Chocolate Cherry Rx Bars
These Chocolate Cherry Rx Bars are a great way to show some love! They are rich, chewy, chocolatey, and super satisfying. Enjoy the taste (and benefits!) of chocolate, without all of the added sugar. Plus, they come together in just a matter of minutes at a fraction of what you’ll pay at the store. That’s a whole lot to love!
Why You’re Going to LOVE These Homemade Chocolate Rx Bars
Valentines Day is notorious for being about the chocolates and candy! And honestly, we’re not all the way opposed to that. In fact, I’m hoping my husband comes through with some real chocolate. However, turning your kids focus to heart healthy activities and delicious healthy treats is a great way to show them you love them!
You only need three main ingredients to make these Chocolate Rx Bars. Pecans, dates, and cocoa powder! Pecans are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber that can help keep you energized and satisfied. The flavonoids in cocoa can aid in cardiovascular health, digestion, and improves blood vessel function. Dates are high in fiber and help keep cholesterol levels normal.
So, let’s eat some pecans, cocoa and dates for our hearts, shall we?
Ingredients for homemade Chocolate Rx Bars:
- Pecans– we used pecans, but walnuts, almonds or cashews will work equally well here. Make sure you are using raw nuts.
- Dates– we used medjool dates, which are the most common and widely available. You can usually find them in the produce aisle.
- Cocoa Powder– we used regular cocoa powder. Dutch-process can be used, and will produce a darker, more intense chocolate flavor.
- Dried Fruits (optional)– if desired, you can add dried fruit! We added some dried cranberries to ours. Dried cherries, apricots, mango, or blueberries would also be delicious.
How to Make Chocolate Rx Bars:
- Soak your dates. This is important! It gets the dates good and soft so they will blend well with the other ingredients and create a mixture that you can press into bars. The best way to do this is to submerge them in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Check to make sure they are sufficiently softened. Dates that are slightly stale and harder might need 30 minutes. You can also microwave your dates in 10 second intervals. Check every time for softness and avoid overcooking.
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined. The mixture will look sandy, but when you touch it, you should be able to press it together and it will hold its shape.
- Shape as desired. You can press the mixture into a silicone mold, or shape into individual bars. You could also press the mixture into a parchment lined square pan, then lift it out and cut into squares. Make sure you really pack your mixture together when forming to ensure that it holds its shape.
- Chill for 30 minutes. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Tips & Suggestions:
- Boost the protein by adding protein or egg white powder.
- Top with flaked sea salt.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- Add coconut flakes.
- Add orange or lemon zest.
- Add mini chocolate chips.
How to Store:
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Place parchment paper between layers to avoid sticking.
You can play around with the nuts! Instead of pecans, you can use walnuts, cashews, almonds or peanuts. You can also do a mix of different nuts.
Don’t over process the mixture, or it will get gummy and lose the texture. If the mixture seems too dry, you can add water or coconut oil, one teaspoon at a time, until the mixture is able to be pressed together.
More Healthy Snacks to Try:
- Healthy No Bake Snack Bars
- 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Bars
- Chewy Homemade Granola Bars
- Homemade Protein Bars
Chocolate Cherry Rx Bars
- 1 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
- 16 medium medjool dates
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- In a small bowl, add your pitted dates and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes while you combine the other ingredients.
- In a food processor, add walnuts, cocoa powder, and dried cherries. Once the dates have softened, add them to the food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined.
- Shape into molds or form into bars. Put in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes. For an extra fancy touch, drizzle with chocolate.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
they look delicious. I really need to get a Vitamix! I think we’ll be making heart shaped muffins (use dry beans to form them)
Great idea! I’m going the less-homemade route and buying some Lara Bars and using my mini heart cookie cutter to just cut out the shapes 🙂 I won’t mind eating the leftovers either!
Where do you find dates? Are they fresh or dried?
These look wonderful!! Am I reading it right though- you DON’T chop the dates or anything, you leave them whole?
Amy and Natalie, thank you so much for regularly posting healthy and simple alternatives to the classic American over-indulgence. I have been a fan of your site for about a year, and though my husband and I don’t have kids yet, I am sure we will still be frequenting your website when we do!
I tend to fall off the healthy cliff about once a month and binge on brownies, today when I got that chocolate craving, I made these instead. I was surprised by how chocolatey they were! I thought they would taste more like a granola bar, but nope! I’ll definitely be making these again…
Sounds delicious! Yes- You need one!! I promise 🙂
Mmmmm… I have some favorite Larabars!
I get them in two places- Costco usually has them in their produce section. i also have a local store that sells them in their bulk bins. Also, check by the dried fruit (usually in your baking aisle)
Right!! I was surprised by this as well!! The dates were soft enough to mix with the nuts, without chopping them.
Thanks Claire!! I’m glad you liked these, and good luck with your future family 🙂
Can these be frozen? Thanks for the recipe!
We use good chocolate to start with, and then dip and swirl it to give it that finishing touch. You just dip it, let it set and then you’re ready to go.
can we use peanuts and rasains
Yes! that sounds great!
I attempted these but for some reason it’s dates covered in a powder mix. Was there something else I should of added? It’s not even close to looking like a “fudge”
Amanda- don’t use the dates covered in powder. See you if you can find some fresher ones. They should be soft and chewy and not coated with anything.
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We have a tree nut allergy in our house, do you think peanuts or sunflower seeds instead of the walnuts would be any good?
Would figs work as well as dates?
How cool! Not only do those chocolate hearts look delicious they are good for you too!
Carrie- I would try peanuts for sure! They would be a yummy peanut butter chocolate thing! Let me know how they taste!!
They are amazing!!!!! Delicious :)))) Thank you very much for recipe 🙂 I made a half of amount with cocoa and the second with carob. Both amazing 🙂 And I used much more dates (in dry version).
Here you’ve got our version of chocolates:
Best regards! 🙂
Love this recipe. So simple and fun even for adults. I enjoy finishing up my February cooking class with this perfect treat.