Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Bars

January 29, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Makes about 20 (if you cut them small!)
Author Notes

If you think "raw vegan" is code for "very hard to eat and made of straight up grass" you are...sometimes right. But not this time! These bars are addictively chewy and made of the kind of stuff you feel good about putting in your body, even though your mouth is convinced it's candy. An oven-less, egg-less win. —Kendra Vaculin

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup nut butter (I used smooth almond, but sunbutter would be awesome!)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons -- heaping, because it's chocolate -- unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Pulse pecans in a food processor until crumbly, and then add dates. Pulse a few times until combined.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended. Just stop here and eat this whole thing with a spoon. No? That's gross? Ok. Next step.
  3. Press the mixture into a small wax- or parchment-lined dish or baking sheet with a lip (an 8 x 8-inch pan works well) until flat and even. Freeze for 30 minutes, and then slice.
  4. Keep in a container in the refrigerator (or the freezer) with layers separated by wax paper.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Yvette
  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • yellowbird
  • Kathleen Martin
    Kathleen Martin
  • Kris
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24 Reviews

noellebelle January 4, 2021
Did anyone have a problem with these falling apart? I did everything correctly but they don't look smooth like the photo, very chunky. I think the dates are supposed to be more blended but not sure how to do that without breaking my food processor 😅 Any assistance?
Yvette June 17, 2018
Easy to make and turned out great. A hit with my 7 year old - and he is a very picky eater. For the win...!
Taylor S. December 25, 2017
Subbed walnuts and cashews for the pecans and used a mixture of almond+cashew butters... wonderful! Kept these in the freezer and then pulled them as needed. Letting them sit for 5-10 minutes gives them the perfect "fudginess" in my opinion :)
yellowbird June 10, 2016
YES. These are so good. I subbed in oats for the pecans (because heaven knows our student budget can't handle shelling out 2 of dates AND pecans) and they were marvelous.
Kathleen M. February 19, 2016
could i take out the shredded coconut??
Heather January 30, 2016
yummy, yummy, yummy, shall I go on? I have already lost track of how many times I've made these. And yes, every time I get to the option of "just stop here and eat the whole thing with a spoon" I have to think about it for a while.
Kris September 15, 2015
I don't have a food processor. My blender usually struggles to blend/pulse dates without any liquids. Any ideas?
Cinnamon September 6, 2015
These look fantastic! They're certainly not raw, but they look tasty. Maple syrup and agave syrup, in case you have read the bottle, are extensively boiled to become syrup; cocoa powder is very, very much heat-treated, a lot of nut butters are made with roasted nuts, untreated almonds take a lot of hunting to find in the U.S. since the new regulations (you either have to import them or know a grower), etc. If you're not strict, then stuff your face with them, because they look delicious. I am a little disappointed in Food 52 for slapping the word "raw" on anything that doesn't go into the oven at one's own home.
Martin November 14, 2017
The adjective "raw" is used in relation to the bars, not the ingredients by themselves. Also, they don't look fantastic nor delicious. They are as plain-looking as can be.
Chelsey1818 May 28, 2015
Amazing! Easy and delicious!
Carmen L. March 2, 2015
OMG these are soo good. They barely made it into the freezer. Since I do not like pecans I used walnuts.
savorthis February 19, 2015
I used a roasted cashew butter and some toasted coconut from Trader Joe' no longer completely raw, but still delicious. I used a bit more cocoa powder (having come off a whole food cleanse I was a little coo-coo for chocolate) and topped them with some maldon salt. About to make my second batch.
witloof February 10, 2015
I just made this. It took like five minutes and is SO DELICIOUS I can barely keep myself from eating the whole pan. For doesn't like coconut, you can't really taste it anyway.
kumalavula February 8, 2015
these were easy to put together and probably too easy to get rid off, if you know what i mean :) they had great flavor and i liked their consistency. these'll be a favorite with friends, coworkers and anyone else that stops by.
witloof February 7, 2015
These look awesome to me! I have stopped eating gluten, dairy, and sugar, and have been searching for something I can bring to share on a long car ride next weekend and not appear like a joyless food crank. Have you tried playing with the flavorings? I am thinking about cardamom, cinnamon, orange flower water, pistachio or walnut oil instead of coconut.
Maria February 5, 2015
Has anyone tried a substitution yet for the coconut that works AND tastes great? I love coconut, but some family members don't. Thanks!
witloof February 7, 2015
I bet this would work. It's chewy and not very moist, similar to coconut.
Judy February 5, 2015
Frosted flakes or rice ceral; bran; oats; ground nuts or even chopped dried fruit
Laurie February 5, 2015
These look delicious, however I'm not a fan of coconut. Is there anything you recommend instead of the shredded coconut ?
Judy February 4, 2015
Yes, you are probably right . . . but I usually soak my dried fruit (cherries or cranberries) in hot wine to plump them up and the jam I buy from Israel is really like dried fruit. With a little melted chocolate they should bind together very well (just in case I didn't have any dates on hand). My mind is just thinking thru my fingers - being at home late at night and wanting a snack - what could I use and these things popped into my mind. I try to be resourceful because we live 15 miles away from the nearest grocery store.
Judy February 4, 2015
I'm guessing any dried fruit (cherries, apricot jam, cranberries) would work with any nut (pecan, hazelnut, pistashio, walnut) of choice as well as dark chocolate or milk chocolate or white chocolate
Kendra V. February 4, 2015
you can definitely try with any dried fruit, but the dates really break down into the perfect binding agent: not super loose (as I imagine jam might be), but loose enough (I think dried cherries might be too tough). let me know what you find!
djtellytal February 4, 2015
I'm a big fan of these! Not on a raw/vegan diet, but it's the perfect thing to satisfy a sweet tooth without feeling bad. They are also great for backpacking/camping trips because they are fairly nutritious and don't ever really go bad or stale.
Kendra V. February 4, 2015
for real! though im partial to them riiiighhttt out of the freezer so maybe winter camping :P