Looking for an easy sweet treat that is great for meal prep? These Coconut Date Bars are made with 6 simple ingredients! They come together quickly, and you can enjoy them as a healthy breakfast, dessert, or energizing snack at any time of day!
Any recipe that is no-bake and made with simple ingredients is a win in my book. And, like my No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls and No-Bake Granola Bars, these coconut date bars are also refined sugar-free and packed with nutrients. The perfect, wholesome treat!
Almonds, cashews, shredded coconut, and flax seeds contain healthy fats and fiber and get pulsed together to form the CRUNCH of the bars. They then get mixed with dates and almond butter to create a balancing chewy and soft consistency that is a match made in heaven if you have a sweet tooth.
Not only are they healthy, but you can easily customize them to your taste by adding your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or even chocolate chips to make them your own.
Enjoy them as a healthy part of breakfast, or bring them along to eat as a healthy snack when you’re on the go. No matter when you eat them, this simple recipe will definitely earn a spot on your healthy vegan snack rotation as a treat that both kids and adults will love!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Dates: Pitted dates make up the base of these vegan coconut bars. They allow all of the ingredients to stick together and act as a natural sweetener without refined sugar.
- Unsweetened fine coconut: You could also use coconut flakes, but I find that fine coconut works best with the texture of these bars.
- Almonds: This crunchy nut is packed with magnesium and gives these bars a light almond flavor.
- Unroasted cashews: Make sure to use unsalted and unroasted cashews, often labeled as raw cashews! They contain healthy fats and a slight hint of natural sweetness that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Almond Butter: Almond butter gives the date coconut and nut mixture a richly dense texture while adding healthy fats to the mix. I love to make my own almond butter, but you cal also use store-bought, as long as it’s 100% almonds.
- Flax seeds: Flax seeds are full of fiber and healthy Omega 3 fats. They add a light crunch and slight nutty flavor to this vegan treat.
How to make coconut date bars
- Prepare the baking pan: Lightly coat an 8-inch pan on all sides with oil, then place parchment paper on the bottom and sides. This will help to remove the bars easily.
- Process the nuts: In a food processor, add the almonds and unroasted cashews. Pulse at first, then process until they form a grainy consistency that is similar to coarse sand.
- Assemble the date coconut mixture: Once the nuts are processed, add the dates, coconut, almond butter, and flax seeds, and process the mixture until you reach a sticky dough consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula until everything comes together.
- Form the bars: Take the sticky dough mixture and place it in the prepared baking pan. Using your hands or a flat surface such as the back of a jar, press the mixture down until it’s even in the pan.
- Chill and set the bars: Once the mixture is in the pan, add it to the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours. You can also freeze them for 30 minutes if you’re short on time. This helps the bars set properly.
- Remove and slice: Once the bars are set, remove them using the help of the parchment paper so they come out in one piece. Then, take a sharp knife and cut it into 10 bar shapes to serve and store.
How to store coconut date bars
I love how these bars can be made in advance and stored for a while! They are the perfect quick snack to prepare for meal prep. You can store them in a ziplock bag or airtight container on the counter or in your pantry for 3-4 days.
Keep in mind that the oils in the almond butter can warm up at room temperature, making the bars sticky. To avoid this, store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, where they will stay set, solid, and fresh.
You can also freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Use parchment paper: It may be tempting to skip this step when preparing the baking sheet, but parchment paper is necessary to remove the bars easily.
Chill and set: Since the dates and almond butter become warm in the food processor, it’s essential to cool the bars down in the fridge or freezer before slicing and serving to get the correct consistency.
Use a sharp knife: Since dates are naturally sticky, using a sharp knife will ensure that the bars slice evenly without any mess. You can also coat the knife with a very light layer of coconut oil.
Adjust consistency: If you happen to find that the date mixture is not forming and is too dry, add one tablespoon of water at a time until your dough comes together into a sticky ball.
Variations & Substitutions
Roll into balls: Bars not your thing? Transform them into energy balls! Try rolling the mixture into 2″ sized balls and chill for a unique shape that’s easy to enjoy.
Change up the nuts: Almonds and cashews are a combination I love but feel free to use any nuts or seeds you enjoy including walnuts, pecans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
Add dried fruit: Dried fruit adds another layer of natural sweetness and a bit of tart flavor. Try adding in some dried cranberries, goji berries, raisins, golden berries, or currants.
Chia seeds: If you prefer chia seeds over flax seeds, simply replace them in the recipe or add an even mix of both nutrient-dense seeds. Hemp seeds are another great alternative.
Add a pop of citrus flavor: Adding some orange zest, lemon, or lime gives these bars a pop of fresh citrus flavor that makes a great easy breakfast.
What are the best dates to use for date bars?
I prefer using Medjool dates, as they are much softer and taste like caramel, but soft regular dates will work too.
Do I need to soak the dates?
For this recipe, there’s no need to soak the dates. However, make sure you remove all the pits before blending! You don’t want to find hard date pits in the mixture. Your teeth wouldn’t be happy!
Do coconut date bars freeze well?
Yes! Just make sure they have been chilled and cut into bars first. Then use a bit of parchment paper to separate each bar and place in an airtight or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months, and thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying them.
Why I love these coconut date bars
- Soft, chewy, and they taste incredible!
- The perfect sweet treat for a quick delicious breakfast.
- Or a great snack!
- Made with just 6 plant-based healthy ingredients and no added sugar in sight!
- Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- A whole batch lasts for a week in the fridge, making them great for meal prep.
More Vegan Snack Recipes
- Vegan No-Bake Granola Bars
- No-Bake Granola Balls
- Bounty Balls (Healthy Coconut Chocolate Balls)
- Frozen Chocolate Bananas
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls
If you try these hazelnut gingerbread man sandwich cookies, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
Coconut Date Bars
- Lightly oil an 8-inch square pan and cover the bottom and the sides with parchment paper. Make sure to leave a bit of excess paper to make it easier to remove the bars from the pan.
- Place the almonds and cashews in a food processor bowl and grind until they reach a grainy consistency.
- In the same bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until you get a sticky mixture.
- Transfer the mixture into the pan, and press it firmly using your hands or something flat like a measuring cup or a spatula.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or put in the freezer for 30 minutes until set.
- Remove from the pan using the extra parchment paper hanging from the sides, and slice into bars with a sharp knife into 10 pieces.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!