No-Bake Superfood Energy Bars
These no-bake superfood energy bars are vegan, gluten-free, packed with nutrition and taste amazing!
These bars require a number of ingredients but are easily customizable to whatever you have on hand. Let’s take a look.
- Almonds. Almonds are the main dry ingredient but they can be substituted with cashews, pecans, walnuts or any combination of nuts up to 1 cup total.
- Seeds. The recipe calls for a mixture of seeds: hemp seeds, pepitas, chia seeds, and ground flax. These are all interchangeable so just work with what you have to reach a total of 10 tbsp.
- Cacao powder. If you don’t have cacao powder you can use regular processed cocoa powder. They are interchangeable but the cacao powder adds more nutrients.
- Dates. The dates bind the recipe and hold everything together so they cannot be substituted. It’s important to use soft, moist dates, so if you feel your dates are too dry, soak them in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before using. Medjool dates, sayer dates or deglect noor are all suitable.
Recipe Method and Tips
You will need an approximately 7×7 inch square baking pan, parchment paper and a food processor to make this recipe. Let’s take a look at the steps – it’s easy!
Make the Dough
Process the almonds into a coarse, grainy flour. It’s totally fine if there are some larger chunks left behind, they add crunch!
Next, add all the superfood goodies! I used hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flax, pepitas, cacao powder, sea salt and cinnamon.
Finally, add the dates and blend into a thick, sticky dough. If it’s not sticking together after 30-40 seconds on high, add 1 tbsp of warm water and continue blending until it does.
Form the Bars
To form the bars, line a small square baking pan with two strips of parchment paper so the paper sticks out either end. Once you’ve prepared the pan, dump in the dough and firmly press it to the pan.
Quick Tip: To get the bars nice and smooth on top, wet your fingers and use them to smooth out the surface.
Top with Chocolate
Finally, the chocolate topping! This is optional but recommended, of course! Melt some dark chocolate or dairy-free chocolate chips in the microwave or stovetop, then spread the it over the bars using a spoon or spatula.
Pop the entire pan into the fridge or freezer and let it sit until the chocolate has hardened.
Slice and Enjoy
The bars are now ready to enjoy, yay! Use the edges of parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board.
Before you slice the bars, here are a couple of quick tips to help prevent the chocolate from cracking:
- let the bars sit at room temperature for 10 minutes
- use a thin, sharp knife and heat it under hot water for 30-seconds before slicing the bars
- score the bars with lines before you slice all the way through
Slice the bars into 8 large bars or 16 smaller squares and store them in the fridge or freezer.
So, what makes these superfood energy bars? Well, every single ingredient in these bars adds its own host of health benefits ranging from essential fatty acids to protein, to various vitamins and minerals, to powerful antioxidants.
Plus, they taste incredible and are topped with chocolate. That alone is enough to give them a try! They’re easy to make in a food processor, no baking required and can easily be adjusted to suit whatever superfoods you have on hand.
More No-Bake Recipes
Here are some more no-bake recipes you’ll love:
- Chocolate Superfood Energy Balls
- No-Bake Oatmeal Bars
- Homemade Sesame Energy Bars
- No-Bake Granola Bars
- Apricot Chocolate Granola Bars
- 1 cup (150 g) raw almonds
- 2 tbsp (20 g) chia seeds
- 3 tbsp (26 g) hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp (14 g) ground flax seeds
- 3 tbsp (30 g) raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp (6 g) raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 cups (330 g) tightly packed, soft, moist pited dates
- 1/2 cup (90 g) dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
- Place the almonds in a food processor and blend into a coarse, grainy flour. If a few larger chunks are left behind, that’s totally fine.
- Add everything except the dates and chocolate chip and mix until broken down into a grainy consistency,
- Add the dates and process until it forms a thick, sticky dough. If the mixture is not sticking together, add 1 tbsp of warm water and process again.
- Line an approximately 7 x 7 inch square baking pan with two strips of parchment paper so they stick out the sides of the pan. Tightly press the dough into the pan. You can wet your fingers and use them to smooth the bars out.
- Melt the chocolate on the stovetop using a double boiler or in a microwave safe bowl in 15-second increments, stirring often.
- Evenly spread the chocolate over the bars using a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Place the pan in the fridge until the chocolate has hardened, about 20-30 minutes.
- Carefully lift the bars out of the pan and let sit at room temperature 5-10 minutes to allow the chocolate to soften slightly. Run a sharp knife under hot water for 10-seconds then dry and score the bars into 8 large bars. Slice into 8 bars. If desired, slice each bar in half so you have 16 squres.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months.
Almonds can be substituted with cashews, pecans, walnuts or any combination of nuts up to 1 cup total.
The 4 types of seeds are interchangeable up to a total of 10 tbsp. If you’re missing any, just work with what you have to reach a total of 10 tbsp.
It’s important to use soft, moist dates as they bind the bars together. If your dates are dry, soak them in hot water for 15 minutes then drain before using in the recipe. Medjool, sayer and deglect noor dates are all suitable.
Keywords: no-bake, superfood, healthy, snack
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on March 19, 2014. It was updated in March 2020 with new photos and text.