Healthy Chocolate Fudge Bars for Plant-Based & Paleo Snacking


Ever since a certain nut and fruit bar company was bought out by a mega-corporation, and their bars subsequently shrunk up a bit in size, I’ve been experimenting at home with my own tasty blends. So far, my two favorites are my Raw Pecan Pie Bars / Bites (recipe in Eat Dairy Free) and these Healthy Chocolate Fudge Bars.

Healthy Chocolate Fudge Bars Recipe - dairy-free, plant-based, paleo, raw, and gluten-free. Like Homemade Larabars.

I mean, up to three types of chocolate in one snack recipe, what’s not to love? To further up the ante, these fudge bars are made with nutritious dates, nuts, and don’t contain a drop of dairy or an ounce of gluten. The nuts add a little protein while the fruit and chocolate provide some all-natural, quick and tasty energy. As an added bonus, these healthy snack bars are safe for those schools with peanut-free policies.


This recipe can easily be customized to your tastes. If cashews aren’t your game, use 5 ounces of your favorite nut and omit the coconut oil (most nuts have more fat than cashews). You can also swap the cocoa powder for carob powder or even a dairy-free milk powder or protein powder. Also, note that the cacao nibs add a nice crunch to the bars, but chocolate chips alone will certainly be delicious, too.

Healthy Chocolate Fudge Bars Recipe - dairy-free, plant-based, paleo, raw, and gluten-free. Like Homemade Larabars.

Special Diet Notes: Healthy Chocolate Fudge Bars

These fudge bars are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Soy-Free Option: Some chocolate chips do contain a small amount of soy lecithin. Look for soy-free brands like Enjoy Life, or opt for soy-free cacao nibs.

Healthy Chocolate Fudge Bars (Homemade Larabars)
Prep time
Total time
I originally created this recipe for Applegate. See the notes in my post above for optional modifications to customize this recipe.
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Serves: About 8 servings
  • 1 cup (140 grams) cashews
  • 16 dates (approximately 320 grams)*
  • 1 tablespoon melted, warm coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder, or more to taste
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Up to ½ cup dairy-free dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (minis if you’ve got them), cacao nibs, or a combination of the two (for a triple chocolate effect)
  1. Grind the cashews in your spice grinder or food processor. They will turn into a flour; if a few little chunks remain, not a problem - it will add some texture.
  2. Place the dates in a bowl or in your food processor with the oil and vanilla. Mash with a fork, or combine with a food processor.
  3. Add the ground cashews, cocoa powder, and salt, and mash or blend until everything is well-combined.
  4. Stir / press in the chips and/or nibs.
  5. Shape the mixture into balls or press it out onto a cutting board lined with parchment paper and gently cut into bars (big or small).
  6. I prefer to store these bars in the refrigerator or freezer for optimum freshness, but they will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for at least a few days.
It is best to use dates that are fairly fresh. If your dates are a bit dry, you can soak them in water for 5 to 10 minutes, drain, and then add them to the recipe. This will reduce the shelf-life a little.

For More of My Recipes, Get Eat Dairy Free!

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Pingback: Over 50 Healthy Ways to Enjoy Chocolate for Breakfast

  2. oh wow, just made a batch for our local la leche league meeting tommorow, hopefully the toddlers wont devour all of them before the mums get to them 🙂

  3. Pingback: Eating Real Food On the Go!

  4. Oh my goodness! These look AH-Mazing Alisa!!!! I make a similar one but with nut butter, I am a sucker for desserts with dates 🙂 Happy New Year!

  5. Oh. Ehm. Gee. This is beyond fabulous looking!! And with one slight modification. . . I think I’ll be eating Healthy Chocolate Fudge Bars this week. 😉

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