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Healthy No Bake Snack Bars

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Hello Super Healthy Kid fans! I’m one of you… I adore Super Healthy kids and have been a longtime reader. With four very young children I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and great ideas on ways to feed them well. I blog over at Bless this Mess where I share a glimpse of our happy small town life, budding hobby farm, and lots of family friendly recipes. My most popular post is a two week clean and healthy meal plan that is very realistic and family friendly. I thought you all might enjoy it too!

Today I’m sharing one of our very favorite snacks- healthy no-bake snack bars. They taste a whole lot like a peanut butter cup and my kids love them. You can’t beat how easy, healthy, and simply they are. They also store great! These are a perfect lunch box treat. I also love having them on hand for those times I need a treat terribly but know that I don’t really need a treat. They are perfect craving busters.

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Don’t let the dates scare you. They are kind of an odd ingredient but very easy to find (I get Medjool dates at Costco) and are a great natural sugar. I promise you’ll never know that you are eating dates once they are all mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. Just don’t forget to take out the pits. The first time I used them I sure did and almost ruined my food processor! Date pits are hard as rocks. Oops.

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Thanks so much for having me and enjoy these simple but extra tasty bars.

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Healthy No Bake Snack Bars

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (I used natural peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt

Toss everything into a food processor and process until the mixture starts to go smooth and clump into a ball. The dates will be all chopped up but you'll still have bits of nut.

Turn the mixture out into an 8 or 9 inch square dish lined with parchment paper. Use your hands to firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the dish. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove the bars from the pan and cut into pieces using a sharp knife. Enjoy these bars cold or frozen. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.

Notes

I think a high power blender could be used to make these, but I haven't tried it myself.

This recipe was adapted and inspired by Almond Joy Bars from One Lovely Life

Print Recipe



102 Comments

Sarah

A Larabar with chocolate! I’ve had a non-chocolate version of these, and they are not only super yummy, but super easy to make. Can’t wait to add chocolate!

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Madi

I have made these without nuts. I just added extra coconut and flax seeds!! You could also use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. If you want to substitute with a different nut, pecans are a similar consistency and a suitable replacement for cashews.

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Raquel

I’ve made raw brownies that is a similar recipe and it calls for walnuts. However if you have a nut allergy you could try sunflower seeds maybe.

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catherine

yes, almonds and peanuts work really well. Pecans seem to be a little more oily so don’t use them.

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jp

PLEASE DO NOT Say that these are a lunchbox treat. They contain nuts. Most schools are nut,free.

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Jen

Awesome! I’m always perplexed, though, how snacks with nuts are listed as being perfect for lunch boxes… who has kids that go to a school that allow peanut/nut products? Shame, as there’s so many healthier treats I’d love to make but much of them can’t go with my kids to school.

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Darlene

I used WOW butter, the peanut butter alternative that is allowed in schools. I left out the cashews and used pumpkin seeds instead. Great!

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Lisa

My children’s school are not nut free. My sons elem school used to be but they changed it because they thought it gave a false sense of security for children with allergies because they simply could not guarantee it. They now will do peanut free zones if kids need them. These sound interesting:)

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I just made these, used peanuts instead of cashews because that’s what I had on hand. My family thinks they taste just like “Almond Joy.”

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misti

Thanks for the great recipe. My kids have gone to 3 different schools and none have been peanut free. So I think there are a lot of us that could send this recipe to school. Lots of different health concerns out there, no one person could have a recipe that would be perfect for everyone.

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Michelle

Looks yummy. Can I skip the cocoa? I’m allergic to chocolate :( any suggestions to substitute?

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Jenny

Where do you get this WOW stuff? I don’t know that my son would eat it as he already has developed a mental block against anything that tastes like PB because he has gotten sick on the real thing. So even when I tried sunflower butter, he didn’t want to eat it! I wouldn’t mid trying though!

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whitney

What can I use as a substitute for coconut? My daughter is very allergic. Thank you!!

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YF

Looks great and want to try ti! But what can I use to replace coconut? No one in my family likes coconut, thanks!

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Alana

I have family members that dont like coconut either. What would you suggest to replace the coconut in this recipe?

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Robyn

Would desiccated coconut also work (or something else?).
I don’t have any shredded.

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Danielle

I live in Manatee county in Florida and do not have one nut free school. I am sure the parents(or they should) know not to put these in there kid’s lunch boxes if not allowed. Also, you do not have to add nuts…there are plenty of substitutions mentioned. Have fun and be safe! :)

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Danielle

I live in Manatee county in Florida and do not have one nut free school.Come to think of it there are none in the next county over. I am sure the parents(or they should) know not to put these in there kid’s lunch boxes if not allowed. Also, you do not have to add nuts…there are plenty of substitutions mentioned. Have fun and be safe! :)

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Helen

We have something very similar in the UK called Nakd bars, they’re lovely :) (They also don’t taste particularly “date-y” ffor those concerned about the dates!)

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Lisa

Just made these. They are fantastic even my picky kid -the one who doesn’t eat nuts, coconut, dates-loved them. My daughter told him they were a healthy brownie and he loved them. Wondering if anyone has tried oats in them? Thinking they may taste like a no bake cookie with oatmeal:)

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Michal

Actually, lots of people. I personally live in a country where nut allergies are almost unheard of and kids get peanuts and sesame as first foods. ( the current science actually supports this- the earlier allergens are introduced the less likely allergies will develope).

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Sam

Most schools are not ‘nut free’ – PLEASE DO NOT tell someone how to write their own posts. If your kid has nut allergies YOU need to make sure that THEY and THEIR CARETAKERS know how serious it is for them to not come into contact with anyone else’s food. Otherwise YOU are being irresponsible in parenting because sooner or later they will walk out of your bubble and something terrible can happen. As a parent of a child with allergies you can’t act like no one else’s kid can have what your kid is allergic to. And don’t say kids don’t listen-kids that haven’t been taught to listen don’t listen.

BTW-They look delicious!

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Danielle

I live in Manatee county in Florida and do not have one nut free school.Come to think of it there are none in the next county over. I am sure the parents(or they should) know not to put these in there kid’s lunch boxes if not allowed. Also, you do not have to add nuts…there are plenty of substitutions mentioned. Have fun and be safe! :)

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krisy

Can I use raisins or sultana’s in this recipe instead of the dates…only because thats all I have on hand atm.

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Dani

My kids go to a school where the nut free moto is classroom specific. We so far have never had an issue and take peanut butter every single day.

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Cyndi

I used dried figs , cutting each in about 6 pieces before processing, and mixed in a Vitamix. They were fantastic, I liked that it has no added sweetner and is high in fiber. Perfect!

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Mother of five

People you don’t have to ask permission to switch things up in a recipe. It’s trial and error. You might like it even better! I just used what I had on hand. I substituted craisins for dates, almonds for cashews (because I like them better) peanut butter (because I was too lazy to whip up almond butter) left over colored and sweetened coconut from a birthday cake made for my son and I used my Vitamix because I don’t have a food processor. They turned out delicious! If anything they could have used bigger nut chunks like you would get using a food processor. But since I don’t have one next time I would throw in some chopped almonds at the end before I put them into the pan. A delicious after school snack. ;)

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bec

Yes I agree with and have read up on this too. Apparently you can also reverse nut alleges through very careful addition of minute quantities of nuts over a period of time. Wouldn’t advise this though without consulting the professionals.

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Gee Jay

Can you use cacao instead of cocoa? Or would this change the taste too drastically? Cocoa not so good for you!

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In Australia there are many nut free schools. Common sense must prevail. If your school is nut free – use an alternative. I am also a blogger and understand the complexities of sharing insights and recipes. Bagging the blogger can be demoralizing and is uncalled for. It is easy to add a positive message such as ” could you please suggest an alternative for nut free schools”
Thanks for reading my rant! Thanks for the recipe also – Bless This Mess :)

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danifaire

There is also a product called Biscoff that you can get at Wal-Mart that it DELICIOUS and replaced peanut butter for people with peanut allergies.

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Stacey

You could substitute WOW Butter for the peanut butter if it’s available in your area. I have made “peanut butter” cookies with the WOW Butter and they turn out great. Tastes just like real peanut butter only it’s safe to bring to school. My kids go to a nut-free school and it’s a big pain to try to find treats that don’t have nuts. If you don’t have WOW Butter, i’m sure there is another product similiar.

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Irene

These are great! Just made them, and bringing them to my in-laws as an after lunch treat. They are in the freezer (as i need to leave soon!) to cut down on chilling time, but I tasted the dough and they are delicious! I only had one cup of dates, so I added one cup of raisins. I also didn’t have nut butter on hand (and didn’t have time to make some) so instead I put in a banana! I put a little more cacao powder for extra chocolatiness :-) I love how this recipe is totally adaptable to individual tastes. I love playing with different ingredients! Maybe one time I’ll stir in some dark chocolate (70% cacao) chips….. Mmmmm!

Oh one thing, in case anyone else runs into this problem. Before putting the dates in the food processor, I usually will soak them for 15 minutes in warm water to soften. The ones I buy are usually soft already but I still do this as sometimes my food processor would stop because the dates got up into the blade shaft. I would have to clean it out, then try processing again. Not fun!

Thanks for the great recipe!

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Sherry Johnson

All schools across Canada are NUT Free! I need to substitute the nut butter in the recipe not just the nuts. Any suggestions. Actual suggestions and not the ridiculous debate about schools, thank you.

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Jenny

This looks fabulous. Could you suggest an alternate ingredient in place of peanut butter and raw cashew? I’m thinking flax seed powder instead of cashew. What could I use instead of peanut butter? Sunflower see paste? Or pumpkin seed paste? I’ve never made pastes of them? Would it work?

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Sherry Johnson

Irene, I would love your recipe… can you please post it? In Canada all schools and hospitals are nut free. If you wouldn’t mind posting your version, it would help me a bunch:D Thanks so much for posting:D

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Sandy

Try Nutiva Coconut Manna, Artisana Coconut Butter or an avocado. You are just trying to replace the fat in the recipe. Enjoy!

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Damama

We have Never had a nut free school. A few class rooms once or twice have asked to be careful but that is it. The have the allergy table where the kids eat. And if the allergy is bad enough to be air Bourne then the eat in the office. My kids have allergies to almost everything but nuts. So no one is taking that away too. But really if you have an issue with it anything can be subbed out. Sun butter and pumpkin seeds are great.

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Damama

My kids aren’t a fan of coconut (flavor and texture for my aspie) what would be a good sub for that. Also do these have a super date like flavor? They won’t eat health bars like kind or Lara bars. Thanks

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ewest2326

Sunflower butter is a great substitute for peanut butter. And honey plus oats could work well for the dates (or another dried fruit). Made some “energy balls” with similar ingredients and they were gobbled up. Oats, sunflower butter, honey, flax seed, chocolate chips (enjoy life brand is allergen free), coconut, and vanilla.

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Debbie Kraus

use wow butter if for a nut free school…. it is a not peanut healthy and natural substitution for peanut butter that can be sent to school.

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ewest2326

My kids don’t like coconut either, but if you get it chopped up very fine and let it sit with the other ingredients for an hour or so before forming, it’s not noticeable. My daughter thought they were nuts and loved it ;-)

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jane lewis

I would probably add some walnuts, hemp hearts, chia seeds and some jojobas … energy bars

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Crystal W.

Lol…I live in Canada and the school my kids go to is NOT nut free. Don’t be spreading lies! Check your facts. My kids take nuts and peanut butter to school. This recipe is fantastic! Don’t be a hatet!

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Leonie

Most schools are most certainly NOT nut free hahaha! How ridiculous! Fair enough, I’m in the UK, but I have never ever come across a school which is nut free. Or egg, or shell fish or anything else free for that matter.
If a person has an allergy, it is theirs or their care givers responsibility to inform the people who will come into contact with the sufferer, of the allergies. Why would you even say this??

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Natalie Myers

Actually, all schools in Canada are NOT nut-free…..why would you think that? “It is very important to note that Ruth King Elementary is not a “peanut-free” school. We believe this would instil a false sense of security and perhaps lessen the focus on careful management of a student with a severe allergy.” School District 62 British Columbia.

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jill

These are sooooo tasty!
I followed the recipe to a T, bit after refrigerating, they are crumbly. Should I add more nut butter? Not sure what I did wrong!

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jill

These are sooooo tasty!
I followed the recipe to a T, bit after refrigerating, they are crumbly. Should I add more nut butter? Not sure what I did wrong!

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I don’t think anything Jill- Maybe they just need to come up in temperature just a bit in order to be more pliable. I know Melissa says to eat them cold, but I like them at room temperature, and they always stay sticky.

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Margarita Vallejo

My granddaughter Veronica is allergic to any type of nuts. What else can I use.

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Hi Margarita-
Although, I haven’t tried it. Some of the commenters above have used wow butter (sunflower seeds)

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Chavah

Sherry… whenever a recipe calls for nutbutter you can usually substitute a sunflower or soybutter to go nutfree. I don;t know Canadian stores, but in the US, both of those substitutes are usually stocked right on the same shelf as the peanutbutter in the grocery store and are available even at Wal-Mart and places like that. Also, like people said above. If you want some crunch, but not nuts, go for some seeds.

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Julie

These look great! Will have to make the nuts more fine for me to be able to eat them myself. Thank you! My kids can take them to school. We are not a nut free school :)

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Melissa

Yes beck we were able to reverse my daughters allergy with the help of an immunologist I’m so happy as I love cooking with nuts :)

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Bridget

Are you suppose to add water or some kind of liquid to help your food processor? Maybe soak the date or something I missed. Mine will not chop these up. I think it’s a pretty nice food processor and I just about burned it up. Any suggestions!

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EVELINE MCNEIL

Cannot eat coconut, no matter how fine it’s chopped … what can I replace it with? thanks

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Bridget

Thanks. I believe the dates I bought were just too hard. Just bought from the bulk section at my local grocer.

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EVELINE MCNEIL

Cannot eat coconut, no matter how fine it’s chopped … what can I replace it with? thanks

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Bridget

Ok, I think mine must have been too hard. I have never used them before and didn’t realize there would be a possibility of that. My poor food processor is toast. Sounds like a great recipe.

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Catherine Simonelli

Just wanted to point out that dates have a TON of sugar (albeit natural)….so if you’re diabetic or concerned about sugar intake, I’d cut back on them to taste.
Thanks for the great recipe!!!

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Stac

I made these and they were a hit! We loved them, even my picky picky eater:). However, they did not stay together like I thought. They were a little crumbly. Any suggestions? Did I make them too thin maybe? I used almonds and almond butter.

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Stac- Glad you liked them. Starting with fresher, softer dates might help. The drier they are, the more crumbly it will turn out.
Also, making sure you leave it in the food processor long enough to be smooth.

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Andrea

Thank you so much for posting these, we love them! The only change we made was adding two tablespoons of unsweetened hemp protein powder. These are a perfect before/after school snack. I can’t stop eating them myself. Now we can stop buying the Pure organic bars since we are trying to avoid agave nectar, brown rice protein, and juice concentrates. These are a great substitute!

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