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Almond Joy Bars (Vegan, Paleo)

Almond Joy Bars – These energy bars are a hit with kids and grownups! Made from simple ingredients like coconut, almonds, dates, and cocoa, they’re gluten free, vegan, paleo, and totally delicious!

Almond Joy Bars // One Lovely Life

Sophie started special needs preschool yesterday. It went so, so, so much better than I thought it might. Truth be told, it seemed to be harder for Milo than Sophie. His sad little voice whimpered “Suffee ah schoo-woh” the whole drive home and off and on the whole time she was gone. Her teacher said that she had one meltdown, but did beautifully otherwise.

I was just so happy to have her run into my arms at the end of class and exclaim happily “Mom! You came back!”

Almond Joy Bars // One Lovely Life

With the start of school upon us, I’m kicking up our snack rotation, since our morning snack needs to hold Sophie over from her 6:30am breakfast to her 12:30pm lunch. These almost-Larabars are great. Neither of my children likes nuts much unless they’re smooth or undetectable. I’ve found these bars are a great choice for snack–protein, naturally fruit-sweetened, an antioxidant boost from the cacao, and healthy fat from almonds and coconut.

In case you’re not sure about dates, I can assure you they’re not as scary as you think! I’ve got several recipes that use them. Chocolate Cherry Torte bars, Blueberry Energy Snack Bars, Pistachio “Truffles”, and Vegan Fudgy Bars.

Almond Joy Bars // One Lovely Life

Notes on the recipe:

  • I love these cold, but they’re even better frozen, if I do say so myself. Enjoy them as you will!
  • We make this recipe in our food processor (I like a little bit of texture, as seen here), but if you have a high-speed blender, you can use it to get a more velvety finish.
  • I find Medjool dates at Costco in bulk, or at Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have allergies or food sensitivities, many health food stores sell them in bulk bins. They can be cheaper this way, as you can buy exactly what you need.
  • I use finely shredded unsweetened coconut here (Let’s Do Organic brand, purchased at Target), but if you can only find the large coconut, you can just plan on processing a bit longer. Bob’s Red Mill is another brand of unsweetened coconut. You can certainly use sweetened, if that’s all you can find or that’s what you prefer.
  • Whole30 Note: Larabars are not highly encouraged on Whole30, but they are an acceptable snack as needed. All ingredients are clean, minimally processed, etc.

Almond Joy Bars // One Lovely Life

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Almond Joy Bars // One Lovely Life

Almond Joy Snack Bars


  • Author: One Lovely Life

Description

These energy bars are a hit with kids and grownups! Made from simple ingredients, they’re gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and totally delicious!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups pitted dates (I use Medjool)
  • 1 cup almonds (I use sliced)
  • 1/23/4 cup finely shredded coconut (I use unsweetened)
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/41/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender and pulse or blend until very smooth and the mixture comes together in a big lump.
  2. Press mixture out into an 8×8″ pan lined with parchment. I use a mini-roller to get it extra smooth, but hands and fingers work just fine. Refrigerate 15-30 minutes to firm up a bit, then slice into squares or rectangles to serve.
  3. Bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week or 1 month in the freezer.

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28 Comments

  1. I am totally making these today! I have some dates in my pantry just waiting for the perfect recipe. Thanks!

    1. You could use almost anything with the dates to get different flavor “larabars”. I’ve used Sunflower Seed Butter (Sunbutter). You could use the actual seeds for texture. You could also try pepitas or other dried fruit.

    1. Terra – I haven’t calculated the nutrition facts, but you can plug the ingredients into an online calculator for an estimate. I’ve had good results with the SparkPeople calculator.

  2. Hi! I am trying to make these but im finding its not becoming moist enough to make into a clump. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Nyssa – Your dates might be a bit dry. In the future, you can soak your dates in a little water for 10-15 minutes before making the recipe. If you still want to save your future batch, a few drops of water in the running food processor should do the trick. Or, you can roll them into little balls for energy bites instead of rolling them out into bars. Hope that helps!

    2. I had the same problem with the dryness. I added about 4 T to the mix while processing and they came out great!

    1. Vonnie – I’m glad they sound great, but I definitely think the recipe is far from useless. I dedicate my time and energy to developing these recipes for families dealing with food allergies, intolerances, and tight budgets, and that’s been my focus for the last three years. They’ve been life-changing for my family and have had an impact on many other families in the same position.

      I’m not a dietician or nutritionist, and since I provide these recipes free to you, I’m unable to provide nutrition facts for each of my recipes, since nutrition software for blogs is outside my current blogging budget.

      As always, you are welcome to calculate your own nutrition facts using any online calculator. My favorite is the one from MyFitnessPal (either the free app or the website). You can even import recipes from blogs and websites! It will be able to break down the macronutrients, calories, etc. in a way that will help you as you plan your meals and snacks.

      Wishing you a happy day, and best of luck as you move forward!

      1. Thank you for your recipes!! My daughter couldn’t tolerate Milk as an infant and toddler. She has since grown out of that, but my newest edition now has the same issue. However, your blog was suggested to me by a friend who worked at FAAN when I was looking for snacks to share with our play group and Rhyme Rythm and Motion class – as there is one girl with blueberry and corn allergies. This recipe has been a hit with both!

        1. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this note! You made my day!

          Best of luck with your newest sweet baby and here’s to many more happy snack times to come!

  3. I made this for the first time yesterday and substituted the almonds for raw cashews. However the bars are so crumbly that it’s just crumbs in the bottom of the pan. Wrong substitute perhaps? Is there anyway of rescuing them as my granddaughter just loves what she can shovel into her mouth. 🙂

    1. Julie – I’m sorry you had trouble with them! Sometimes the dates are too dry, and you may want to add a tiny bit of water. It should help bring things together for you! Hope that helps!

  4. Thanks Emily.. In thinking about it, I think the dates WERE a bit dry… I will put it all back in the bowl, add a bit of water and try again. Thank you.. the mixture is AMAZING! 🙂

    1. Oh, I’m SO GLAD! Next time, you can soften the dates a little in a few Tablespoons of warm water beforehand (drain the water before adding the dates to your recipe). Otherwise that “add a little water at the end” trick usually does it for me 🙂

      Wishing you all the best!

  5. SO delicious. Made these today and decorated with goji berries on top!! 5 stars! The consistency for perfect!

  6. Soak the dates overnight then peel them. They have more moisture I also soak figs and have a few with ground nuts for breakfast You can also put a few into a blender with milk of your choice for a nice drink. I like warmed goat milk. Date bars and balls are good for take anywhere and eat anytime snacks. I would substitute carob powder. Some people cannot have chocolate. Hot carob drink is very good too instead of hot chocolate.

  7. This is a FABULOUSLY USEFUL recipe and so easy to modify! I just made them with raw cashews. I added some cinnamon. My dates were a little dry, too, so I added some black coffee instead of water and they are DELICIOUS! Thank you!!

  8. I was getting ready to drive to my local donut shop and decided to make these instead. I didn’t have almond extract so I used vanilla extract, added a little coconut butter, used 1/2 cashews & 1/2 almonds and a little water and OMG-they were fabulous! Unfortunately I forgot to pit the dates first-so I had to fish them out of the mixture afterwards and just ended up making energy balls. Thanks for this quick, easy and delicious recipe.

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