These cashew no bake energy bars are a lightly sweet healthy snack loaded with protein-packed nuts and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla.
Thinking back to ten years ago when Alex and I first started cooking, the food landscape in America was almost unrecognizable. We had never heard of quinoa. No one we knew ate kale. No bake energy bars hadn’t been invented yet. Heck, there wasn’t even Pinterest or Instagram. In 2010, we decided to start a website to record some of the vegetarian “real food” recipes we were making at home. At the time, not many people we knew were into cooking or real food. But gradually these ideas started to catch on.
What are Medjool dates?
Around that time I made my first raw brownies in our tiny galley kitchen, using a recipe adapted from the blog My New Roots. It was an “ah ha” moment for me, realizing how delicious the simple combination of Mejdool dates and nuts could be. (No sugar? No flour? This is incredible!)
What are they? Medjool dates are large, caramely types of dates that are used in fruit and nut bars and raw treats. That first use of them began a long love affair with all things no bake energy bars and bites. They’ve caught on like wildfire; you’ll see recipes all over the internet these days. And of course, a few companies have come along and become household names (Larabar!) using the simple equation of blending dates and nuts into a tasty treat.
A few other recipes with Medjool dates:
- Raw Brownies
- Superfood Pecan Energy Bars
- Cacao Nib Snack Bars
- Cherry Vegan Energy Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeyes
- Glowing Green Smoothie
- Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich
- Berry Brownie Yogurt Parfait
- Healthy Chocolate Milkshake
No bake energy bars: a whole food plant based (WFPB) treat!
When we started A Couple Cooks, never did I think it would be around for years. We started it with the raw passion of spreading the love of real food and the joy of home cooking. Most of my first posts were enthusiastically praising the flavor of foods I’d just discovered: kale, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, quinoa, and fruit and nut bars like these.
Never did I dream that in a handful of years, these foods would start to part of the American consciousness. And that terms like whole food plant based (WFPB) would become part of our lexicon. It’s been incredible watching people all over the country come to love the flavors of real food too.
How to make these no bake energy bars
So! Here’s a simple recipe for cashew no bake energy bars. Like many no bake energy bars, the recipe uses Medjool dates, the large variety with a caramel flavor that’s becoming common in grocery stores. Here’s how to make this recipe:
- Blend. In a food processor, combine the dates with cashews, almonds, cinnamon and vanilla. Process until a sweet dough forms.
- Roll. Spread the dough on a sheet pan and press it into an even layer. Use a small glass to roll over the top to make it perfectly flat.
- Freeze, then cut. Freeze for 15 minutes to set the dough. Then cut it into bars.
Pumpkin spice variation
The cinnamon and vanilla makes these no bake energy bars have a delicious, nuanced flavor that’s incredible satisfying! If it’s fall, you can also make a seasonal pumpkin spice variation on this bar that’s extra tasty. Simply substitute the cinnamon in the recipe with 1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice. It’s a cozy way to celebrate the season!
This no bake energy bars recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.Print
These cashew no bake energy bars are a lightly sweet healthy snack loaded with comforting pumpkin spices and cashews.
- 2 cups Medjool dates* (about 20)
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon**
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- Remove the pits from the dates. In the bowl of a food processor, add the dates, cashews, almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, kosher salt, and 1/2 tablespoon of water. Process until combined and a sticky dough forms, with large chunks of nuts.
- Spread the dough into an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Then use a glass to roll over the top to a uniform thickness, about 1/2 inch thick. Freeze for 15 minutes until set, then cut into rectangles.
*Look for Medjool dates, a large variety with a caramel flavor. Medjool dates are available in most mainstream grocery stores.
**For a pumpkin spice variation, substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice for the cinnamon.
- Category: Snack
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Fruit and Nut Bars, Energy Bars, Vegan, Gluten Free, Snack, Healthy Snack, Cashew Energy Bars
Looking for healthy snacks?
We reach for healthy snacks on the regular. A few of our other top healthy snacks:
- Vegetable Hummus Tortilla Rollups
- Homemade Za’atar Pita Chips
- 5 Ingredient Classic Homemade Hummus
- Chipotle Vegan Queso Dip
- Homemade Popcorn on the Stove
Looking for vegan recipes?
Vegan recipes are becoming part of our everyday, though we typically eat vegetarian. Here are a few of our recent vegan recipes:
- Creamy Vegan Pasta Marinara
- Homemade Sopes with Black Beans
- Simple Chickpea Curry with Tart Cherries
- Greek Nachos with Cilantro Drizzle
- Refried Bean Tacos
- Chocolate Brownie Spelt Vegan Pancakes
- Tart Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal
Last updated: January 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.