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No-Bake Energy Bar Recipe for Gluten-Free and Paleo Diets

Author:

Kim is a board-certified holistic health coach, healthy living and cleanse consultant, and studied under Dr. Andrew Weil and Walter Willet.

No-bake energy bars.

No-bake energy bars.

Energy Bar Recipe: Easy and No-Bake

I am not on a Paleo diet; however, I do experiment with a lot of Paleo recipes. I do intense workouts on a regular basis and train for races once in a while. You will find these energy bars in my gym bag instead of the commercially made energy bars. I love to eat whole, organic foods that are close to their natural sources.

These no-bake energy bars are loaded with nutritious ingredients such as dried dates, almonds, flax seeds, and cinnamon.

No-bake energy snacks can be made into bars or balls.

No-bake energy snacks can be made into bars or balls.

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

15 min

15 min

12 Energy Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (optional: regular cocoa powder)
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional: goji berries, dried cherries)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Put your pitted dates in the food processor and puree until they're smooth.
  2. Add coconut oil, cocoa powder, cinnamon, flax seed, and vanilla. Pulse a few times until they're combined.
  3. Add almonds and walnuts and pulse again. Depending on how fine you want the texture of the nuts, be careful not to pulse too many times.
  4. Stir in dried cranberries.
  5. Transfer the date mixture to a pan lined with wax paper. Press the mixture down with a large wooden spoon until they're about half an inch thick. Cover with Saran wrap and chill in refrigerator until they're hard. Cut into squares.

Tips for Blending Dates

Some of my readers have expressed concern with blending the dates. I used a high-power processor, such as the "Ninja," to blend the dates.

  • If you are having trouble getting the dates to grind to form a sticky paste, try adding the coconut oil in the first step.
  • Alternately, you can soak the dates in warm water to soften them.

Also, the dates should become a sticky paste that helps to hold the bars together. If you want a less sweet taste, just decrease the number of dates and add more coconut oil.

Health Benefits of Dates

Our ancestors ate wholesome, nutritious foods, and one of them was Medjool dates. Dates are very dense, keeping you full for a longer period of time. Some groups throughout history, leading lifestyle reminiscent of hunters and gatherers, relied heavily on dates.

If you've never considered adding dried dates to your recipes, start considering it now! A good organic date is just about the closest thing to candy that nature produces. Although they have more calories than most fruits, they make up for it by being an excellent substitute for heavily processed candy and snacks. When comparing ounces, they are a better choice.

Nutritional Info

More importantly, dates are fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and are loaded with fiber! All these factors are crucial to losing weight.

Dates also have the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Calcium: 32 mg
  • Magnesium: 36 mg
  • Potassium: 541 mg
  • Vitamin K: 2.2 mg

Dried dates do contain sugar, similar to eating raisins. They are still a better and healthier choice than the regular sugar in candy! Eat sensibly. One or two dates a day should be enough.

Can you imagine a caveman being overweight and sleep-deprived? In fact, the average Homo Sapiens was muscular agile, athletic, and very versatile.

Can you imagine a caveman being overweight and sleep-deprived? In fact, the average Homo Sapiens was muscular agile, athletic, and very versatile.

Why Paleo?

The Paleo diet, also known as the Paleothitic diet or caveman diet, is becoming increasingly popular among some people. You see, many thousands of years ago, before Red Bull drinks and Pop Tarts were invented, our ancestors survived as hunters and gatherers. Although there have been huge improvements with the types of foods that are now available to us, our genetics haven't changed much.

How did the Paleo hunter-gatherers maintain their energy and strength and stay sustained throughout the day? Well, they definitely didn't eat Powerbars or indulge in the processed foods that we are accustomed to!

Paleo Food Choices

They ate meat, fish, nuts, vegetables, seeds, eggs, fruits, herbs, and fats such as olive oil. Basically, they ate foods that were only available back in ancient times when refrigerators were not invented yet. Some people will argue that being on the Paleo diet is too restrictive. Oftentimes, it's about simplifying your food choices and eating foods that were originally given to us by Mother Nature and avoiding processed foods.

The whole idea is to keep things simple, and this no-bake energy bar is just that—and much more! It is also nutritious and packed with ingredients that will keep you energized and keep your sugar cravings from taking over.

Comments for No-Bake Energy Bar

annasmom on November 08, 2015:

Thank you for this recipe! I think I will include these in the gift baskets I make for the upcoming holidays.

Wayne from Gainesville , Florida on April 17, 2015:

thank you for the informative HubPage, I like to eat healthy and homemade is even better

Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on March 11, 2014:

Yum! I love this idea! Healthy, delicious and easy. What more could you ask for!

Wasteless Project from Worldwide on March 11, 2014:

Wow, that looks super yummie! And shall be tried at home asap! Thanks for sharing!

Jimmy Gent from California on March 11, 2014:

Thank you, I am going to make these and munch on them when gaming. This energy bar goody-goody treat looks much healthier than chowing down on protein bars. - Voted up!

Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on March 10, 2014:

Your energy bar recipe looks delicious! Years ago I read Eat Right For Your Blood Type, by Dr. Peter D'Adamo. Much of the content speaks to the benefits of eating like hunter-gathers. To say the least, when I adhere to the diet that corresponds to my blood type I lean out, have tons of energy, and overall feel extremely healthy. That said I look forward to making your energy bar recipe. - Thanks for sharing. ; )

breakfastpop on March 10, 2014:

I am looking forward to trying this recipe. I can tell that they will be delicious!

Reener5000 on March 02, 2014:

So yummy! I made these today and they came out perfect. I'm really excited I have a sweet treat. :)

Sarah Forester from Australia on February 24, 2014:

Looks really yum! Love the Hub.

Kim Lam (author) from California on February 22, 2014:

Thanks Cynthia for the tip on the black onyx cocoa! And yes, it's hard to stop with just one bite of theses snacks!! :-)

Cynthia on February 22, 2014:

I just made these. OMG I'm going to have to hide these from myself or I'll eat them all in one sitting. For those of you having trouble with blending the dates, put the coconut oil in first. I had no problems after that. I also used unsweetened black onyx cocoa. It's extra dark cocoa for those of us who like it DARK...100% cocoa. I actually bought a sample of date nut energy bars at Whole Foods today. They were good but these are better and less expensive per serving. I will make these again and again and again....

Kim Lam (author) from California on October 11, 2013:

Mmm dates and peanut butter or almond butter is a great combo! ;-)

CraftytotheCore on October 10, 2013:

These look amazing! I never had dates until I tried dates stuffed with peanut butter and rolled in powdered sugar. I ate an entire container once. I will definitely keep this recipe in mind to try in the near future.

Leena from new delhi on September 23, 2013:

I have extra dates lying around so will try this!

MonaC561 on September 05, 2013:

I have made something similar to this, minus the cocoa. I will definitely give this a go.

Kim Lam (author) from California on August 25, 2013:

Hi Fred, did you us enough dates or coconut oil? The dates and coconut oil are key to holding them together. I've never had them turn out crumbly so I'm not sure what went wrong. To fix it, try adding some liquid like water, more coconut oil, or orange juice (a little bit at a time) until it gets sticky. Or you could even add a bit of honey or maple syrup but that might make it too sweet. Let me know how if that helps!:-)

Fred on August 25, 2013:

I just tried making these, but the final result was very crumbly and wouldn't stick together. The taste is good, but what did I do wrong and now that everything is blended together, how would you suggest I fix it?

Kim Lam (author) from California on August 20, 2013:

Thanks Amy, I meant to write that "dates" are fat-free. I reworded it to prevent confusion. Thanks for pointing that out! I hope you enjoy the recipe tomorrow! :-)

Amy on August 20, 2013:

Great recipe I will be trying it tomorrow. Not sure if anyone else posted this but this recipe can't be Fat Free if it has coconut oil in it since one tablespoon of coconut oil has 14 grams of fat. Just fyi.

Kim Lam (author) from California on July 31, 2013:

Thank you Brenda! Your paleo followers will love them! I appreciate your support. ;-)

brenda12lynette from Utah on July 31, 2013:

These look wonderful!! Voted up and shared on Pinterest so all my paleo friends can try them! I love that there is no sugar but still chocolate :)

Chantele and Julie from Wales on July 20, 2013:

I keep seeing these no bake date balls everywhere, I will have to try making them as they look yummy and would be really good for my diet!

Kim Lam (author) from California on July 09, 2013:

I'm so glad to hear! Thank you for sharing!

Mukwasma on July 09, 2013:

I just made these bars and they are delicious. My daughter is visiting and I got her to try them...She loves them!!!

Kim Lam (author) from California on April 03, 2013:

Awesome! Love the combo. High quality salt works with chocolate and depending on your personal health concern, of course tailor the recipe to that.;-) Thanks

KB on April 03, 2013:

I omitted the cinnamon, vanilla, and cranberries; and added two tablespoons of chia seeds, soaked in 8 tablespoons of water. YUM! Also, the only almonds I had where roasted + salted...I know you mention above you wanted a low-sodium recipe, but I think the combo of chocolate and salt is too good. Thanks for the recipe!

Brenda from Springfield, MO on March 25, 2013:

Thanks for the recipe. I need something i can just grab and go in the morning and this sounds really good. Voted up and shared.

SoCurious from Northern Virginia USA on March 25, 2013:

I make similar bars often and they are fabulous! When I have a sweet craving, I eat one of these bars and the craving goes away. That's pretty valuable! I have never added coconut oil. That's interesting. Often, I root around in my pantry to see what I've got to include with the dates. I've used pecans, dried apricots, pomegranates, cherries, almonds, walnuts and Chia seeds. I recently found some dried blueberries and have used them. Yummy. To those who are worried about the sugar in dates, I respond that the sugar is unprocessed and the dates are alkaline, something my body needs.

melo7o7 on March 23, 2013:

I made these bars & they are awesome!!

Kim Lam (author) from California on February 20, 2013:

Hi Jaye! I definitely appreciate your concern and no, you did not damper my article at all. When I wrote this, the audience I had in mind were Paleo-eaters and athletes, particularly Crossfit. Dates are definitely high in sugar and I would never recommend them to anyone who are not as active, or have diabetes and other health conditions. They are however, a better alternative as a source of energy for people who are consistent with more strenuous exercise.

Thanks for the input and I will definitely add a side note with your suggestion! :-)Take care! In health, Kim

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on February 20, 2013:

Your recipe and photos make my mouth water, but dates are one of the high-sugar fruits I avoid. I can get plenty of fiber from low-sugar fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Dates and figs are some of the highest-sugar fruits available, and dried ones are even more so because, with the water removed, the fructose (which, make no mistake, is SUGAR) is in a highly-concentrated form. The fiber and calcium in dates does not cancel out the high-sugar (fructose) in the fruit.

There's almost an epidemic of diabetes around the world, and many people are insulin-resistant, or pre-diabetic. While sugar of any type doesn't actually cause diabetes, regularly consuming high-sugar foods (which becomes a habit) is not a good idea because it plays havoc with your pancreas' processing ability. This might not be the case with someone who runs miles daily and regularly participates in strength-training and marathons, but how many people does that describe?

Make no mistake--I love dates and would love to eat them if I didn't realize they are not really good for me. And, just like the potato chip commercial--who can eat just one?

The other ingredients are healthy ones, and organic coconut oil is considered a "good" oil with health benefits. If you could substitute more cranberries for the dates and modify the recipe, it might become a healthy snack choice.

Sorry to throw a damper on your hub, but anyone who might be at risk for insulin-resistance syndrome, pre-diabetes or diabetes should know that dates are high-sugar (fructose) fruits, and there are other fruits that are better for them.

Kim Lam (author) from California on January 07, 2013:

thechelseascrolls- you're absolutely right. Thanks for commenting! :-)

Better yourself- I hope your niece likes them! Thanks for stopping by!

Chelsea Schuyler from New Orleans on January 06, 2013:

Delicious. Definitely. But do keep in mind that dates are extremely high on the glycemic index. Higher than glucose itself. So you're recommendation of only 1 or 2 a day is a good one. No binging on these tempting bars!

Better Yourself from North Carolina on January 06, 2013:

Love this! My niece is allergic to gluten among many other things so we are always looking for new ideas to make tasty food for her. Can't wait to try, thanks for sharing!

Grace D. from Missouri on January 01, 2013:

These look great, they will be a perfect addition to my diet. Great hub.

Kim Lam (author) from California on December 30, 2012:

Thanks Missy + KDeus - I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. :-) Take care

Missy Mac from Illinois on December 30, 2012:

I was contemplating making some granola bars; however, these no bake bars look great. I love eating healthy snacks.

Keely Deuschle from Florida on December 27, 2012:

These look delicious! Will definitely try them! Voted up and pinned!

Kim Lam (author) from California on December 09, 2012:

I hope you like them! :-)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 09, 2012:

These bars sound delicious, Turtlewoman! I love making raw foods like energy bars, so I'll definitely be trying these. They are a much healthier way to boost energy than some of the options in stores!

Kim Lam (author) from California on November 28, 2012:

Thank you Kris, I appreciate your comment. Please do come back and let me know how the recipe turned out. Thanks!

Kris Heeter from Indiana on November 18, 2012:

Thank-you for sharing this recipe. Our co-op sells something that sounds quite similar and I love them. I've been hoping to find a recipe that I could try at home and this sounds like a winner. Thanks for sharing it and I'll definitely be giving this a try!

Kim Lam (author) from California on November 14, 2012:

It's difficult to be allergic to soy and dairy...fortunately there are many recipes nowadays...hope you like this recipe! Thanks A r F!

Allison on November 14, 2012:

I will have to try these! I have allergies to soy and dairy, which does not leave many options in terms of snack foods. These look delicious though. And healthy! Thanks for the recipe.

Greg on November 12, 2012:

Like Ford, I had lots of trouble with the initial step... I think I may have ruined my food processor/blender. Anyone able to report back on the various methods suggested to make the initial step easier? I'm afraid to try again...

Kim Lam (author) from California on November 05, 2012:

Thank you, salbi9! Hope you like them.

Chuck Malhab from Canada on October 31, 2012:

I didn't know that the energy bars are high in calcium. I was trying to stay away from them, but now I'm sure I'm going to give them a try. thank you

Ford on October 07, 2012:

Regarding the stiff date mixture, I will try a batch today but will soak the dates briefly in hot water and chop fine before processing. These are insanely good!!!

Kim Lam (author) from California on October 05, 2012:

Happy Sydney- You're welcome! Pumpkin seeds are soooo delicious. Thank you for sharing that idea!:-)

Kim Lam (author) from California on October 05, 2012:

Hi Ford! You can add a bit of water or coconut milk, maybe 2 tablespoons to start with...and blend it at the same time as the dates. Another option is to increase the coconut oil. Don't worry about adding too much coconut oil- it's a good type of fat, with many health benefits.

Let me know how it turns out please! Thanks for stopping by! :-)

Ford on October 04, 2012:

Because the dates are so sticky, my food processor has a tough time blending them smooth. I wind up with a ball, not a paste. The coconut oil loosens it up a bit, but then come the nuts. Any advice? They are incredibly good - I gave samples to a couple of friends and they were amazed.

Happy_Sydney on September 25, 2012:

I just made these bars last night using your recipe and they are absolute HEAVEN! It's like dessert for me. They are so chewy and nutty and delicious. I love that they are gluten free, processed sugar free, and full of protein and fiber from the nuts.

I did alter it a bit, though--I don't have a food processor, so I used my blender and a little bit of water to get it to a chunky consistency. I also topped the bars with some salted roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a little more crunch. THANK YOU for sharing your recipe. I love them!

Kim Lam (author) from California on August 18, 2012:

Haha Will, I don't share either. These treats can last up to 3 weeks in my fridge. Make sure that you keep them in a tight container. Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy!

Will on August 18, 2012:

Thanks for the receipe. I was just wondering how long would these bars last in the fridge? If I make 12 bars, will they last 12 days? or is the idea to maybe have 2 a day over 6 days? As you can guess, I am not sharing these ;-)

Catherine Dean from Milledgeville, Georgia on August 13, 2012:

I love dates! One of my favorite foods. I will try this recipe. It looks delicious. Voted up.

Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on August 08, 2012:

Great tasty idea voted up and shared.

Kim Lam (author) from California on August 06, 2012:

NStevenson- you're welcome! I'm delighted to hear that you and your husband enjoyed the recipe!:-)

NStevenson on August 06, 2012:

Thank-you so much for this recipe, despite not really liking dates, I gave this recipe a go. Im absolutley loving the entire combination, plus my husband loves them too.

EasyPaleoMeals from New York on July 10, 2012:

Wow, great recipe and a great Hub! Really appreciate all of the nutritional info. Tons of detail and well written!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 19, 2012:

You're too sweet toomuchmint, thank you for the kind comment. :-)

toomuchmint on June 19, 2012:

Turtlewoman, you never cease to amaze! These look absolutely delicious and they're so easy to make. I could definitely use them to replace my daily pop tarts. Thanks!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 10, 2012:

Yes, although you can't tell the recipes I publish!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 10, 2012:

Thanks Vespa, sounds like we have similar pantries ;-)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 09, 2012:

This sounds delicious and I have all the ingredients in my kitchen! I'm looking forward to trying them...thank you!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 08, 2012:

Melovy- You're welcome! Hope you like it! :-)

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 08, 2012:

Thanks SS- I had the same thoughts about Paleo, until I tried some of the recipes. It seems to be getting more and more popular- especially with people who do Crossfit. I don't think I can ever do a strict Paleo diet...love my dairy too much! But everything else is yummy and healthy.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such awesome comments! :-)

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on June 08, 2012:

I was pretty dubious about the Paleo diet when I first heard of it, but I'm starting to see why it has not faded out like a lot of other fad diets.

This energy bar looks pretty good! I love it when folks make stuff like this at home. What an awesome recipe- and your photos are awesome!

Yvonne Spence from UK on June 08, 2012:

These look really good. I love dates and all those other ingredients so I’m definitely going to try these out! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 07, 2012:

Amen! :-)

Thanks for visiting jp. My garden is gonna be "small" this year:-(... But luckily there are many farmer's markets in the area!

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on June 07, 2012:

The word No in No bake makes a lot of difference. The simnpler the recipe the better. I believe the less processing is better. Our food now has ingredients that i can't even pronounce. So when possible, i cook my own food and get ingredients from my garden.

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 07, 2012:

Thanks Marcy, they're definitely more expensive at the store.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on June 07, 2012:

These look so delicious! What a great idea - making energy bars from scratch! They cost a fortune if you buy the ones in nutrition stores or wherever, and you can't control the ingredients. These look easy to make and all-too-tempting to eat!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 07, 2012:

Thanks Dorothy!

Nare- Absolutely! Honey would work too! Just make sure its raw, pure honey. ;-)

Amy- I have a feeling your son would like them since they're sweet, but still healthy. ;-) Thanks for the kind comments!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 07, 2012:

Techygran- you're too funny. Thanks for pinning! Take care.

Melchi-you're welcome :-)

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 07, 2012:

Wynnestudio-that's awesome! Good luck on your fitness journey. These date bites can help you tame the sweet tooth. Let me know how it goes!

wynnestudios from Phoenix, AZ on June 07, 2012:

I'm about to embark on a fitness journey and found this recipe pretty simple and straight forward. I'm not sure if I like dates or not, so I will have to give this a shot. I like the idea of not having to bake the bars and it makes many servings without the high cost of store bought bars. Of course these are better for you as well!

Amy Gillie from Indiana on June 07, 2012:

The pictures are beautiful - lots of fine detail! And I want to try these. I think my son would love to help in making them!

Nare Gevorgyan on June 07, 2012:

Really interesting. Here in Armenia we also add some honey :)

buckleupdorothy from Istanbul, Turkey on June 07, 2012:

YUM! Voted up and shared!

Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on June 06, 2012:

Ooh, these look yummy! Thanks for sharing :)

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 06, 2012:

I just love these bars-- but consume a little more than my fair share of energy when I make them here. Beautiful post! I'm going to be pinning these photos- they're mouth-watering! Voted up!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 06, 2012:

Hi Natashalh- Ahh...one of the kitchen equipments that I can't go without. That and the blender! Thanks for stopping by!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 06, 2012:

DzyMsLizzy- Oh my, sorry to hear about your sensitivity to fiber. Sometimes you can't have too much of a good thing. You're right, grab-and-go breakfast foods are the best. I usually double my breakfast recipes and store them! Speaking of Pop tarts, I have a recipe hub for homemade ones too..if you want to pass that along to your daughter. ;-) Thank you so much for sharing and for your support! Take care!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 06, 2012:

Hi prospectboy& Kelley- thank you for sharing! :-)

Hi Daughter of Matt- thank so much for reading and commenting. If you're looking for more energy snacks, I have another recipe hub on a baked version of bars without the dates. It has rolled oats and other healthy goodies. Enjoy!

Natasha from Hawaii on June 06, 2012:

This seems totally awesome. Now, if only I still had a food processor. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I will come back to it as soon as I buy a new food processor and can make i.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on June 06, 2012:

Sounds delicious, but I would not DARE eat anything that dense in fiber--my system is way too over-sensitive to the stuff. Unfortunately, I am into pop tarts for a quickie breakfast, as I don't like to stop to prepare food in the morning. If it's not grab-and-go, I do without. I so wish I'd be able to eat these bars. Enjoy one for me, will ya?

However, I'm passing this recipe on to my daughter--she's into all that healthy stuff...even uses ground up nuts, whole wheat flour, flax seeds, etc to make her oatmeal COOKIES!

Voted up and shared.

Melissa Flagg COA OSC from Rural Central Florida on June 06, 2012:

Oh this is an amazing recipe! I can't wait to try it! I've been looking for a good energy snack, and this is just terrific. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Voted useful, awesome and shared.

kelleyward on June 06, 2012:

This looks like a great energy booster! Love the pictures also. Voted useful and shared! Take care, Kelley

Bradrick H. from Texas on June 06, 2012:

Very nice hub. The energy bars look delicious, and the fact that they're a better option than the standard ones in the stores seem to be an added bonus. Very interesting indeed. I'm sharing this hub on both Twitter and Facebook.