Chocolate Peanut Power Bars

by Maggie on February 19, 2011

I had you at chocolate, right?

I am a big fan of chocolate. I love the way it melts in my mouth, the way it makes me buzz just a little bit, and the way it makes all of my troubles disappear at the end of a long day.

Pete loves chocolate too; his parents are British so he was raised on the stuff. But what he loves more than chocolate is chocolate and peanut butter. Together.

Who doesn’t really?

So how about chocolate and peanut butter in a super healthy, naturally sweetened power bar? Perfect for snacking. Perfect for road trips. Perfect for just about anytime of day.

Sounds perfect, right?

These naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free Chocolate Peanut Power Bars were inspired by Lara Bars.  Have you tried them yet? I love to grab some when we’re traveling and on the go.  They’re so simple. Most Lara Bars have only 3 or 4 ingredients.

One of my favourite ingredients in Lara Bars is the dates. I have grown to love dates. In fact, I think I am addicted. They’re the perfect treat. So sweet, so satisfying, and so versatile. You can use them to sweeten salad dressings, smoothies, brownies, granola, and so much more!

Naturally, I had to have a go at my own version of a Lara Bar. And once I figured out our favourite combo, I knew I had to share it with you.

Chocolate Peanut Power Bars

It was really hard to put these in the fridge to chill. I wanted to eat them all in one sitting!

1 cup raw almonds or walnuts
1 heaping cup peanut butter (any nut butter would work)
12 medjool dates (pitted and soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes)
a couple of pinches of sea salt
1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1. Lightly grease an 8×8 inch pan with coconut oil (or whatever oil you prefer).
2. Using a food processor or a high-speed blender, process nuts until you reach desired consistency (almonds are my favourite nut, I like mine a little bit chunky).
3. Add nut butter, dates (make sure you remove the pits), sea salt, and raw cacao. Process into a thick paste, you will need to stop your machine a couple of times to wipe down the sides and move the mixture around. It’s very thick and will need your help a little bit.
4. Press firmly into prepared pan.
5. Cover and place in fridge to cool.
6. Cut into desired shapes and store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

 

This post is linked to:
Real Food Weekly.
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.
Real Sustenance’s Seasonal Sunday.


{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Hallie @ Daily Bites February 20, 2011 at 9:33 am

These look delectable!!

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Maggie February 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Thanks Hallie. They are amazing. I just finished the last of a pan I made on Thursday night. I wish I had more because they’re so yummy!

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Danielle February 20, 2011 at 10:01 am

So easy and a great way to skip the ridiculous cost of each bar ;). Yummy!

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Maggie February 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thanks Yellie. Definitely saves you some $!

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Sara February 20, 2011 at 10:11 am

These look super-yummy – I’m going to try them.

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Maggie February 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Yay Sara! Let me know what you think of them. xo

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Zoe February 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

Yay, Maggie! These look great and my family loves Larabars. They were one of the very few store bought treats we could eat while on SCD. Have you ever tried their Jocalat line with raw cocoa? Also good!

I’ve already missed out on one of this year’s GAHIGF themes, hopefully I can make yours! (And this one, too. Love potions and charmed foods is right up my alley. ;))

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Maggie February 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Hey Zoe – I know, Lara Bars are the best! Now you can make them at home :) I’ve never had their Jocalat line, I don’t think I’ve even seen it. Will have to look for it for sure! Please do make my GAHIGF event!!!

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Cecelia February 20, 2011 at 11:50 am

What is cacao powder and where do you buy it?

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Maggie February 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Hi Cecelia – Here’s a link to the raw cacao powder I buy http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=raw+cacao+powder&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=8984336114834918663&ei=_WBhTcnrH4fUgQeK2-mEAg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDAQ8wIwAA#
I get it at my local health food store. If you want to try the bars, you could use regular cocoa powder it just doesn’t have the same benefits as raw cacao.

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KellyBelly February 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I have a Lara bar wrapper that has been sitting in my kitchen for awhile now, as a reminder to try and copy their yummy bars. Thanks for doing the work for me!

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Maggie February 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Hi Kelly – You’re welcome! Now you can throw out the wrapper :) Enjoy.

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Jeanine February 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Yep, you definitely had me at chocolate. :) I think I need to buy some dates…

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Maggie February 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Jeanine you definitely need to buy some dates :)

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Alisa Cooks February 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Oooh, these would definitely be addicting for me too!

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Shirley @ gfe February 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Very cool, Maggie! Thanks for doing the hard work for us and figuring this recipe out! ;-) I only discovered dates a year ago and have been happily amazed when using them. :-) Psyched to know that you’ll be hosting Go Ahead Honey in April, and trying to figure out if I can still get in for this month.

xo,
Shirley

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Maggie February 20, 2011 at 8:14 pm

You’re welcome Shirley! Dates are pretty amazing. They’re nature’s candy. Livvie likes them but I can’t get Callum to try them. If he only knew what he was missing!

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Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli February 20, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I will, of course, be giving these a try.

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Maggie February 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Of course you will Kristin. And you will let me know what the wee ones think. Can you whip up a seed version so the girls can take them to school? I think it’s possible. Sunbutter perhaps?

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Nancy @ TheSensitivePantry February 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Yep. You had me at chocolate! Such a simple recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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Maggie February 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Hi Nancy – Two visits in two days – yay! Glad you like these, they’re easy and delish.

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Kim - Cook It Allergy Free February 20, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Woah! These look like such a treat! We eat Lara Bars all of the time in our house. They are always a staple in my purse. And I am always saying they would be so easy to make myself. Now I can just use your awesome recipe!! Yipee!
xo
kim

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Maggie February 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Hi Kim – These are such a treat! Especially for those of us who like our treats to also pack a bit of a nutritional punch! Hope you guys enjoy them!

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Lindsey February 21, 2011 at 8:52 am

DARN IT, the grocery stores are closed today and I don’t have a full cup of almonds left in my almond jar!!!!!
I love Larabars…thanks for this recipe! (AND, while I am at it, thanks for introducing me to medjool dates…they’ve become my staple substitute for a sugary snack when I am craving one!)
XO

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Maggie February 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Hi Linds – You could sub another nut. Cashews would be awesome too! I know, medjool dates totally rock! They’re my sugary snack too, thank goodness for the medjool date Gods :) xoxoxo

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Diane-thewholegang February 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

Completely at chocolate. Yes. Thank you for sharing these on Real Food Weekly.

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Maggie February 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm

The chocolate thing works every time :) Thanks for hosting Diane. And thanks for stopping by!

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Amanda February 22, 2011 at 7:17 am

Yep….. these will definitely be favs along with the almond date smoothie. :) Nice one, Mags.

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Maggie February 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Thanks Mand. These would go quite nicely with the almond date smoothie! Now you just need someone to make them for you :) xo

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Megan February 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I absolutely love this recipe Maggie! Can’t wait to give it a try.

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Maggie February 22, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Thanks Megan. It’s a super easy recipe!

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Christine February 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm

There truly are few combinations better than chocolate and peanut butter. I’m definitely bookmarking these for future hiking trips!

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Maggie February 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Hey Christine – These would make a great hiking snack! Enjoy! And let me know how you like them.

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naomi devlin February 23, 2011 at 2:54 am

Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven! I make a bar a bit like this for Fin, who loves the combination too. Also brilliant with salted almond butter for those who can’t eat peanuts.

Thanks for taking part this month! x x x

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Maggie February 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Hi Naomi – Yes, I made them yesterday with almond butter. They were delightful! It’s good to switch it up too. Thanks for coming to check them out.

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InTolerantChef February 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm

These sound just lovely! Could I use carob powder instead though? The dates would have soo much natural sweetness, yumm…

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Maggie February 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Hey IntolerantChef – Thanks, they are lovely! I’ve never worked with carob powder so I’m not sure. Raw cacao isn’t sweetened though. Let us know if you try these with carob powder, I’m sure other readers would love to know how they turn out.

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Annie February 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Made these a couple of days ago with almond/hazelnut butter. They were yummy and filling although I wasn’t crazy about the hazelnut taste. They would definitely be better with straight peanut or almond butter. Also I was out of almonds so I tried walnuts instead which you could hardly notice. I also love how super easy they were to make!

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Maggie February 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Hey Annie – You’re the best! Thank you for always reporting back after you’ve tried one of my recipes. I love it so much. I’ve never tried hazelnut butter. Should I? How is it on toast? I need to try these with walnuts. I only eat walnuts in pesto (which is actually once a week since we’re addicted to it) but I eat almonds and almond butter all the time. Thanks for the idea! xo

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Tracee March 1, 2011 at 10:47 am

These sound amazing! Good lunchbox item too.

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Maggie March 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Thanks Tracee!

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Alta March 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm

These do look addictive. Of course, peanut butter is just so inviting for me, and with chocolate and dates? Well, yeah, I would have a hard time not eating the whole thing in one sitting too!

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Maggie March 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Hey Alta – They are dangerously addictive! But there could be worse addictions.

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Jessica March 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm

These are good. They are very addictive. My kids like them too, which is a big plus. I have loved reading your blog. Thanks!

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Maggie March 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Thanks so much Jessica. I love hearing that your kids like them too! You must be a good influence on them. I’ve tried to tell mine that they’re chocolate bars. They are! Not buying, not yet anyway.

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The Healthy Apple March 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Love this recipe; I make a very similar bar that I add dark chocolate chips and chili powder to the mixture and it’s delicious. I love your blog and your fabulous gluten-free recipes. Keep up the great work!
Best,
Amie

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Maggie March 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

Hi Amie – Thanks, your version sounds amazing! I’m going to have to try the chili powder – you’re adventurous!

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Lindsey March 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Mags – wanted to let you know that the stars finally aligned so I could make these little gems today, and they are a huge hit! Rob says they are better than brownies…and he even has a thing against dates. Three cheers for you! XO

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Spa Sisters April 12, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I was really skeptical of these when I saw the recipe posted…until I tried them and couldn’t stop eating them!!!! They’re the perfect snack….or alternative to dessert (that speaks volumes if I’ll eat one for dessert!!!) I made my latest batch with a blend of peanut butter, almond butter, and sunflower butter…..delish! Once again, Maggie, your recipe rocks!

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Maggie April 14, 2011 at 6:03 am

Hey Kerri – Thanks for the note and sharing your modifications. It’s so open-ended, isn’t it? I’m so glad your girls love them too!

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Sandra April 14, 2011 at 9:57 am

Hi there,
These look amazing! Could I ask you for the nutritional information please?
Thanks!
Sandra

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Maggie April 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Hi Sandra – Sorry, I don’t have a tool that provides me with nutritional information. Hopefully one day! Thanks for stopping by.

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E. April 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I saw these posted on a friend’s facebook page, and couldn’t resist trying them! Delicious!

Can I make one tiny suggestion, though? This was my first time ever using medjool dates, and I had no idea they had pits in the them. In retrospect, of course they do, but colour me a little embarrassed – I had to pick through the bars counting pits to make sure I got them all out! Maybe a mention that you have to pit the dates in the recipe?

Also my food processor struggled a bit with these – I think next time I’ll try processing just the almonds, peanut butter, and cacao first, then add the dates one at a time.

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Maggie April 18, 2011 at 4:33 am

Hi E – Thanks so much for the suggestions! Comments like yours are so important on a blog because they help other people when trying them! The dates I buy (medjool) do tell you on the container that there are pits so I guess I never thought of it from your perspective before. Did you soak your dates? That should help too.

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Maggie April 18, 2011 at 4:39 am

Hey E – I added an instruction to pit the dates, hopefully this helps medjool date newbies :) Thanks!

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chaya April 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I think my hubby is going to love these. You did a terrific job with the recipe.

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Maggie April 28, 2011 at 6:30 am

Thanks Chaya. Most people who try them LOVE them. I might have to make some today too!

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katia May 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Hi there, love this recipe, do u happen to know the nutritional content ? thx!

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Maggie May 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Thanks Katia – No, I don’t know the nutritional values. I don’t count them myself, but they are basically the same ingredients as Lara Bars. Perhaps you can find their nutritional content on line? I usually eat these on a workout day – before or after fuel for my runs. Sometimes I eat them when I need a sweet fix too. Much better than something processed with grains or other refined sugars.
Hope that helps!
Maggie

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