Homemade Double Chocolate Grain-Free Power Bars

by Stacy

Post image for Homemade Double Chocolate Grain-Free Power Bars

The two writing projects I have right now are this blog post (about chocolate snacks) and my newsletter for tomorrow (about non-food rewards). The ironic juxtaposition of the two topics is not lost on me.

But neither is chocolate.

So if you want to read about ways to improve your life, sign up for the newsletter (there’s a handy box in the right sidebar, or you can click here). If you want to read about ways to improve snack time, you’re in the right place.

making chocolate protein bars

I’ve wanted to make a batch of granola for a while, but it’s been too darn hot to turn on the oven. When I came across a recipe for grain-free dark chocolate peanut butter “granola” bars, I was intrigued.

Even better, I had all the ingredients and no baking was required. I was going to stick close to her recipe until I had a few ideas along the way. Like more chocolate.

making chocolate protein barsmaking chocolate protein bars

Instead of buying a protein bar chock full of junk, you can easily make these at home. I’d imagine it would be easy to shape them into little “bites” instead of squares if you’d like.

Whirr a bunch of nuts with a few pitted dates.

Melt together your sweet, chocolatey binder, then add to your nut mixture.

double chocolate power bars

double chocolate power bars

Stir well and pat firmly into a parchment-lined pan.

I sprinkled mine with protein-packed chia seeds and antioxidant-rich cacao nibs. The coffee-like bitterness of the cacao (and the salt I added to the original) helps balance all the sweetness.


double chocolate power bars

Pop the pan in the freezer and in 2 hours they’ll be ready to cut to size.

double chocolate power bars

Mine stayed in the freezer overnight, so using my bench knife was helpful (as was letting them thaw for a few minutes).

The good news is that my husband loved these. The bad news is that my husband loved these.

I’ll definitely be making them again. They’re reasonably high in sugar, but I feel good about them being unprocessed and full of good stuff. And they’re chocolate.

They’re grain-, gluten-, and dairy-free, but not truly vegan because of the honey. You could try maple syrup instead, or use agave or brown rice syrup if you don’t mind those.

double chocolate power bars

print recipe
Homemade Double-Chocolate Power Bars
A few pantry ingredients combine to make a decadent power-packed treat without any creepy chemicals.
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut or almond butter
  • scant 1/4 cup honey, preferably raw
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not cocoa mix)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia or hemp seeds
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
1.) Combine nut butter, honey, coconut oil, molasses, and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until combined. Add cocoa powder and mix until uniform. 2.) Combine almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and dates in a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand. 3.) Add the coconut, sunflower seeds, and salt, and pulse until the sunflower seeds are broken up. Add sesame and flax seeds and pulse a few times to mix.4.) Stir nut mixture and nut butter mixture together until uniform. Press firmly into an 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with chia or hemp seeds and cacao nibs, pressing them into the surface of the bars.5.) Freeze for 2 hours before slicing into squares with a sharp knife or bench knife. Refrigerate for 2 weeks or freeze for a few months, well-wrapped, and thaw before serving.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16 squares

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa October 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

These look wonderful! I love to have healthy snacks around during the workday (to keep me out of the vending machine!). These certainly seem like they would satisfy my cravings. I love that they are unprocessed, homemade, & require no oven! Hopefully the heat wave is over in SD! I’ll give these a try (likely with brown rice syrup) & let you know how it goes :)


Stacy October 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Thank you, Melissa! It’s not a ton of honey and I didn’t get much honey flavor, so I am pretty confident that substitution should work. But do let me know!


Charlie October 22, 2012 at 7:14 pm



Elle October 23, 2012 at 3:39 am

These look great! I think I’ll make them today with the kids. I don’t have molasses or coconut oil at home so I’ll have to use something else and I might exchange the honey for date-honey which I like more (I always do it in home baked breads).

By the way, regarding the rice syrup – I read lately that it is advisable not to use it at all because of the high levels of the poison arsenic found in rice.


Stacy October 23, 2012 at 8:11 am

It should be a fun one to make with kids! The molasses is totally optional (I like the flavor it adds) and butter or even olive oil would work just fine. Date honey sounds amazing.

I agree about the rice syrup, but I wanted to give a honey alternative for vegans. Sugar is a complicated issue when you combine environmental, health, dietary, political, and ethical concerns!


April April 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Hi Stacy,

I was wondering if there’s any reason why you couldn’t leave out the honey/sweetener altogether, or perhaps add a few more dates to make up for it. Thanks for your response!


Stacy April 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Hi April, there isn’t much liquid in them and they’re not terribly sweet. I would say a few dates plus maybe 2-3 tablespoons of water blended to make a paste might work? If you try it, report back!


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