Chewy and wholesome snack bars that are sweet and salty, packed with whole foods, and are made without grains or refined sugars.
These vanilla almond snack bars are simple and wholesome with a sweet taste that won’t give you a sugar crash. They’re an easy fruit and nut bar, similar to a KIND bar. They’re grain free, gluten free, have no refined sugar, and are packed with whole, natural ingredients like almonds, dates, and seeds. Usually I add a little oats to energy/granola bars but I wanted to keep the main ingredients purely nuts and dried fruit.
Do you remember my recipe for Gluten Free Apple Crisp? Just like it, today’s recipe is not just “really good for a gluten free recipe.” It’s just plain REALLY GOOD. We’re using almond meal in today’s recipe again too. For anyone not familiar with almond meal, don’t get nervous. Almond meal is just ground almonds before reaching the stage of almond butter.
While you can purchase it at the store, almond meal (also known as almond flour if using blanched almonds and grinding a little more fine) is easy to make at home. It’s what you always use when making blueberry almond power muffins, cashew coconut snack bars, and granola clusters! Simply pulse almonds until they reach a gritty and rough flour-like consistency like this:
Almond meal helps bind the snack bar’s ingredients. We’ll also add roughly chopped almonds, too. You will love their crunchy texture. For a little sweetness, use honey. I do not recommend thinner liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or agave. Brown rice syrup works too. Salted sunflower seeds bulk the bars up and, when paired with the dates and honey, supply that satisfying sweet and salty flavor we all know and love.
Baked the vanilla almond snack bars for only around 20 minutes, or just until they are relatively set.
They’re sweet and simple, wholesome, flavorful, chewy, grain-free, and do not contain refined sugar.Print
Chewy and wholesome snack bars that are slightly sweet ‘n salty, packed with whole foods, and are made without grains or refined sugars.
- 1/3 cup (113g) honey or brown rice syrup*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (30g) almond meal*
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon (15g) almond butter
- 1 and 1/3 cups (187g) whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 5 Medjool dates, coarsely chopped*
- 3/4 cup (105g) salted sunflower seeds*
- Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line an 8-inch square baking pan or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
- Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix the honey, vanilla, almond meal, salt, and almond butter together until combined. Fold in the almonds, chopped dates, and sunflower seeds until combined.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press very firmly into an even layer. You really want it packed in tight—as tight as possible. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour. This helps firm up the bars which makes them stay compact. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or parchment. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I find they get a little sticky at room temperature over a few days, so I prefer the refrigerator.
- Freezing Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 8-Inch Square Baking Pan or 9-Inch Square Baking Pan | Parchment Paper | Food Processor | Glass Mixing Bowl | Silicone Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- Sweetener: I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave—honey or brown rice syrup is perfect.
- Almond Meal: You can use store-bought almond meal or almond flour, or you can make your own. Start with 1/4 cup of slivered, sliced, or whole almonds. Pulse them in a food processor until a crumbly meal has formed. Do not run the food processor continuously; you may end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best. You will end up with around 1/4 cup almond meal.
- Dates: Instead of dates, try 1/2 cup (75g) raisins or dried cranberries.
- Sunflower Seeds: I like to use salted sunflower seeds because they add a little salt to the sweet dates/honey. I love the salty sweet taste and I think you will too. If using unsalted, add another 1/8 teaspoon salt to the recipe. Instead of sunflower seeds, try using chopped peanuts, cashews, or almonds.
- Cashew Coconut Version: I also love using this recipe as a base for Cashew Coconut flavor with chia seeds. Swap almonds for the same amount of raw unsalted cashews. Replace sunflower seeds with 3/4 cup (60g) unsweetened shredded coconut, and add 1 Tablespoon chia seeds. Everything else remains the same.
Keywords: vanilla almond snack bars, almond snack bars
Here is the cashew coconut version mentioned in the Note above. Another favorite!