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Chocolate Espresso Power Bars

chocolate espresso power bars gluten free
Vegan Chocolate Espresso Power Bars made with pecans, dates and decaf espresso.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good power bar?  One that is easy to travel with and renders a healthy snack on the go?

These gluten free Espresso Power Bars have a delicious espresso-chocolate-vanilla-ish flavor that makes them equally satisfying as a snack or dessert.  I found mine were just a tad crumbly, you may need to add a dash of water to help yours hold together well.

Chocolate Espresso Power Bars

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  1. Blend pecans, cacao and espresso in food processor until finely ground
  2. Add pitted dates and process until blended into dry ingredients
  3. Process in vanilla, stevia and agave until well combined
  4. Press mixture into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish, add a little water if your batter is crumbly when handling
  5. Freeze for 2 hours, then cut into squares

I adapted this recipe from one featured in a Daily Camera article on Pam Vaginieres and her protein bars.

I will be heading up to the mountains tomorrow to appear on Good Morning Vail (television show at 9:40am MST) where I will chat with Tricia Swenson and demo two gluten free recipes from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (Smoked Salmon Leek Tart and Chocolate Chip Cookies).

Later that evening you can find me at The Bookworm in Edwards, Colorado at 6pm.  I will be holding a book discussion and signing from 6-8pm. Tickets are $25, which includes wine and gluten free appetizers from my book. Proceeds benefit the Gore Range Natural Science School.


posted on March 23, 2010, 50 comments

  1. Yum!
    Would you be able to use carob powder instead?

  2. Emily

    Uh oh. These look dangerous! Dangerously good :)
    Thank you in advance for this recipe, I know it will make my husband think I am even more of a goddess than he already does if I make these for him.
    Hope the book talks go well, have lots of fun!! Xo

  3. Cassi @ cassifriz.com

    for people with an omega juicer or other such device- i love to make gooey snack bars with dates and no sweeteners by processing through the blank screen until they bind together.

    thanks for the power bar tip! we’ve been making a similar concoction lately, but just figured out the vanilla thing. vanilla is amazing and makes chocolate (or raw cacao) spectacular.

  4. Yes please yes please! I am helpless in the face of coffee + chocolate treats. Must make these when I return home!

  5. I love making bars and “truffles” out of nuts and dates, but have never thought of adding espresso before. Eager to try it out! Thanks, Elana!

  6. i’m a tea-only person but just got some instant espresso to use flavoring with chocolate. this sounds like the perfect place to start!

  7. veggie wedgie @ veggie-wedgie.com

    Very cool recipe. fuss-free and delicious!

  8. Marie-Sophie

    Hey Elana,

    Which nuts could I replace the pecans with ?? In Germany you just don’t really get a lot of pecans … do walnuts work??

    Thanks for that great recipe – my boyfriend will love these in his treat box during his upcoming final exams next week!!

    • Marie-Sophie

      I think I am simply going to substitute almonds for the pecans – and I will be trying to make them stick together more with a bit of almond butter … I guess I simply have to do a trial and error method!

  9. When I hear “power bar” I think of those bars by that brand name. Yuck. But these? These sound delicious!

  10. Erin

    Elana:

    I love so many things on your website. I am not gluten free or have a condition that disallows me to eat certain foods but I like to try new things in cooking and baking. I also find you to be so courageous with putting out such a great blog and cookbook. I look forward to making so many of your recipes, and manipulating some of them, as I am a vegan. On another note, I am an avid shape reader, and today, your walnut-rosemary cookies were featured. So excited to dive into those. :)

    Thank you,

    Erin

  11. pamela

    Hi Elana,
    Congrats on the Good Morning Vail interview. How about posting a video clip of it on your site? I think your fans would love it.

    I am telling so many of my friends, plus random people that I meet in Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s about your site. I feel SO MUCH BETTER eating gluten and dairy free that I want to re-educate the world. Thanks a million for teaching me to cook and bake with REAL food.
    Gratefully,
    Pamela

  12. Sounds delicious! And like a great pick-me-up in the afternoons!

  13. I’ll have to try this recipe. Thank you for posting this.

  14. Sindy

    Is the organic expresso coffee instant coffee?

  15. Heidi

    Hi! Help. I got the book, ordered the almond flour and would really like to make some muffins and lemon bars but cant find arrowroot in any of my local stores. Can I sub organic cornstarch?

  16. Xena Carpenter

    DOWD’S owners should be ashamed of such practices. Thanks so much for what you do. You have saved me. I am not a kitchen relaible person, but for health reasons I know cook for myself. Thanks for sharing so freely!

  17. Chocolate and Coffee…you are speaking my language!

  18. Susan Van Horn

    Your recipes sound wonderful – can’t wait to try some! I see you use a lot of Agave nectar. Recent research is now saying it’s worse than high fructose corn syrup in terms of what it does to our bodies. If you google it, you should find loads of info. Here is one article from Dr. Mercola: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/30/beware-of-the-agave-nectar-health-food-fraud.aspx

  19. Sylvie Nalezny @ realfoodnutrition.com

    Dear Elena,
    I love you site! Thank you for doing what you do. This is a great resource for gluten free living. The recipes are simple and delicious and the pictures are beautiful.
    I have a question about agave nectar. I’ve been reading from various sources (Weston A. Price, Natural News, Mercola), that it may not be as good for us as we previously thought. What are your thoughts on this?

  20. Emery

    We made these bars and they’re delicious! What is the best way to store them? Do they need to be kept in the freezer or is the refrigerator okay? Thanks!

  21. Lisa

    I made these for my roller derby team the week of and the day of our championship bout. They were a huge success! Thank you!

  22. Michele S

    Anyone have a recommendation for finding the finely ground organic decaf espresso online? No local stores carry it and, where I found it online, the shipping costs were prohibitive…as much as the espresso itself!

  23. I always hate when I read a blog post on a recipe that SOUNDS good..and LOOKS good…and has a thousand comments left saying how good it looks and sounds but with no actual feedback.

    SO..here I am to give my feedback on a couple of recipes I made tonight for a hike I am going on tomorrow.

    These are yummy. I actually omitted the espresso (I am pregnant and hypersensitive to caffeine so stick to chocolate as my source), the stevia, agave, and only put a pinch of vanilla in because after blending up the nuts, cocoa, and dried fruits (had to use apricots and golden raisins because I used all my dates on another recipe of yours:) I tasted it and was delighted just the way it was.

    So I guess I can’t really give feedback on this precise recipe..but it was a great base to work with and was very pleased that I could substitute things with what was hanging out in my cupboards without compromising taste.

    I will definitely try these again and keep to the recipe (besides the espresso) to get the actual experience you intended for.

    Thank you so much for the delicious power bar insight!!

    • Michele L Sirois

      I am with you Kristina! It’s not very helpful for the readers when people just make supportive comments about the author’s picture and recipe based on looking at it. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve made that particular thing and it flopped! Or is someone makes 5 substitutions for a 7 ingredient recipe! And then I ask a specific question about my experience and no one answers (like my question over a month ago asking if anyone had a recommendation for finding the finely ground organic decaf espresso online since I was unable to find it locally or at a decent price online.). Thanks for the feedback…..it will help me decide if I want to make them without the espresso. Good luck with the pregnancy, Kristina!

      • julie

        Hi Michele – I’m trying this recipe today (at some point, I hope). My plan is to use regular coffee and just grind it extra fine, then pack it into the measuring spoon – much like I would do if actually making espresso. I really don’t think it’s necessary to special order it. Hope that helps. I’ll try to remember to post my results!

  24. Amelia

    Hi,

    I can’t eat nuts so is there something I can replace the pecans with?

    Thanks,
    Amelia

  25. marla {family fresh cooking} @ familyfreshcooking.com

    I make bars quite a bit like these Elana – way better than store bought any day!

  26. Kenna

    I just made these yesterday. I don’t have a food processor, so I used the Vitamix (this was actually the first thing the vitamix has had trouble blending, but it turned out ok). I didn’t have stevia, and I accidentally forgot the agave, but they still taste plenty sweet with the dates. They were a little crumbly when i tried to get them out of the dish straight out of the freezer. I’m a little confused on how to store them, in the freezer or fridge?

    Overall,the blend of pecans, dates, cocoa and espresso make for a quite tasty snack.

  27. Patty

    I made these a few weeks ago & since I find comments helpful thought I would add mine. These are delicious & to my taste, very rich (in a good way). I left out the stevia & they are just fine. In fact with the dates, I might be inclined to leave out the agave nectar next time. I’m storing these in the freezer cut into small squares. They make a very tasty cold bite with a LOT of flavor. I will definitely make these again. Thanks so much for all your recipes. I’ve eliminated sugar as much as I possibly can these days & do look for ways to get a bit of unprocessed sweetness in a snack that I won’t feel bad about on occasion.

  28. Patty

    I forgot to add one other item. I didn’t have any instant coffee aside from my husband’s Folgers, so like another commenter, I ground some regular coffee beans VERY finely & used that. Very nice.

  29. Debbie Lynne

    Elana and others….
    I’m looking for a chocolate-kale chip recipe. I just found some of these wonder-yummies at Whole Foods and they were wonderful (and expensive), but I’m not sure how to do them and get them the right crispy with the chocolate coating.

    Elana, you and your kale chips came to mind.

  30. HJ

    Hi I have tried to make this with walnuts instead and have found that the bars tend to be very oily and is diffucult for my husband to bring to school as a snack as the oil seeps all over after being out of the freezer for a while. May I know what I can do to reduce this oil seepage? Thank you for your advice!

  31. Elana

    Hi Elana (nice to meet someone else who spells it with an “E”)
    I make these all the time, i used almonds instead of pecans and completely leave out the stevia and agave, we call them toffees (or tomorrows – in hebrew date is “tamar” – tamarows), my kids love squishing the “batter” into different shaped candy molds that we keep in the freezer, this way they are also portioned-
    thanks for all the great recipes

  32. Nancy

    AMAZING!!! Just made them yesterday and it is a HUGE temptation not to eat it all at once!

  33. Megan

    Is this paleo? And are all your recipes paleo? I am paleo and trying to find more recipes!

  34. Posted on nice anyone atnindetg the Baltimore con this weekend, these are the ideal item to print out and leave randomly on tables, chairs, bits of empty floor, etc

  35. Miriam

    I realize Elana can’t answer this question so I’m hoping someone else will.

    10 drops of stevia

    There are a number of different stevia products on the market – are they all the same “dosage wise”? I have a new powdered stevia product that you measure like sugar – how would I know what 10 drops is equal to?

    I’ve been experimenting with different sweeteners and haven’t yet found a liquid stevia that I like.

    I’d be grateful for any experience you have. Because I live in Canada we have different brands (sometimes) available.

    Thanks.

    Miriam Kearney

    • Katie

      In Canada (Alberta) i have tried 5 brands. The only one I have liked and found to be consistently the same in every bottle is called HERBAL SELECT liquid extract in a dark brown bottle with a rubber stopper for measuring drops that contains only vegetable glycerin and stevia extract. I purchase it at a grocery store in 60 ml. Glass bottles for $6.79. ( I have seen other brands such as Better Stevia for $9.99 and more at a health food store) I also avoid plastic or synthetic bottles or containers. They make a French vanilla flavor too and packets like sugar but I haven’t tried it. you can google and order it online also. Hope this helps! Also I use 5 to 6 drops in a cup of coffee which seems to be like 2 tsp. of sugar.

  36. Annelize Smith

    Can I substitute the stevia with honey? Cannot find stevia in Moscow!

  37. Cathy

    These look amazing! I wondered if almond meal could replace the ground pecans?

    1.5c of pecans would probably amount to 3/4 c of ground pecans. What do you think Elana? I’m only asking because I have almond meal on hand, and I need to make these right now!

    Thanks for all of your amazing recipes and ideas.
    Cathy

  38. Stacey Grimm

    Why use stevia? You’ve already got days in there for sweetness, & stevia is so bitter.

  39. Raffi Maddison @ kitchenessentials.ca

    I love chocolate espresso bars and might sound strange but I prefer having chocolate espresso bar with a shot of hot espresso coffee

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top