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No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Brownies (Bars)


Whether you call them brownies or energy bars, you will definitely call these dark chocolate treats pure bliss!

We go through a lot of power bars/granola bars/ energy bars in this house, and I’m at the point where I no longer want to buy another, especially when homemade ones are profoundly more delicious, nutritious, and cost-effective.

Granola bars and energy bars are a breeze: an amalgamation of whole grain cereals, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and some “glue” (nut butter, natural syrup such as honey or maple syrup, etc.), a quick press into a cake pan, and you’ve got tasty bars. Even the flops that don’t stick together make delicious trail mix.

But what about a dark chocolate brownie bar? I had several requirements: (1) must taste like chocolate, not chalk-let; (2) must be all-natural; (3) must have no refined sugar (I am hyper enough as it is); (4) must have a significant amount of protein (i.e., more than the 3 to 5 grams in most homemade bars).

Mission accomplished.

Better still, the bars require no baking, can be enjoyed by meat-eaters, vegans, and raw foodists alike, and, the most important requirement for anything and everything I make and share here at power hungry, they are undeniably delicious. They are a lot like lara bars, but  in super-chocolate form.

A few notes before you give these a try. If you’re new to the world of raw food, the step for soaking the almonds may sound odd and/or unnecessary. But it has a specific function: soaking nuts makes them easier to digest and allows for greater absorption of the nutrients within. Click here to read more. From a cook’s perspective (that would be me :)), soaking the nuts makes these bars more “brownie-like”–much like the consistency of raw chocolate cookie dough.

These carry the toddler (Nick), weight-lifting husband (Kevin), and pilates/yoga/running/aerobics-instructor/chef (moi) seal of approval. Enjoy!



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No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Brownies

  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 12 brownies 1x


Easy, 4-Ingredient, no-bake brownies! They taste like pure decadence, yet they are also loaded with good-for-you nutrients!


  • 2 cups raw almonds (skins on)
  • 1 pound pitted soft dates
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao powder OR regular unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Place almonds in a medium bowl. Fill bowl with cold water (preferably filtered, but tap is fine) to cover the almonds. Let the almonds soak for 3 to 4 hours. Drain the almonds and pat dry with a clean dish cloth.
  2. Pulse almonds in food processor until finely ground. Add the dates and pulse until finely chopped and the mixture begins to resemble a thick “dough”. Add the cocoa powder. Process until blended. Add a few drops of water, as needed, if mixture appears dry.
  3. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with foil (trust me, it makes it so much easier to remove the bars). With wet hands, press the bar mixture into the pan. Place in the freezer for at least an hour. Cut into 12 bars. Wrap each in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator (they need no refrigeration when packed in a lunch or gym bag).


An equal amount of cashews walnuts, pecans, or pepitas can be used in place of the almonds.

  • Category: Dessert, Power Bars


  • Serving Size: 1 brownie
  • Calories: 256
  • Sugar: 27.6 g
  • Sodium: 48 mg
  • Fat: 12.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.5 g
  • Fiber: 6.7 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Fruit Seed & Nut Power Bars (Paleo, Vegan, Grain-Free)
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Thursday 27th of June 2013

I have a son who is a very picky eater. He LOVES cliff bars but they get expensive. I can't wait to try this recipe. BUT I do have one question. I cannot eat almonds. Can I substitute walnuts or pecans or anything else? Would I soak those too? Thanks! I will make these for my son either way! Lori


Thursday 27th of June 2013

Hi Lori! I completely understand--my 6-yr old son is also picky! Absolutely, you can do any other nut. You can also do seeds--I do sesame seeds (raw or unsalted roasted ones)--they are so much cheaper than nuts, super nutritious, and really tasty in the bars. Since you mentioned your son likes Clif Bars, I wanted to make sure you saw two more of my posts: one for homemade Clif Bars, the other for my Zee Bar Cookies (my take on the Clif Bar Zee Bars for kids). They are picky boy approved! :) Cheers.


Friday 21st of June 2013

Do you dry the soaked almonds (in oven or dehydrator) before using in this recipe, or no?


Friday 21st of June 2013

Hi Liz! Good question. I typically let them sit about an hour before using, but you can simply dry with a clean dish towel and use right away. Cheers!


Sunday 7th of April 2013

I can't wait to try this recipe!! I bought the almonds and they're soaking :) What are your thoughts on using bananas instead of dates?


Friday 12th of April 2013

I would defintily try, but keep them in the refrigeraptr. The dates really "glue" the bars together--a combination of dates and bananas would is best :)


Thursday 3rd of February 2011

Hi! Yes, the dates are about 3 cups. You can use other dried fruit (e.g., raisins)--less expensive! Or just to change the flavor. As for simply cutting back on the dried fruit (dates or other) overall--you would just need to play around with the ohter ingredients a bit to make sure it (a) tastes ok! and (b) holds together in bar form. Cheers! :)

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