These no bake chocolate cashew bars are a tasty mix of nuts, oats, dates and a little cocoa. Gluten free, no added sugar and quick to make, they make a great healthy snack.
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It's funny, there's a bit of me that has been thinking 'how did it get to be August already?', then there's another bit that's thinking 'what, still a WHOLE MONTH until my eldest is back to school?'
Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but looking after both of them all day every day is busy, busy and leaves me feeling like I am barely planning just a few hours ahead let alone days. I did at least think it might be an idea to start thinking about lunch box foods and after school snacks a bit for those of you that are either a bit more organized and/or start back at school sooner than me.
These no bake chocolate cashew bars are great as a healthy snack, whether that's an on-the-go breakfast (or second breakfast as we're having a lot of at the moment!), after school energy-boost or quick-eat-while-I-can snack for the grown-ups. They're quick to make, easy to enjoy and full of healthy ingredients. My toddler and I were instant fans.
My kids are two boys who do best being out most of the day and while I love that, it makes it hard to keep up with this blog and other things. Thankfully I still manage to cook, even if it's quick. Any hopes at planning ahead a little, however, have fallen by the wayside. Still I did manage to sneak a few extra minutes in the kitchen to make these no bake chocolate cashew bars the other day and I really wish I'd done so earlier.
How to make these healthy snack bars
They're really easy - even more so than my no bake carrot cake energy bites - but a bit more granola-bar-like than those bites (my pumpkin energy bites are more oaty if you prefer that). That, for me, is great, as they feel somehow more filling for when you need more than just a little boost but also not a full meal. That said there's a lovely smoothness to them in between the slight chewy-crunchy thing.
When I say these no bake chocolate cashew bars are easy I'm not joking - simply put everything in the food processor, blend then tip into a cling wrap-lined dish. Allow it to chill for at least half an hour to firm up then use the cling wrap/film to pop the block out before cutting it up ready for when snack-time calls.
There's a tasty mix of lots of nuts, oats, dates and a little coconut oil to hold them together, and a little cocoa powder to feel that bit more indulgent even though they aren't. Use gluten-free oats and they are gluten-free too.
Particularly being so easy and with no cooking, these no bake cashew granola bars are a great alternative to the habit I've picked up recently. Over the summer I've been getting a muffin or something similar along with a coffee on the way to the park many a morning.
I know, I share all these relatively healthy recipes and get some bad habits myself, but I think it's partly I haven't wanted to bake with the recent heat (as well as my lack of ability to plan ahead just now, oh and still breastfeeding my little one meaning I'm nearly always hungry). If I'd just thought about something like this sooner, it would have made me feel a lot better about my snacking.
There's no sugar or other sweetener in these tasty treats - only dates - and with lots of nuts and oats, there's plenty to give you a boost. They're not too sweet but they have a lovely smoothness, especially when chilled, and feel that bit indulgent with the cocoa in there.
If you're looking for an easy on-the-go snack that's so much better for you (and cheaper) than many you might buy, then give these no bake chocolate cashew bars a try. They're packed with good things, quick to make and tasty too. Perfect for snackers young and old!
Try these other healthier snacks:
- Apple oatmeal cookies
- Vegan sweet potato brownies
- Healthy cranberry apricot cookies
- Fruity chewy granola bars
- Plus get more snack recipes, both sweet and savory, in the archives.
No bake chocolate cashew bars
- ½ cup old fashioned oats 50g, rolled oats
- ¼ cup almond flour 22g ground almonds
- ½ cup dates 70g, weight without stones (see notes)
- ¼ cup raw unsalted cashews 35g
- 3 tbsp coconut oil melted and cooled
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Line a dish, approx 4in x 6.5in (10cm x 17cm), with cling wrap/film, with some hanging over the sides.
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and mix until relatively smooth and well mixed.
- Tip the mixture into the lined dish and press down flat. Fold the sides of the cling wrap/film over the mixture and refrigerate for a couple hours to firm up.
- Use the cling wrap to help you remove the block from the dish then cut into squares. Keep refrigerated until needed - you can eat them either chilled or room temperature (although at room temperature them will be a little sticky and may crumble a bit).
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