Chocolate coconut cashew bars made with simple, clean ingredients for a sweet treat that you can feel good about eating. Vegan, gluten free, and kid-friendly.
Vegan Chocolate Cashew Bars
Let me set the stage for you on how these bliss bites were born. The heat index in Florida this week has been ~105 degrees F, and it feels like a damn inferno. On the plus side, however, I don't have to take time applying bronzer because my face has a constant natural glow. Perspiration happens to be the cheapest cosmetic around.
So to avoid bringing the smolder into my kitchen, I'm opting for no-bake desserts. In fact, most meals lately are a variety of salads, overnight oats, Greek yogurt parfaits, and of course, these bars. They are the perfect combination of cool, crunchy, creamy bliss. Plus, you can prepare them over the weekend and have them on repeat every night during the week. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer, and consider your sweet tooth fully satisfied.
Is Coconut Oil Healthy?
As a dietitian who is immersed in the health and wellness field, it's fun to keep tabs on the latest trends. Traditionally, many trends have (unfortunately) revolved around elimination diets in which certain foods or food groups are restricted. Foods marketed as low-calorie, low-fat, low-this, low-that were usually interpreted by novice consumers to mean "healthy", right?
However, we are now finally starting to see a paradigm shift. People are beginning to change their mindset around food and paying closer attention to not only the nutrition label, but also the ingredients. Consumers are becoming more interested in adding more nutritious ingredients to their diet, as opposed to eliminating other ingredients.
What perhaps is even more exciting is that fat is no longer demonized. Items like coconut oil, avocado oil, and nut flours are being used more widely for their nutritional benefits with less emphasis on their caloric value. Yes, coconut oil is rich in saturated fat, however it has an interesting fat profile overall. Coconut oil has a high amount of lauric acid, which research suggests may increased HDL cholesterol levels. Lauric acid has many of the same properties of medium-chain triglycerides, which are absorbed differently than long-chain triglycerides that can spike total cholesterol. However studies on the effect of lauric acid on serum cholesterol are contradictory, so for now, I use coconut oil in moderation. I can tell you, however, that it has a more positive nutrient profile than butter, so that's a plus.
Science is ever evolving, my friends, and this industry will forever stay relevant because of it.
How to Make Raw Chocolate Cashew Bars
These bars are made of simple ingredients that you actually may already have sitting in your pantry. The base is a blend of raw cashews, oats, honey or maple syrup, and coconut oil. The result is a texture that seriously resembles cookie dough, both in taste and texture.
The divine chocolate topping is a simple mix of cocoa powder, honey or maple syrup, and a few pinches of sea salt. The coconut flakes are optional, however I really think they add an extra layer of decadence. If you are not a coconut fan, you can also add chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or freeze-fried fruit.
These bars come together quick with the help of a food processor, and are super easy to assemble. You can store them in the freezer or refrigerator, however I guarantee they won't last long. I typically go through a batch of week because they are so damn delicious. I hope you guys LOVE these bars as much as we do. If you make them, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, be sure to follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
More Vegan Dessert Recipes
Raw Chocolate Coconut Cashew Bars
- 1 ½ cups raw unsalted cashews
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
- ¼ cup liquid sweetener honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- **Chocolate Coconut Topping**
- ¼ cup liquid sweetener honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
- A few pinches of sea salt
- Add cashews to food processor and blend for 2-3 minutes, stopping to scrap down the sides every 30 seconds or so. You want to process the nuts until they start to form somewhat of a paste.
- Add oats, coconut oil, liquid sweetener and sea salt and blend for another 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until ingredients form a dough (refer to picture).
- Line a loaf pan or 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with non-stick spray. Empty dough into pan and press down firmly, spreading evenly to all edges. It's helpful to use the bottom of a measuring cup to really compact dough.
- Chocolate topping: In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together liquid sweetener, melted coconut oil and cocoa powder until smooth and well-combined. Pour over dough, spreading evenly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and sea salt.
- Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 3 hours before slicing. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To make vegan, use either pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup as sweetener
These bars were absolutely amazing! My entire family enjoyed them. My kids couldn’t believe they were actually good for you! Definitely a keeper!
Oh I'm so thrilled to hear that, Kelly!! Thank you for coming back and leaving a review. Cheers!
I ate a bar and I totally enjoyed it's chocolate taste! I really thought it was chocolate! I was surprised to be told it's cocoa powder. Great sweet. I want to make it too. I was also surprised it has honey ( my friend used honey as sweetener). Balanced, all flavours come out in a beautiful harmony that sings eat meee 😛
And I am soooo glad to find healthy and light sweets!
This may be my favorite comment ever, Dimitra. So thrilled you enjoyed them!! Cheers to you and healthy sweets!
These are outstanding!!!!!!!!!
I love you're idea I make a slice very similar to this : Ingredients :
3 cups or more Cashews
1\4 cup Maple syrup
1 block Dark chocolate
Blend cashews with 1\4 cup maple syrup .
Melt chocolate and pour half into a tin ,freeze until frozen about one hour or less . Add cashew mix and freeze then add more melted chocolate . and freeze , garnish on a serving plate with Raspberry's and fruit . ENJOY !!!!
Sounds yummy! I'll have to give it a try. Thanks!
These are AMAZING! I was not expecting much for being a healthier desert, but these were so good!
SO glad to hear, Chloe!! They are one of my favorite desserts 😛 Thanks for the positive review!
Wow, these are fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing this!
I'm so glad you enjoyed then, Fiona! Thanks for stopping by!
Never used coconut oil before but I tracked it down and had a go. I can't believe how good these are. Particularly when the June temperature in Middle England is over 80F......... We ate them with sliced strawberries and creme fraiche. Indescribably delicious.
Hi Bryoney! I'm so glad you enjoyed them!! Strawberries and creme fraiche sound like lovely accompaniments. Thanks for stopping by!
These look delicious! I have to say, however, that it's pretty funny you say in the post, "Traditionally, a lot of trends have (unfortunately) revolved around elimination diets in which certain foods or food groups were vilified and restricted. Foods marketed as low-calorie, low-fat, low-this, low-that were usually interpreted by novice consumers to mean 'healthy', right?" and then in the recipe tout how these are "clean" (usually code for paleo-friendly) vegan, gluten free, and dairy free. You realize most people care about these things because they believe in "low-this, low-that," not for provable health issues like Celiac's, right? Also, "vegan" and "dairy free" is redundant. If something is vegan it's always dairy free.
Kirsten, I read your comment and feel the need to add my comment! These are very tasty bars, I’ve made them a few times now and came across them because they are vegan. I just wanted to correct your remark that vegan and dairy-free is redundant. It is not. Diary-free refers to not including diary products only. Vegan refers to no dairy, no eggs, no fish oil, etc.
dishingouthealth, thank you for a delicious treat. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.
Thank you, Laure! Glad you like the bars!
Kirsten's not wrong, though. While it is not redundant to say something dairy-free is vegan, it is redundant the other way around. Language is for communicating; clarity is not irrelevant.
Speaking of language, your title led me to think the chocolate would be raw, but it's not your fault that english is awkward. Since it's no-bake I guess I could substitute, eh. Also, no-heat is a good opportunity to use raw honey.
Anyhoo, interesting looking concoction. I appreciate the flour-free simplicity with appealing ingredients.
Kirsten, I read that she was talking about removing nutritious food groups, such as fat from our cuisine. These bars are high in fat and I believe she is saying that our society is more aware that fat is not considered a “bad”food as it once was. There was a time when a recipe such as this wouldve been considered way too high in fat. Also, To add (vegan, dairy free, gluten free, paleo etc) to the posts enables others to easily find recipes that suits personal dietary needs and beliefs medically necessary or not.
tx state fair discounts
PawPaw: I think I just saw Daddy giving Mama a birthday kiss! ;-)I sent the stickers on Friday. I totally forgot tomorrow is a postal Holiday. I was hoping she would get her stickers before she got her next round of Chemo. Your family is beautiful Brent. 🙂 (But, I know you know that!)Many prayers in the days ahead for Miss Abby (and the family)
Hiya! Not only does this recipe sound gorgeous, the format is clean, simple and pleasing to look at. I wondered what plugin you used to format these? When wordpress updated my go to plugin stopped working! Really like the look of your recipes and would love to know what you use to format them 🙂 (In return, I promise to make these bars and snack on them immediately...)
Hi Rosie! I use the EasyRecipe plugin from WordPress. It actually came with my website theme.I had something similar happen to me recently (WordPress updates are so annoying!). I hope you're able to get things sorted out!
Wpisz komentarz MoÅ¼esz uÅ¼ywaÄ‡ tagÃ³w HTML : <a> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <code> <del> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong> Chcesz zdobyÄ‡ link pomocny w pozycjonowaniu? Napisz wartoÅ›ciowy komentarz z minimum 350 znakÃ³w, a Twoje linki w treÅ›ci komentarza otrzymajÄ… atrybut DOFOLLOW.
This was literally delicious!!!! So easy to make too!
Yayy, so thrilled to hear, Sabah! Thanks so much for coming back and sharing! Cheers.
Made them and ate 85% myself! i used organic coconut smiles which are thicker flaked chunks and i toasted them first. to put on top! big hit with my 4 kids! I have a picture but it wont let me post it.
Haha Stephanie that's amazing!! So glad to hear you and kiddos enjoyed them! Thanks for trying to share the pic, anyway! Cheers.
I made these and really liked them, but I found the base to have waaay too much oil. I poured off a slick of separated oil from the base before putting the chocolate topping on. I'd make these again but probably would only need a tbsp or two of coconut oil in the base. Very yummy though.
Agree. It was sooooo tasty but I also used 4 paper towels to take the oil out before adding the chocolate layer. And next time, I´m going to make it with different sweetener than honey. Just to see the difference.
I made these last night and they are amazing! My non vegan boyfriend loved them -- can't wait to make more! thank you!
Yayy so thrilled to hear that, Sara!! Enjoy! 🙂