The recipe for these chocolatey nuggets comes from fellow mom blogger Beth Aldrich who writes Real Moms Love to Eat. Made with just five wholesome ingredients, and not a drop of processed sugar, it’s the sort of thing you can’t quite made heads or tales of when you take a bite. You just know it hits all the right notes: sweet, chocolatey, satisfying. Beth calls them No-Bake Brownies. They got mom approval from me and my friend Meg who stopped by just cutting them for an afternoon snack. As for my kids, they gave them a thumbs up too, but said, “This is good, mom. But it’s no brownie.”

Call it a brownie, call it a chocolate energy bar, whatever you call it, it’s a nourishing hit of chocolate made sweet solely using dates and dried cranberries. Cocoa powder and cocoa nibs add antioxidant power without any of the sugar or additives that usually accompany all things chocolate. Plus, it couldn’t be easier: Whirl together 2 cups of walnuts, 16 pitted medjool dates, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/4 cup cocoa nibs in the food processor, press them into a pan and refrigerate. I add a generous pinch of salt when I make them, which elevates the chocolate flavor a notch. Cut into small squares, they make a great lunchbox treat for the kids, and a teatime nibble for moms when that sweet tooth won’t be denied.

For instructions on making No-Bake Brownies, click here for Beth’s mini video tutorial.


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  1. Claudia
    04.04.2014 at 1:42 PM #

    I make these chocolate energy bars and my mother find them delicious. But I have to add water otherwise the bars are not held. Thank you for this healthy recipe ! 🙂

    • katiemorford
      04.05.2014 at 5:49 AM #

      Good point on the water, Claudia. Dates really vary in moisture, so a little liquid may help when they are on the dry side.

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