What happens when a bunch of my favorite superfoods: healthy nuts, dates and cocoa powder come together? Magical, no bake brownies that are vegan and gluten free, packed with superfoods, and taste just like regular, fudgy brownies!
I made these babies about 5 years ago and the AK community became obsessed, so I knew I had to give them a little makeover with new photos (but the same amazing taste).
All I can say is YOU NEED THEM IN YOUR LIFE! BADLY.
They’re impossible not to love and nutritious enough to enjoy for an afternoon snack. I love storing a batch in the freeze to munch on whenever those chocolate cravings hit. Trust me when I say you’re going to LOVE these slightly crunchy, perfectly sweet, and absolutely delicious no bake superfood brownies.
What are “superfoods?”
Scientifically speaking, there’s really no such thing as a “superfood.” BUT the term is a great way to identify ingredients that are super nourishing on their own because they’re packed with nutrients like healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein! Some examples of superfoods are leafy greens, berries, legumes, avocado, fish, nuts & seeds, and more.
So, can you guess what makes up these amazing no bake brownies?
Ingredients in these no bake brownies
As their name suggests, these no bake brownies are packed with nutrition-rich ingredients, AKA superfoods! All of the ingredients give these vegan & gluten free brownie energy bars healthy fats, fiber, protein and even antioxidants. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Medjool dates: the base of these brownies is made from Medjool dates, which actually give them a natural sweetness!
- Nuts: you’re getting tons of wonderful healthy fats, protein, and delicious crunch from walnuts, pecans, pistachios.
- Coconut: some unsweetened shredded coconut adds wonderful texture, healthy fats, and delicious flavor.
- Chia seeds: hello, extra fiber, protein and omega 3s!
- Dried cranberries: a little chew, tartness and sweetness from dried cranberries is amazing in these bars!
- Cacao powder: I like to use unsweetened cacao powder for rich chocolate flavor and antioxidants, but you can use unsweetened cocoa powder as well.
- Coconut oil: you’ll need a little melted coconut oil to give the brownies moisture.
- Vanilla: some vanilla extract adds lovely flavor to the energy bars.
- Sea salt: add a little to the “batter” and sprinkle some on top for sweet and salty goodness.
- Chocolate: I love to drizzle a layer of melted dark chocolate on top because it creates an amazing chocolate shell. SO GOOD.
Customize these brownies
Because these no bake superfood brownies don’t require any baking, I recommend sticking with the recipe ratios as closely as possible so that they hold up well. Here are some easy ways to customize, too:
- For the nuts: feel free to use slightly different ratios of each of the nuts depending on what you have on hand. For example, you can use fewer pistachios and more pecans or walnuts if that’s what’s accessible to you!
- For the cranberries: you can also use dried cherries or get a little fancy with goji berries.
- For the chocolate: feel free to use a vegan and dairy free chocolate bar or chocolate chips, or simply omit the chocolate layer. The bars will still be delicious!
How to make fudgy no bake brownies
- Process the nuts. Start by adding the dates, walnuts, pecans and 1/4 cup of the pistachios to your food processor and process until nice and chunky.
- Form the “batter.” Add the coconut, chia seeds, cacao powder, coconut oil and vanilla extract and process everything until the “batter” is slightly clumping. If it’s dry, simply add 1-2 tablespoons of warm water.
- Add mix-ins and shape. Finally, add the rest of the pistachios and dried cranberries and pulse just a few times until the pistachios are a little chunky. Add the mixture to a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and press it in evenly towards the sides of the pan.
- Melt the chocolate. Add your dark chocolate bar or chips to a saucepan and melt over low heat, or melt it in the microwave until smooth.
- Finish & freeze. Pour the melted chocolate all over the bars and tilt the pan so that it creates and even coating. Garnish with some more pistachios, dried cranberries and crushed pecans, then place the bars in the freezer for 20-45 minutes until hardened.
- Serve and devour. I like to sprinkle the tops with Maldon sea salt, then cut into 8 bars and serve!
Storing & freezing tips
- To store: these no bake superfood brownies should be kept covered in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them. They will stay good in your fridge for about 1 week.
- To freeze: feel free to keep them in a freezer-safe container in your freezer for up to 1 month. If you do keep them in your freezer, be sure to leave them out on the counter for a few minutes before serving so that they soften up a bit.
See all of our go-to kitchen essentials here!
More no bake treats you’ll love
- Peanut Butter Cup Freezer Fudge
- Birthday Cake Rice Krispie Treats
- Crispy Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
- Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
- Vegan No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Get all of our no bake desserts here!
I hope you love these no bake superfood brownies! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
No Bake Superfood Brownies
The best no bake brownies packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein from four types of nuts, dried fruit and chia seeds. These superfood brownie energy bars are vegan, gluten free, naturally sweetened, and taste just like a fudgy brownie! The perfect nutritious treat or snack.
- For the bars:
- 1 cup packed pitted Medjool dates
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup raw pecans halves
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, divided
- 1/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 1 tablespoon melted virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or dried cherries or goji berries)
- 1 tablespoon warm water, if necessary
- For the topping:
- 2 ounces dark chocolate bar (vegan, if desired)
- To garnish:
- 1 tablespoon shelled chopped pistachios
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, cherries or goji berries
- 1 tablespoon chopped pecans
- Maldon sea salt, for sprinkling on top
Add dates, walnuts, pecans, only ¼ cup of pistachios to the bowl of a food processor. Process until chunky.
Next add in unsweetened shredded coconut, chia seeds, cacao powder, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Process again until mixture is chunky and slightly clumping. If mixture is dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of warm water.
Next add in remaining ¼ cup pistachios and dried cranberries and pulse again a few times until pistachios are slightly chunky. Add mixture into a 8x4 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper, pressing evenly towards the sides of the pan.
Add dark chocolate to a small saucepan and place over low heat until melted. You can also microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate is fully melted and smooth.
Pour over the bars, tilting pan so that the chocolate covers the bars evenly. Garnish the bars with 1 tablespoon of the following: chopped pistachios, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans. Place bars in the freezer for 20-45 minutes to harden.
Once ready to serve, sprinkle with Maldon sea salt then cut into 8 squares. Store safely covered in the freezer for up to 1 month. Enjoy!
If you want you can keep the melted dark chocolate off the top. They are still incredibly delicious.
See the full post for storing & freezing instructions.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on October 31st, 2017, and republished on January 23rd, 2022.
Looking forward 2 trying out your receipes
I’d like to try this as it sounds delicious but can’t seem to find your print button anywhere.
I am looking forward to trying these. In the Notes, is the word “of” supposed to be “off” (meaning, I presume, that the chocolate topping is optional)?
Yes it is! Thanks for catching! 🙂
I just tried this recipe yesterday and can I say – they were just divine. I did a double batch and also made more than 16 portions as I cut them half the size of yours. They are to die for. I will be making this recipe again for sure. They are so good that I think they will remain in my fridge…..I dont think I will buy chocolate again with all the goodness in these ones.
Hi Anna! I’m so glad you enjoyed these 🙂 the perfect, chocolate-y treat to keep in the fridge!
I made these tonight. I used dried cherries instead of goji berries. Oh My Goodness! These are so good! I will definitely make them again. (And FYI, I had never in my life eaten a date before today.) Thanks for a great recipe!
Dried cherries would be fabulous in here! So glad you enjoyed these, Donna (a great way to use dates for the first time!)
Hello lovely! This seems amazing! I’m looking to be on top of Christmas prep, and want some things done early. How long would this keep in the fridge you reckon, or is it even freezable? Thanks very much!
Hi! You can freeze these up to a month 🙂 Enjoy!
How long to keep in fridge?
And can you eat them straight from the Freezer?
Please could you convert this into grams please ?
Just use a converter app on your phone or computer!
What could I substitute for the coconut?
These were amazing! I didn’t use the coconut flakes as I didn’t have any at hand. I’ve tried so many healthified versions of brownies and these are by far the best! Thank you for sharing!!!
So great to hear!! These are one of my absolute favorites.
I absolutely loved making these and they were delicious!!! Thank u for all your delicious recipes!!!
So great to hear, Sara! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying them 🙂
How many calories?
Hi Patricia! All of the nutrition info is listed next to the ingredients 🙂 There are 234 calories per serving in this recipe.
These are setting in the fridge as I type, but just by licking the bowl I know they are going to taste great!
I used dried dates and soaked them for about 4 minutes in boiling water. A little more cost effective as I have 3 hungry boys and a hubby that will devour these in seconds! Thank you! I’ll be making these again!
These are amazing Monique!! Thank you for all your amazing recipes. You are definitely one of my favourite go-to’s for healthy breakfast bars and snacks!
You are so welcome, Crystal! I’m so happy to hear that 🙂
I made this bar and it’s delicious. But just one thing I like ask you, does your bar crumbly? Because mine is. Did I do something wrong? Thank you for the tips.
Hi! I’m glad you’re enjoying this one! I would be sure to press the ingredients so that they’re packed nice and tight – they should be too crumbly!
Make sure you’re using fresh Medjool dates, not Deglet Noor dates that have been sitting in the bulk bin for who knows how long.
Can I leave out the dates or is that what holds it all together? They look so amazing!
Unfortunately the dates are what hold these bars together! Try these ones 🙂
Do you have a substitution suggestion for the coconut oil? I’d love to make these but we have people in the house who are allergic to coconut. Any help would be appreciated! These look delicious
You could try another oil or even butter, just know that the flavor might change a bit!
Really tasty! I didn’t have pistachios so I used almonds. I had packaged dates that were a bit dry so I soaked them in boiling water for 15 min. The vanilla was a bit overpowering, so next time I will use half. We almost devoured all of them.
That sounds perfect! I’m so glad you all enjoyed.
Monique what do you think about an addition of 1/4 cup chopped spinach to the base?
Hi Joyce! I’m not 100% sure – it might add a bit of an odd texture, but let me know if you try it!
Your recipes are fantastic! Love Love Love this one!! Just perfect..Thank you
Hi! Thank you so much – I’m happy you loved this one! 🙂
I loved this recipe so much. So yummy! I was wondering if it was possible to post your recipe on my site with all credit to you (The Ambitious Kitchen’s No Bake Superfood Dark Chocolate Brownie Energy Bars) with a link back to this page?
Hope you can let me know.
Hi Amanda! So glad you enjoyed this one. Feel free to share the link to this recipe on your page, but please don’t post the full recipe. Thank you!
I subbed dried dates (soaked in boiling water) and pumpkin seeds for the nuts due to nut allergies in our family and the recipe was very forgiving. Turned out wonderful. Love the texture and my kids devoured this healthy snack after school. Thank you. I’m a new follower of your blog and love the beautiful photos and inspirational recipes.
Perfect! Welcome to AK, Sue 🙂 Hope you find some new recipes that you love.
these ended up being the most expensive snack I ever made. I’m not independently wealthy, so I won’t be making these again. The ingredients are very expensive, then the nuts broke a hole straight through my Ninja food processor.
I love the ingredients, but I’d much rather just have them separately or in salads or other ways.
It helps to buy these ingredients in bulk, and then you can get a bunch of different uses out of them. I’m surprised to hear that the nuts broke through your food processor – so strange!
Where do you buy Goji berries?
I usually get them in the bulk section at Whole Foods.
I made these today for a treat. Pure DECADENCE !!! My friends came over and we popped open a bottle of red wine..talk about pairing heaven!!!
I made these yesterday as a,treat. My girlfriends stopped by and I served them paired with red wine.PURE DECADENCE! amazing!
Best combo ever! Glad you all loved them 🙂
I made these on Sunday and love them so much! My boyfriend loves them too. Will definitely be making these again.
Amazing! The perfect snack 🙂
Amazing, tasty and yummy snack. Next time I might replace goji berries with dried cherries or another dried fruit and use my left over chocolate chips for the melted topping. Thank you.
Dried cherries would be delicious in here! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
just found this recipe, looking forward to making them with my granddaughter
Hope you both love these!
Omg, this has become the favourite dessert in my home!!! Last night I made two batches (one is just not enough for peace at home, lol), and I think it’s safe to say I have made them more than ten times so far. My friends also love them, a few of them also took the recipe link. Many thanks for sharing this with us!
Amazing!! So happy to hear that 🙂
OMG so yummy!! i have made them 3 time so far and by far my fav!! i have a super sweet tooth and these are helping me out alot on my fitness adventure to stay on track!!
The perfect treat! Glad you love them 🙂
love these no bake energy bars
An EASY, CHOCOLATEY treat!!! Dump the ingredients into a food processor, press into a pan and chill! It doesn’t get easier than that! It’s a GREAT substitute for a chocolate craving!! It makes a small batch, so next time I will double it. Gluten free and vegan.
Absolutely! Perfect for those chocolate cravings 🙂
Wow! I was a little skeptical as I’ve never had dates or Goji berries before so wasn’t sure what to expect, but these are absolutely delicious!! Even my daughters liked them and they are picky about their sweets, Great recipe! Thank you!
Amazing! So happy everyone loved them 🙂
This is the yummiest snack of lockdown! I’ve made it 3 times and like it best when I add all the pistachios at the beginning so not to have the bigger chunks. I’ve also added a 1/2 cup dried cranberries which adds a bit of juiciness.
They crumble quite a lot but think if I left them to refrigerate overnight then they maybe wouldn’t? I can never wait more than an hour or 2!
It sounds like you may not have used enough water in the recipe, or perhaps your dates weren’t soft enough. Try soaking them in warm water before hand to soften them up. So glad you enjoyed regardless!
this was absolutely incredible and easy to make!
So glad you enjoyed!
Absolutely delicious!!! 🙂
Glad you loved them!
Incredibly delicious with no guilt!
I have made these for friends and family, also. Everyone loves them. I add more dried fruits and nuts. Dried cranberries, raisins, dried plums, hemp seeds, almonds…so good!
Amazing! So happy to hear that!
these were amazing. shared the recipe! will def make again.. soon!!!! a fav!
So happy to hear that!
Can you please tell me the amount of dates in cup measurements rather than the brand and packet? This would keep it consistent with the rest of the recipe and be helpful if the brand of dates is not available
That is included in the recipe ingredient list (1 cup packed pitted Medjool dates)
Yum! This definitely hits the spot for a healthier sweet treat. I didn’t have goji berries so subbed cranberries. If you double the recipe, make sure your food processor is big enough; I needed to take some out for the final mix-ins. Whoops! The dark chocolate and red in the berries makes this a great one to share with friends for Valentines’ Day coming up! Thanks, Monique!
Another ambitious kitchen recipe that I love!! Love these easy to make and healthier brownies! Will def make again!
I’m so glad!!
Hi If I wanted to double this recipe what size pan would I use? Thank You
Hi! A square, 8×8 inch pan should work well.
Tried these Dark chocolate brownie bars. THey are delicious!!!! Do not taste healthy at all, so no guilt eating them. I didn’t add the chocolate on top, still great. Will for sure be making there again!!!
I’m so happy you loved them Lisa!! Yay!
these are amazing! i have made them serveral x… a fav! do it!
So happy you’re a fan of these, Paula — thank you!
What could I use instead of oil or butter? I am eating oil free right now. These look delicious!
I haven’t tried skipping the coconut oil but it might work ok without it! Let me know what you end up doing 🙂
These brownies/bars are amazing. I’m so glad I made them. Truly so easy to make and very delicious. You probably have a lot of these ingredients on hand if you are a smoothie drinker or regular AK baker.
I’m so glad you tried them, too! So happy you loved them 🙂
So good! Very easy to make and satisfied my dessert craving tonight. Also not as much of a sugar crash as regular brownies. Definitely going in the regular rotation. Thank you!
So good! Like a homemade Lara Bar but better. I used twice the amount of walnuts and pecans (so 1/2 cup of each) and an extra tablespoon of cacao powder, and added an extra couple tablespoons of water to accommodate for the extra dry ingredients. Used dried cherries instead of cranberries as suggested in the notes. Turned out great!
Oh yes great comparison! I’m SO glad you love them. Thanks for leaving a review!
Monique, thank you for this recipe!! I just made them with a few healthy adjustments…I subbed cacao powder with cinnamon protein powder. I used half the coconut oil, and used some date water from soaking the dates. I didn’t do any of the topping. So essentially they’re just healthy protein bars! Love it!
Oh I’m so happy you loved them! Thanks for sharing 🙂
These are delicious!!! Easy to make. Cut in small squares and try not to gobble them up!
Haha I know so addictive, right?! Thrilled to hear you loved them!
I just made these tonight! They’re delicious, but the bottom portion seems to crumble apart pretty badly. I used Noor dates, because that’s what I had on hand. Is that maybe where I went wrong? I also used the kind of coconut oil that’s liquid. Could that be a problem as well? I can’t wait to try making these again. I’m just days away from giving birth and I think these will be great for having a new baby around!
Sorry to hear that! Hmmm were the dates tough and dry? They should be soft and sticky. You need melted coconut oil so I think yours should be fine. And huge congrats, mama, so happy for you!! 🥰
These were delicious!! They went down great with coffee and tea after a dinner party. Just a small amount each was great…although it was too tempting to keep going back for more. Loved a drizzle of almond butter over the dark chocolate.
These are divine! I love that they are a healthy snack that tastes so indulgent. I keep them in the freezer and just take one out when I want a delicious snack.
I’m so happy you’re loving them, Lisa! SUCH a great snack 🙂
These bars are amazing. They taste wonderful and satisfy the sweet tooth without any ingredients to feel bad about. Mine were a bit crumbly but better when chilled. I would add the 2 Tbsp of warm water next time as I only added 1 for this batch. Thank you for the goodness
These bars are amazing!! I’m doing a whole30 so can’t have any added sugars or sweeteners and most snack bar recipes have added sugars so I was super excited to find this one! Instead of chocolate on the top, I used about a tablespoon of melted coconut oil mixed with half a cup of Costco’s mixed nut butter. I didn’t add the toppings (way too lazy to shell more pistachios) but the nut butter has pumpkin seeds and chia seeds in it, so there’s still a nice texture.
Perfect! I’m glad those swaps worked out well! Loved the photo in our Facebook group 🙂
Looking forward the meal plan