Vanilla Almond Snack Bars

Chewy and wholesome snack bars that are sweet ‘n salty, packed with whole foods, and are made without grains or refined sugars. Healthy, simple, wholesome Vanilla Almond Snack Bars (GF) on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here’s a healthy recipe I made for our camping trip last weekend. Along with these not-so-healthy cookies and these flourless cookies, there wasn’t a homemade treat left by the time we left on Sunday. I personally could not stop snacking on these vanilla almond bars.

By the way, as I type this post– I keep laughing every time I type snack bar. You know that I worked as a waitress at Chili’s years ago, but before that I worked at a snack bar at a swim club in the summertime. Not long after I started, I was dubbed the name “Snack Bar Sally.” Kevin loved learning about that nickname when I ran into friends a few months ago. And he had a heyday when I made these snack bars for the trip.

Snack Bar Sally’s Vanilla Almond Snack Bars, everyone.

Healthy, simple, wholesome Vanilla Almond Snack Bars (GF) on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I loved these feel-good snack bars. I nearly ate the entire batch myself. I’ve already been brainstorming different flavor variations– maybe even one with coconut? Stay tuned. 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 sugars, 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? One of my favorite recipes from last year? No, really… it was. That simple recipe blew my mind. Just like it, today’s recipe is not just “really good for a gluten free recipe.” It’s just plain REALLY GOOD. Also like that recipe? The addition of almond meal. For anyone not familiar with almond meal, don’t get nervous. Almond meal is just ground almonds– ground almonds before reaching the stage of almond butter.

Almond meal (also known as almond flour, if using blanched almonds and grinding a little more fine) is so easy to make at home; cheaper than buying pre-made almond meal or almond flour, trust me. Simply pulse them until they reach a gritty and rough flour-like consistency. Like so:

Healthy, simple, wholesome Vanilla Almond Snack Bars (GF) on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Almond meal helps bind the snack bar’s ingredients. There are also whole almonds, chopped roughly, in the bars as well. You will love their crunchy texture. 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.

Speaking of… for a little sweetness, use honey. I do not recommend thinner liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or agave. Rather, you want a thick liquid sweetener. Brown rice syrup works too. You don’t need much, only 1/3 cup for the entire batch of bars. For flavor? Well, we have the honey. Also: almonds, dates, and vanilla extract. The pairing of dates and vanilla is blissfully good– the same irresistible duo that make up my popular chocolate truffle energy bites. (I make those energy bites at least once a month.)

The snack bars are baked for only around 20 minutes, just until they are relatively set and the ingredients bind together properly.

Vanilla Almond Snack Bars

Healthy, simple, wholesome Vanilla Almond Snack Bars (GF) on sallysbakingaddiction.com

They’re sweet ‘n salty, simple, wholesome, flavorful, chewy, grain-free, and do not contain a trace of refined sugar. Not only this, the snack bars are much cheaper than store-bought “healthy” snack bars. Aren’t those things like $2.50 per bar? Insane. You can also control the ingredients packed inside. I sorta like knowing what I’m eating. Snack on!

– Snack Bar Sally

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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Vanilla Almond Snack Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Chewy and wholesome snack bars that are slightly sweet ‘n salty, packed with whole foods, and are made without grains or refined sugars.


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (114g) 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*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line an 8 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.
  2. Special Tools: Glass mixing bowls, Cuisinart food processor, Ninja master prep, Mariani pitted dates, square glass baking dish
  3. Sweetener: I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave– honey or brown rice syrup is perfect.
  4. 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.
  5. Dates: Instead of dates, try 1/2 cup (75g) raisins or dried cranberries.
  6. 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.

Keywords: vanilla almond snack bars, almond snack bars

These copycat KIND bars are GF, made with easy, healthy ingredients and pack a HUGE flavor punch!

96 Comments

  1. These look exactly like kind bars. Those are such a rip! And yet we continue to buy them. I can try this now. Thx. P.s.for me your nickname is Sally Sprinkles

  2. It’s like you can read my mind! I was just thinking about making a “snack bar” that wasn’t too oat-heavy. I’ve never worked with dates before, but I think these bars might change that! They look so crunchy and beautiful 🙂

  3. I love my snacks but especially snack bars and these look delicious- Vanilla and almond is an epic combo!

  4. Hi Sally ! I can’t wait to make these but I am not so sure about the measurements in cups. Could you please share the ingredients in terms of grams. Thanks a ton 🙂

  5. I am cracking up at your “Snack Bar Sally” signature at the end! We make bars like this at home all the time! I started doing it because KIND bars really are just so expensive!! My recipe is very similar to yours, but our preferred nut is cashews! We’ve thrown coconut (like you mentioned) into the mix as well. Always a good one!

  6. Oh, Snack Bar Sally, these look great! Love the use of almond meal as a binder. I think a coconut version would be fab. Lovely!

  7. Of all the traumatic nicknames that could’ve happened, you wound up with an adorable one instead!
    I’m obsessed with KIND bars, and now a homemade version (with salted sunflower seeds!!!) is really getting me happy!

  8. Snack Bar Sally is a great nickname! These bars look amazing – so chewy and nutty. I love using ground almonds in recipes and it is so clever that you used them to blind together the mixture, pinned!

  9. “Snack Bar Sally” haha catchy nickname 😉
    I’ve never made bars with almond meal! Thanks for the tips! Have to try it 🙂

  10. Hi Sally! These bars look amazing 😀
    Funny story thought I’d mention. I was looking for a granola bar recipe just yesterday to bake, and while I did find one and made; I kept thinking to myself how amazing it would be if you had a granola bar version of your vanilla almond granola. Which btw I make on the regular and am so in love with (best.granola.ever)! The fact that I just came across this recipe makes me so happy 🙂 😀 (Close enough to a granola bar)!

  11. Hi Sally! These snack bars look delicious! I love kind bars and they are expensive, I’d love to make my own. Can’t wait to give these a try!

  12. These look really good. So many homemade bars are too crumbly. These look like they are nice and chewy. Like how healthy it is to make your own!

  13. These look great! And Snack Bar Sally is pretty funny. And at least it’s not that bad – there are much worse nicknames out there. At least that ones is G-rated. HA!

  14. I was just looking for a granola bar recipe to make this weekend and I think this is perfect! A couple of weeks ago I made these chocolate chip granola bars and although they taste delicious, as I was making them I was like these have all the same ingredients as a cookie…so not so healthy. So this looks so much healthier, I won’t feel guilty snacking on these!

  15. Oh Sally! These are sooo precious and healthy especially since I’m trying to watch my waistline at the moment. I’m starting school next week and might make these on the regular just a little something to snack on during lectures. Thanks Salted caramel Sally or Snack Bar Sally (p.s. don’t feel bad about the nicknames) xo

  16. Snack Bar Sally… I love it! I’m gonna be in snack bar heaven after I make these! I I’ve never really baked much with dates before, but I am constantly seeing them as a “secret” ingredient in a lot of sweet recipes. I can’t wait to try these! Great recipe!

  17. Sally! You really have to start taking less amazing photos 😉 they always make me so hungry! KIND bars always make me think, I can totally make this…. So thank you for creating the recipe so I can do just that! Hope you have an awesome day!
    Xoxx, Beth.

  18. Oh these look great!
    Store bought bars often have milk products in them, and for us vegans, that ain’t ok! Definitely am going to have to give these ones a try.
    Thanks Sally!

  19. These look SO good, Sally! Love the sweet ‘n’ salty combo, and LOVE the texture. I’m a huge fan of homemade bars because, you’re right — the store-bought ones are just crazy expensive. And… usually not as delicious 😉

  20. I always buy bars, but they’re so easy to make! These look fabulous, and I’ll definitely be trying them 🙂

  21. Semi-related comment, my daughter just applied for her first job last week (it made me feel really old) to work at a snack bar at the pool. Totally related comment, these look so perfect to pack for her track meets. I usually try to make up snack packs for the kids, but they are hogs and I hate having to buy several boxes of granola bars and see them demolished in under 30 seconds. These look like a perfect fix for them!

  22. At first glance these kind of reminded me of “Trio” bars.

    Look really good and simple. Always better to make something than to buy it already made.

  23. Thanks for the recipe! I love using an almond meal in my baking. I make my own almond milk and freeze the leftover pulp. Today, I’m going to bake the pulp to remove the moisture so it can be used as a flour. Then I’m going to bake your snack bars. How much of the coconut should I add? Thanks!

  24. Sally, I have been looking for the right bars recipe and I think I just found it! Thank you so much for sharing…I will try this recipe as soon as possible.

  25. These look really yummy!!!
    I was wondering if you could come up with this same kind of bar but without almonds…? My hubby is allergic to them (and also coconut, pecans, macadamias, bananas…) but is planning to start a diet that these would be great for!

  26. Awesome! I’ll never pay for a KIND bar again 😉 (Except in desperate, hangry situations, which I’m sure will arise.) Also, Snack Bar Sally is possibly the best nickname of all time. I’m pretty sure someone should write a country song about you. Maybe you can sub it into Mustang Sally… “Snack Bar Sally, think you better slow your snack bar down.” Yes? No?

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