Paleo Energy Bars
No-bake cashew coconut paleo energy bars that are super easy to make with just 5 simple ingredients.
All you need to make these delicious paleo-friendly bars are 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.
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!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Vegan, 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.
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a thick, sticky dough you can press together between your fingers.
Quick Tip: If the dough isn’t sticking together or seems too crumbly (this can happen if your dates were dry), add 1-2 tbsp warm water and blend again.
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.
Quick Tip: Use wet hands to smooth out the surface of the bars.
Step 4: Lift the bars out of the pan and slice into 10 large bars or 16 smaller squares. Enjoy your bars!
- 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.
- A kitchen scale is helpful for accurately measuring ingredients.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- The bars are best stored in the fridge or freezer.
- 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 but will get soft if it’s warm.
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- Add the cashews to a food processor and process to break down into small pieces.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a thick, doughy mixture.
- 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.
- Set the bars in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
- Lift the bars out of the pan and slice into 10 bars or 16 squares.
- Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months.
Keywords: paleo energy bars
This recipe was originally published April 21, 2014.