No Bake Superfood Brownies (vegan & gluten free)


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.

no bake superfood brownies on parchment paper

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 for vegan no bake brownies in a food processor

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.

no bake brownie energy bars in a pan

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!

no bake brownies on parchment paper

How to make fudgy no bake brownies

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve and devour. I like to sprinkle the tops with Maldon sea salt, then cut into 8 bars and serve!

brownie energy bars on parchment paper

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.

gluten free no bake brownies in a stack

Recommended tools

See all of our go-to kitchen essentials here!

healthy no bake brownie with a bite taken out

More no bake treats you’ll love

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
  1. Add dates, walnuts, pecans, only ¼ cup of pistachios to the bowl of a food processor. Process until chunky. 

  2. 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.

  3. 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 8×4 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper, pressing evenly towards the sides of the pan.

  4. 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. 

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Nutrition

Servings: 8 squares

Serving size: 1 bar

Calories: 288kcal

Fat: 17.8g

Saturated fat: 6.4g

Carbohydrates: 31.9g

Fiber: 5.9g

Sugar: 22.9g

Protein: 4.8g

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.



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