These vegan chocolate covered date nut bars are such an easy no bake snack to make. Made with only nine healthy ingredients like dates, oats, nuts, and peanut butter. These date nut bars (or squares) are a satisfying and delicious snack that are naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup.
These chocolate covered date nut bars are similar to my healthy homemade raw twix bars, but there are less ingredients in the caramel filling, and much more crushed nuts on top of the caramel layer. Don’t we all love recipes with simple ingredients, that are no bake, vegan, gluten-free, and taste this good? I have to say I am definitely one of those people. Especially going into the spring and summer months, this is such an easy recipe to make that doesn’t require an oven. These chocolate covered date nut bars are my absolute favourite mid morning snack because they hold me over until lunch. The oats, dates, nuts, and peanut butter make such a filling snack, and the chocolate on top is an added bonus.
What ingredients will I need to make these vegan chocolate covered date nut bars?
- Dates. This will sweeten your date nut bars naturally and make the base stick to the oats.
- Water. Since the dates will be slightly dry, adding water to the dates will make them blend easier.
- Oats. These will be blended with the dates and water to make a date oat base that you can flatten into your pan. Any type of oat will do (i.e., rolled oats or quick oats, but do not use steel-cut oats since they are not whole).
- Peanut Butter. This is part of the caramel middle layer, and gives some salty flavour to these bars.
- Maple Syrup. Adds some sweetness to give these bars a sweet and salty flavour.
- Cinnamon. For some added flavour.
- Crushed Nuts. To add an added crunch!
- Chocolate. For some extra sweetness on the top layer.
- Coconut Oil. To melt with the chocolate to keep it smooth and silky.
Tips on how to make the perfect chocolate covered date nut bars
- Let your dates soak for about 5-10 minutes before processing/blending. Dates are normally a little dry, so you want to make sure they’re soft before pulsing in the food processor. Adding a little bit of water also helps to ensure the dates blend completely with the oats.
- Freeze each layer before adding new top layer. Before adding the caramel layer to your loaf pan, freeze the date nut layer first for about 10-15 minutes. Once you add the caramel layer, freeze for 15-20 minutes before adding the chocolate layer. This way, each layer will be solid and the layers will not melt together.
- Press nuts into caramel layer before freezing. If you don’t press the crushed nuts into the caramel layer before freezing, they won’t stick into the caramel!
How do I store my date nut bars?
Once you have cut your date nut bars into bars or squares, place them in an airtight container. Keep in the freezer for up to two months. I would not recommend keeping them in the fridge because the ingredients may soften too much and not hold together. Simply leave out for 5 minutes before enjoying.
Vegan Chocolate Covered Date Nut Bars (GF & No Bake)
Date Oat Layer
- 1 cup dates, soaked & drained
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 cup oats (rolled or quick oats)
Peanut Butter/Caramel Layer
- ½ cup smooth natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup crushed nuts (I used cashews and hazelnuts)
- 1 cup chocolate (chocolate bar chopped or chocolate chips)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Flaky salt, to top (optional)
- Line an 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch loaf pan (this is my favourite Wilton loaf pan!) with parchment paper and set aside. The paper may not hold in the pan, but that's okay! It will be prepared when adding the oat date layer inside.
For the Date Oat Layer
- Place dates in a small bowl and soak in hot water for about 5 minutes before adding to food processor. Drain dates from water and add to food processor with warm water and oats, and pulse until a ball of dough forms.
- Scoop dough into loaf pan and flatten. Place in freezer to set for 10-15 minutes.
For Peanut Butter/Caramel Layer
- In a medium bowl, add peanut butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon and mix until combined. Remove date oat layer from freezer and spread caramel layer on top. Press chopped nuts on top of caramel layer, and place back in freezer for 15-20 minutes.
For Chocolate Layer
- In a small bowl, add chocolate chips or broken up chocolate bar and coconut oil, and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir between each increment to ensure chocolate melts smoothly.
- Pour chocolate over peanut/caramel layer, add flaky salt if desired, and place back in freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- TIP: Before cutting, run knife under hot water to ensure chocolate does not crack.
- Leave date nut bars out for 5-10 minutes before cutting into bars or squares. Enjoy!
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