Snacks & Treats

Grain-Free No-Bake Energy Bars

Sep 10, 2015

No matter what kind of snacks your kids are into, they’ll likely go for a chewy granola bar.

I make these grain-free, no-bake bars by the panful to cut, wrap individually and tuck into backpacks and lunch boxes. They're quick to make and can be used as a blank canvas for any number of additional flavourings and ingredients.

They’re sweetened with dates and get protein and fibre from almonds or pecans (suitable if those types of nuts are allowed at school, of course).

You'll Also Love: No-Bake Oatmeal Bites

Medjool dates are the big, soft, meaty dates you find in the produce section of the grocery store. They have a rich brown sugar flavour. Open them up and pull the pits out with your fingers.

You Will Need

  • 1 ½ cups pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 ½ cups whole almonds and/or pecan halves (you can toast the nuts for extra flavour, if you'd like)
  • pinch salt

Optional Add-Ins

One of:

  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut and a bit of lime zest
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa, 1 tbsp. honey and a handful of mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dried cherries and ¼ tsp. vanilla


1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the dates, nuts and salt until well blended and coarsely ground—it should clump if you squeeze it together. If you like, pulse in your choice of flavourings and other add-ins.

2. Press into a parchment-lined 8 x 8-inch baking pan and refrigerate until firm, then cut into bars and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Alternatively, roll the mixture into small bite-sized balls.

Makes about 1 dozen bars.

Article Author Julie Van Rosendaal
Julie Van Rosendaal

Read more from Julie here.

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of six best-selling cookbooks (with a seventh due out this fall), the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One. She is a recipe developer, TV personality, food stylist and writes about food for local, national and international publications. She is perhaps best known as the voice behind her popular food blog, Dinner with Julie, where she documents real life at home in Calgary with her husband and nine-year-old son. Connect on twitter @dinnerwithjulie.


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