These Healthy Date Bars are the most healthy sweet treat ever, packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. If you are after a refined sugar-free dessert that takes less than 20 minutes to make, this date bar recipe is perfect for you.
Why Are Healthy Date Bars Great?
Medjool dates are amazing because of their high manganese content.
Manganese is one of these minerals we forget but that play an essential role in woman’s health and hormone regulation.
They are also high in vitamin C, iron and a natural source of fiber and sweetness.
Ingredients and Substitutions
All you need are a few ingredients.
- Medjool Dates – You can use other pitted dates, but Medjool dates are rich, thick and provide the best natural sweetness and caramel-like taste to these no-bake date bars.
- Cashew Nuts, almonds, or walnuts – any nuts will work very well.
- Almond Butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter.
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats – or use more nuts or shredded coconut if preferred.
- Vanilla Extract – for flavor.
- Salt – to supercharge the taste of chocolate and to decorate.
- Maple Syrup – While dates are sweet, the boost of sweetness from maple syrup gives the bar a candy-like taste. You can skip the maple syrup for almond milk or water for a naturally sweetened version of these healthy date bars.
- Dark Chocolate – I use plant-based dark chocolate chips.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is used to make a solid chocolate layer on top of the bars. It doesn’t bring any coconut flavor.
How To Make Healthy Date Bars
It’s so simple to make these soft, sweet date bars.
- First, place the pitted dates in a large mixing bowl and cover them with warm water or boiled water.
- Set aside for a few minutes until the dates are soft. Drain the dates, discard the water, and slightly squeeze them to remove any water trapped in their flesh.
- Blend on medium-high speed until the dates turn into a creamy date paste. It’s fine to have some chopped dates left in the batter. But you want the batter consistent, sticky, and easy to press into a pan. Also, it’s great if you can still see bits and pieces of nuts. You can blend the mixture longer. It depends on what you are looking for in terms of texture. I do like the bits and pieces of nuts in the bar.
- Line an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Slightly oil the paper with cooking oil spray.
- Pour the sticky date mixture into the pan and lightly oil your hands – or use a silicone spatula to press the mixture evenly in the pan.
- Place the pan in the fridge while making the chocolate layer.
- For the chocolate layer, add dark chocolate and coconut oil in a large microwave-safe bowl. You can also melt the chocolate in a non-stick saucepan
- Melt in 30-second bursts in the microwave, stirring between each time to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. When fully melted and shiny, it’s ready to pour over the date layer.
- Pour and spread evenly, then place the bar back in the fridge for 3 hours or until the chocolate layer is fully set. If you are in a hurry, pop the pan for 20 minutes in a freezer to set the bar quickly.
- I like to use 70% cocoa chocolate or 85% chocolate for a bitter flavor. Pick your favorite vegan chocolate chips or chocolate for this recipe.
- You can serve these dates frozen in summer for a delicious cold treat.
The next day, cut the healthy date bars on a chopping board using a long sharp knife. Cut it into 16 date squares and serve as energy bars, healthy snack, or dessert.
Serve plain or with a pinch of sea salt.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
You can also freeze date bars in zip-lock bags for up to one month and thaw them in the refrigerator the day before.
Below are some options to replace ingredients in this recipe if you need.
- Dates – You can also use pitted Deglet Noor dates, and pack them in a cup to measure the amount required by the recipe.
- Nut-Free – Replace the nuts with shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
- No Added Sugar – Swap the maple syrup for water, but keep in mind that the bottom layer won’t be as firm and sticky with water.
- Cashew-Free – Try walnuts, pecans, or peanuts.
- Gluten-Free – Use gluten-free oats or swap the oats for puffed quinoa, puffed rice, or cornflakes.
- Coconut-Free – You can melt the chocolate with avocado oil or olive oil, or peanut butter. If no oil at all, the chocolate layer is less soft and crunchier. Therefore, slicing with a knife without breaking is much more difficult.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are my answers to your most common questions about these healthy date bar recipes.
Date bars are healthy snacks that deliver sweetness but are also packed with fiber, vitamins, iron, and nutrients that refined sugar treats won’t provide.
Since they are high in fructose from dates, they are the perfect energy bars if you work out.
Many plant-based proteins bars use dates as a binder if the bars a unbaked.
It’s also a natural sweetener to avoid added sugar, plus it adds fiber that are filling.
Date squares must be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
They last for up to two weeks or can be frozen for up to one month in sealed bags.
Date squares are healthier than regular sweet treats but are still packed with calories, so if you are watching this goal, don’t eat more than one a day.
More Healthy Bar Recipes
If you like this recipe, you’ll love these other healthy bars.
Did You Like This Recipe?
Healthy Date Bars
- Line an 8-inch x 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Slightly oil with oil spray. Set aside.
- In a bowl, add the pitted dates, and cover with warm water. Set aside a few minutes until the dates are soft.
- Drain the soaked dates, discard the water, and squeeze them gently to remove any water trapped in their flesh.
- Place the soaked dates in a food processor bowl along with oats, cashews, vanilla extract, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt.
- Blend on high speed until it turns into a sticky paste with some bits and pieces of nuts.
- Press the date mixture in a single layer onto the prepared pan using a silicone spatula.
- Place the pan in the fridge while melting the chocolate.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, place the chocolate and coconut oil and microwave by 30 seconds burst, stirring between, until the chocolate is fully melted and shiny.
- Pour on top of the date bar mixture and spread with a spatula to cover the bar.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours, or pop 20 minutes in the freezer to quickly harden the chocolate layer.
- Slice with a long sharp knife into 16 date squares.
- Store in the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or up to one month in the freezer in zip-lock bags.