Vegan chocolate nut bars

I’m not much of a baker. I wish I was though. I have such an appreciation for bakers.  Baking is an art form, but it requires such a different skill set than “cooking” (at least in my mind). One is all about precision and accuracy, and the other is about creativity and being flexible.  Cooking is about trusting your instincts. Baking is about trusting a recipe. A precise recipe. That, I’m not so good at.

So most of the desserts I make are either someone else’s recipe, or they require no baking at all. Which is why I love this easy dessert. A handful of ingredients (that you most likely have), a food processor, and that’s it.  The result is a sweet treat that’s so decadent and delicious you’ll forget it’s even good for you (and required no baking ;).

There are so many things I love about these little nut bars.  But by far my favorite is how “chewy” they are.  The dates give the bars a great chewy texture that feels so rich and decadent.  I also like to make the bars pretty thick so it feels like you’re really biting into something.  

The sunflower seeds, combined with the coconut and the nuts give the bars a great texture too.  It’s chewy and crunchy, salty and sweet.  All of my favorite things, in one little square.  

Plus this couldn’t be simpler to put together.  I blended all of the nuts together in the food processor, and then blended up the dates and almond butter, combined everything together and then let it chill.  The hardest part is waiting for the bars to set.    

This is another one of those great recipes to get your kids involved too. Lillian loves helping me make these (and eating them too ;).  There are plenty of easy ingredients to pour and measure, and then of course there’s the fun job of smooshing it all into the pan and drizzling it all with chocolate! 

There’s nothing I love more than recipes we can all help make together, and that I can feel good about us all enjoying.  These vegan chocolate nut bars are a treat your whole family will love, and can feel good about too.  

For other easy vegan desserts, try this salted caramel coconut ice cream, or this vegan chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.

Vegan chocolate nut bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 18 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • ½ cup of almonds
  • ½ cup of cashews
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 8 dates chopped
  • ¼ cup of almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • ¼ of maple syrup, agave, or honey
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of shredded coconut
  • ¼ of sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup of vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, add the walnuts, almonds, cashews, and salt. Pulse for a minute, or until nuts are finely chopped (you want a coarse, mealy, texture, but not completely pureed)
  2. Once nuts are finely chopped, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add in the shredded coconut and sunflower seeds. Mix to combine and set aside.
  3. Next add the chopped dates, nut butter, maple syrup and vanilla to the food processor. Pulse for 30-60 seconds until a smooth consistency.
  4. Add the date/nut butter mixture to the mixing bowl with the chopped nuts. Working carefully, stir to combine. You may need to use your hands to help mix together, as the date mixture can be quite sticky.
  5. Then transfer the mixture to a parchment lined baking dish of your choice (I used a small baking dish about 6"x9"). Press the nut mixture firmly into all the corners of the baking dish, and then smooth out the top. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours (or more), until firm.
  6. Once the nut mixture has "set", pull it from the baking dish with the help of the parchment paper.
  7. Meanwhile, place a small glass mixing bowl over a small pot of boiling water (setting up a "double boiler"). Add the vegan chocolate chips and coconut oil to the glass bowl. Stir until the chocolate is thoroughly melted. Carefully remove the glass bowl from the pot of boiling water.
  8. Using a spoon drizzle a generous amount of chocolate over the nut bar. Place the nut bar back in the fridge and allow the chocolate to set, for about 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the fridge, slice into small squares, and enjoy!
  10. Bars can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

 

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