be substituted with walnuts, almonds, pecans or for nut-free, sunflower seeds. If you’re looking for nut-free snacks, you might like these sunflower seed balls or sesame bars.
  • Coconut Oil: The coconut oil adds moisture and binds the bars. You can make it without them if you like but I preferred the texture with the coconut oil.

This list is not complete. Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the complete ingredient list with measurements and detailed instructions.

Recipe Variations

  • For an added treat while still keeping these paleo, try adding to 1/2 cup cacao nibs. If you don’t need them to be paleo, regular or sugar-free chocolate chips work.
  • Add 2 tbsp raw cacao powder for chocolate bars or try these No-Bake Chocolate Chia Energy Bars.
  • Try adding 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp lemon zest for delicious, zesty lemon bars (or try these recipe for lemon energy bars).
  • Cinnamon is always a good addition! Other spices you might enjoy are pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg or ginger.
  • Add up to 1 tsp vanilla for added flavouring. I also like a pinch of sea salt.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Cashews blended into small bits in a food processor.

Step 1: Add the cashews to a food processor and break them down into a grainy flour consistency.

It’s ok if there are some larger chunks but they should be fairly broken down.

Thick, sticky paleo energy bar dough with coconut, hemp seeds and cashews blended up in a food processor.

Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a thick, sticky dough you can press together between your fingers.

Vegan paleo energy bars pressed into a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Step 3: Line a 7 or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper then use your hands to firmly press the dough into the pan until you have a flat surface.

Place the entire pan in the freezer for an hour to firm. You can skip this step if you want or just do 10-15 minutes but they’re easier to slice and hold together best after they firm up.

Paleo energy bars with cashews, hemp seeds and coconut sliced into 8 portions on a cutting board.

Step 4: Lift the bars out of the pan and slice into 10 large bars or 16 smaller squares. Enjoy your bars!

Stack of 5 vegan paleo energy bars sitting on parchment paper against a white background.

Recipe FAQs

Can you make paleo energy bars nut-free?

To make these bars nut-free, substitute sunflower seeds or a mix of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for the cashews.

Alternatively, you may like these sunflower sesame energy bars.

Do I have to add coconut oil?

You can omit the coconut oil if you prefer. Do not substitute another oil. If you don’t want to use coconut oil, just omit it.

How long do paleo energy bars keep?

They will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or you can freeze them up to 3 months. They’re okay to take to-go at room temperature but will get soft if it’s warm.

Expert Tips

  • It’s important to use soft dates in this recipe. If your dates seem overly dry or you’re not sure, soak them (pitted) in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before using in the recipe.
  • If the dough isn’t sticking together or seems too crumbly after blending (this can happen if your dates were dry), add 1-2 tbsp warm water and blend again.
  • A kitchen scale is helpful for accurately measuring ingredients.
  • Use wet hands to smooth out the surface of the bars after pressing them into the pan.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
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Stack of 5 coconut cashew paleo energy bars sitting on a piece of parchment paper.

Paleo Energy Bars

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: Snack
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

Easy to make with just 5 simple ingredients you’ll love the taste and texture of these no-bake bars. Perfect for breakfast, snacking or dessert!


Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup packed, soft pitted dates (275 g)
  • 1 cup unsweetened fine coconut (100 g)
  • 1 cup hemp seeds (169 g)
  • 2/3 cup cashews (93 g)
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil (30 g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
  • pinch of sea salt, optional

Instructions

  1. Add the cashews to a food processor and process to break down into small pieces.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a thick, doughy mixture.
  3. Line a 7 or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper then firmly press the dough into the pan until it’s flat and even.
  4. Set the bars in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
  5. Lift the bars out of the pan and slice into 10 bars or 16 squares.
  6. Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 299
  • Sugar: 16 g
  • Sodium: 5 mg
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 9 g

This recipe was originally published April 21, 2014.