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Date Walnut Bars

date walnut bars gluten-free dairy-free recipe

These healthy, higher protein, gluten free Date Walnut Bars are a nice alternative to my more indulgent gluten free Cake Pops.  If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’m obsessed with cake pops.  After I put the words “cake pops” in my status update bar for the umpteenth time, one of my followers said, “yes, I have noticed them!” I think she may have had just a twinge if sarcasm in her response, though who can blame her.

Anyway, back to date bars.  Gluten free date bars.  Truly, these are a nice healthy treat for the new year.  We enjoy them for breakfast with a hot cup of tea, or for an afternoon snack, or for dessert following our dinner.

Date Walnut Bars

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  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
  2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, oil, agave and vanilla extract
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Fold walnuts and dates into batter
  5. Scoop batter into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish
  6. Bake at 350° for 22-30 minutes
  7. Cool and serve

Both my husband and younger son really enjoyed this treat.  Of course, my older son barely noticed them since they do not contain chocolate.

Here’s some other folks that have recipes for gluten free date bars:
-Tropical Pineapple Date Bars from Ginger Lemon Girl
-Peanut Date Bars from Food Sensitivity Journal
-Walnut and Date Bars from Jenn Cuisine

The winner of last weeks giveaway for a copy of Stephanie O’Dea’s cookbook More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow is Jami Fynboh!


posted on January 18, 2011, 87 comments

  1. Trish @I_am_Succeeding @ Iamsucceeding.com

    Those look really good!

  2. Dana Goodson

    I LOVE Dates! I cant wait to try these! Thanks!

  3. They look wonderful Elana, and thanks for the mention! My husband loves dates, I will have to try your version!

  4. Ashley Craft @ Taste for Healthy @ tasteforhealthy.blogspot.com

    These look delicious! I am always looking for new ways to use almond flour!! :)

  5. Bethany

    Hey Elana,
    Just wondering if you knew how to make date squares without nuts and without gluten free flours, Im allergic to both and im only 16, i came across your website and have found it to be fanominal!! If you have any idea i would really appreciate it!!PS i can eat your flour free chocolate cake that you posted in 2009 im eating it right now!!

  6. These look delicious Elana, and I’ve got all the ingredients in my kitchen. Thanks for another great recipe, and for the mention!

  7. Barb

    Now, those sound really good, just made chocolate chip cookies, will have to try these soon!

  8. Those look A M A Z I N G! Can’t wait to try them (might just toss in some choc chips to go along with).

  9. Nana Rogers

    2 of our family’s favorite ingredients Dates and Walnuts. Mmmmm
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share, I can hardly wait to make these. <3 As for the older son you could drizzle a bit of dk chocolate over it to make him happy too. lol

  10. ceciliamtz

    I can’t wait to get home to make this new recipe! Thanks Elana!

  11. AndreAnna (Life as a Plate @ lifeasaplate.com

    So I’m a little high on pain meds from my surgery but those look like the most delicious things ever in the history of grain-free man.

    I’m going to make my husband make them tomorrow.

  12. Karen

    I love all of your recipes, but my oldest daughter has a serious tree nut allergy and I cannot use almond flour. Will you tell me what flour or combination of flours make an acceptable substitution? Thanks so much!

  13. Nisrine|Dinners & Dreams @ dinnersanddreams.net

    They look extremely delicious. I love the texture and taste of almond flour desserts. Yum!

  14. gfe--gluten free easily @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    Another reason to stock up on dates, Elana! I am a huge fan of walnut bars and dates and walnuts sound like the perfect combo to me. :-)

    xo,
    Shirley

  15. Cathy

    Whoa, Nelly! I can’t wait to try these out! I think I might tinker a bit and add some shredded coconut (Hard to for me to separate coconut and dates!), but other than that this recipe looks both dreamy AND super food dense, always a winning combination in my book. :)

  16. Tasha

    Looks so good, I just bought a 15lb box of Medjool dates :) Have to try hazelnut flour maybe since I’m allergic to Almonds :(

  17. Amy

    YUMMMMMOLA Those look good cannot wait to try them.. Im drooling

  18. Karen

    Elana,

    These look so good. Thank you! I can’t wait for an excuse to try them. (I’m currently on a very low carb diet…) Next potluck or occasion this will be my recipe. Love all the ingredients!

  19. These look incredibly delicious! I’m not up for eating dates straight up (they remind me of an insect that I can’t even type), but I do love their taste. What a great way to find another way of eating them, other than using them as a sweetening base for one of my raw dessert recipes.

  20. Gluten Free Diva @ glutenfreediva.com

    Yum yum yum. I will make these and will be a happy girl. I might have to add chocolate chips – I add them whenever and wherever I can. This is a sure-fire winner, Elana!

  21. A simple and healthy indulgence. Gotta try this recipe someday :)

  22. Saundra

    I’m one of the weird ones, I guess, who doesn’t like dates. What do you suggest as a substitution? Raisins?

  23. Mia

    These look yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

  24. Julie

    I’m looking forward to making this–I will use pecans as walnuts are irritating to my mouth. I love date bars, and the thought of these made with almond flour and less sweetener is exciting. Thank you.

  25. Raquel of Galilee

    A great recipe for Tu B’shvat (New Year for Trees that starts tonight) when it is traditional to eat Israeli grown fruits.
    I noticed. Thank You!

  26. I have been looking for a recipe much like this for some time. Thank you for coming to the rescue! Your photo is beautiful as well–very enticing! :-)

  27. Amy

    HI Elana —

    I just wanted to share with everyone what I did with this recipe. Our little one is not keen on walnuts (or any other for that matter) . . . so, I decided to switch out the walnuts for 2 bananas chopped into pieces. I also doubled the recipe and poured into a rectangular baking dish (9X13, I think) . . . baked for 30 minutes and it was awesome, like banana bread with a kick. The only thing I would do different next time is to leave out the agave as it was much too sweet with the dates, bananas and agave. Otherwise, this is perfect for mornings. I may also add some peeled and diced apples in a future version. Thanks for sharing!

    Amy

  28. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday @ gamereviewwiki.com/bikinibirthday

    Oh these look so good! What’s the texture like? are they chewy? moist? dry? crumbly?

  29. These look great and I have everything already at home! May need to make them tonight. :)

  30. Lauren

    Just made these and they came out fantastic! Very moist and tasty!!!!

  31. Lori

    Hi!

    I baked this cake about an hour ago, and there is less than half left! My husband and I gobbled it up!

    The only thing I changed is that I added 1 ripe banana instead of the agave (we don’t like too much sugar, and the dates sweeten it up nicely!), baked it for 22 min and it was delicious!

    Also, make sure you grease the baking dish really well!

    Thanks!
    Lori

  32. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking @ thecomfortofcooking.com

    Elana, these walnut bars look so wonderful and delicious – and still super healthy! Your photography is so beautiful, too. Looking forward to exploring your recipes and seeing what’s next! – Georgia

  33. Denise

    just made these and they are delicious! thanks Elana!!

  34. Heather Espana @ espanaphotography.com

    I just made these tonight and they are SOOOO good!

  35. I love high protein snacks, can’t wait to try these!

  36. Nice combo. I added orange zest and used walnut flour to make laddoos a couple of months back.

  37. Jenn Irwin @ gfconnoisseur.com

    Just made these and LOVE them! Thanks so much for this recipe. I did make a couple of changes. I used 3/4 cup of almond flour and 3/4 cup of chestnut flour and then removed the agave so it would be Paleo friendly. I’m on day 18 of the 30 day challenge and let me tell you that the sweetness from the dates was plenty sweet for me and such a treat. I was hoping my 2 and 3 year old would have liked them but probably not sweet enough for their sweet tooth. Bummer.
    Thanks again!!

  38. Georgia Pellegrini @ georgiapellegrini.com

    Fruit nut bars are such a fun classic…they make especially good travel snacks. This date walnut version looks perfect!

  39. Becky D

    These were SO good! I used half agave, and half coconut palm sugar. I also added a tsp. of vanilla, and a tsp. of cinnamon. I let my son eat a piece for breakfast this morning. He couldn’t believe I was letting him eat CAKE for breakfast! :) He’s 6, and he LOVES this recipe. I think I’ll make it often. I have a hard time getting him to eat in the morning. What a sneaky way to get protein and fiber in him!

  40. Jenny

    I just pulled these out of the oven and they are great warm! I used half the agave and they are not too sweet. Great for breakfast! Thanks for all your great recipes!

  41. Elana, thank you! This is the first recipe I’ve tried here, and the results were excellent!

    We are all (in-laws and us) adhering to Paleo, and this fit the bill to top off our big family dinner perfectly (not doing a Whole 30, so agave is just fine with me!) I added cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter for a lil extra spice, and topped the served slices (I made it in an 8″ round pan so I could do pretty cake slices) with some home-whipped cream with a lil agave and cinnamon in it. Delish!

  42. Nick Decker @ xymantix.com

    I just made this yesterday and loved it. While I thought it was really good warm from the oven, it seemed to improve over time and was even better today. I give it 5 stars – it was delicious.

  43. Terri

    These bars are fantastic. I didn’t have any walnuts, so used pecans. My hubby and 2 sons loved them and they don’t need to eat GF,but do when ever I make treats, because they are the only ones I make, because I have to eat GF. Actually all of your recipes I’ve tried they devour!! So thank you!!

  44. Trish

    Elana, thanks for sharing these. I just purchased my first bag of almond meal last week and was excited to use it…hoping that whatever I baked with it came out fantastic as a tiny bag cost me over $11.00. :-/ Oh well…hopefully as the world realizes that eating GF is so much healthier for all of us, Celiacs or not, then the cost of these flours will start to go down. Anyhow these bars came out great. I didn’t have dates on hand, so I just subbed in some chocolate chips. Not quite as healthy, but just as tasty! I also used applesauce in place of the grapeseed oil, as that’s not something I ever have in my pantry, and then added in 1/8 cup of light olive oil for additional moisture. And again, agave isn’t something I normally have, so I just did a 1/4 cup of xylitol and 1/4 cup of raw cane sugar. It still turned out perfectly, and honey probably would have worked just as well. Thanks!!

    • Hi Trish,

      Thanks for your comment and glad you liked the bars!

      Thanks also for sharing your substitutions with us.

      Just an FYI, if you purchase almond flour from Honeyville, or other online resources, you will not pay $11.00 per pound, it will be closer to half of that.

      Here is a link to my “Ingredients” page, where I outline the ingredients that I like; i.e., good quality and good prices:

      http://www.elanaspantry.com/ingredients/

      Hope this helps, and thanks again,
      Elana

  45. Barbara

    I made these yesterday, but added a few chocolate chips. It is fantastic, delicious and healthy (except for the choco chips). My oven baked this in 22 minutes. Thanks for the recipe.

  46. Cathy

    I am eating this and raving to myself how good it is as I am typing! (better still, my toddler loves these, too!) After reading through the comments, I did substitute the banana in for the agave syrup, and then on my own added some ground chia seeds and a bit of finely shredded coconut. I love nutrient dense foods…especially when they taste so good and ARE good for me! Thanks for posting this, Elana!

  47. Em

    I made these over the weekend, used coconut oil instead and half of the agave – It was a total success!

  48. Hi, Elana! I wanted to thank you for this awesome recipe. I made it three times altering the ingredients and my family is absolutely loving these and so are the neighborhood kids who were my taste-testers for each batch. I ended up substituting butter of the oil and honey for agave, increasing it to 1/3 cup. Then I added a half-cup of unsweetened dried cranberries. I call them dried fruit blondies and gave you credit on my FB page as the recipe originator. I have a party this weekend that I am going to make these for and this time, I am going to add dried cherries instead of the cranberries. I can’t wait! You are such a fantastic chef! Thanks for all of the inspiration you provide – you’re knowledge and use of almond flour is unrivaled! Blessings, Kelly
    http://www.facebook.com/TheNourishingHome

  49. Stephanie

    These are fantastic!!!! And, thankfully, they do work just fine with Bob’s Red Mill brand almond meal! It was all that I could find, so I figured I’d give it a try.

    Fresh dates and red walnuts bought from the farmer’s market, and we had a slice of heaven. Nutrient-rich heaven, no less.

    I’m making another batch to bring to my office. I’ll dial up the walnuts a little, and maybe decrease the agave ever-so-slightly because the dates are so sticky-sweet (in a good way).

    Thanks!

  50. sally

    wow! i bake because i live…..and yet suffer the guilt of feeding my family sugary, gluten laden desserts….found your site somehow and WOW! i’m inspired….we just had the date walnut bars and they were a hit!!!!

  51. Liat

    Have to make these! TODAY!! Can’t wait.
    Thank you so much!!!

  52. Virginia

    Elana,
    These bars are delicious! You are so right – they are wonderful for dessert or breakfast. Great texture too. My husband couldn’t resist them so they went fast! That’s okay, no white flour, no sugar…you can’t beat healthy, delicious and guilt free. =) Can’t wait to make them again!

  53. Kaitlyn

    Elana,

    These look amazing. Could I subsitute coconut flour for almond flour?

    Thanks : )

  54. Ray

    These are so GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD, my wife made half the recipe First time just for me to taste it and see if its good enough LOL. and I was hoooooked I almost had them on the same day. so the second day she doubled the recipe and made a good batch for me (i am on HCG diet on the maintenance phase now) and I am telling you, I can not get enough of these, I had to control my self as I dont want mess up my protocol.
    Elana, Thanks alot for great recipes and looking forward for new graet innovations

  55. Sarah

    I just made these for a birthday potluck at work and it’s a hit! I made the recipe as is and it was a little too sweet for me, but I have been mostly paleo for awhile now and so I’m probably just not as used to it anymore. Next time I make it for myself I might try the ripe banana or applesauce in place of the agave. Everyone else loved them, though – I got lots of compliments and a request for the recipe. Also my daughter ate two of them this morning! She’s a pretty picky eater so that’s impressive!

  56. Hi Elana, as I sit eating one of these for breakfast, I figured it was finally time to jot a comment. I bookmarked this recipe the day you posted it because I was out of dates! I finally got around to making them and have made them three days in a row now! My family loves these delicious, easy to make bars! And they are so versatile. On this last batch, I decided to replace the grapeseed oil with coconut oil, switch the walnuts with pecans, add 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut and reduce the amount of dates. FANTASTIC! (I am a coconut fanatic, so I try to use it whenever I can!) Thanks again for this yummy recipe and all the wonderful recipes you share with us!

  57. Cecilia

    Someone made these for a dessert auction and after buying them, I had to have the recipe. I made them myself last night using Bob’s Red Mill almond meal/flour and they were fantastic! Since the dates are so sticky after pitting and chopping them, I mixed them with the almond flour at the beginning so that the dates wouldn’t be all stuck together. Also I used honey instead of the agave. It’s hard to stop eating them!

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

    Hi Elana, I am working on a date post for Monday & Foodgawker led me to you….to gawk! These bars look awesome ;)

  59. I made these for our beach camping trip and everyone thought they were amazing. They couldn’t believe there was actually no grains at all! :)

  60. Karen

    Elana,

    While I’m waiting for my batch to finish cooking, I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. I’ve made it more times than I care to mention in the last year. Each time I make a double batch and freeze them.

    I can then take one or two out at a time for that mid-morning or afternoon snack while at work. They are so delicious and so filling – the perfect, healthy treat. I’ve not bought any shop-made energy bars since discovering this recipe.

    They are amazing, thank you,
    Karen

  61. The Date Walnut Bars were wonderful. Very huge hit in my house. My kids loved them, I loved them, my boyfriend loved them. Thank you for such a great “TREAT” recipe :)

  62. Sundriya

    I made these last weekend and have enjoyed a slice each morning for breakfast this week. Seriously, these are some insanely delicious bars!! I bake something every weekend and have made some really tasty (and less tasty) things, but I think these are just about my favorite so far. The dates make them nice and moist and chewy and the walnuts add some crunch. I did substitute coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil (I didn’t have the latter) and date syrup instead of agave (just to see what it would be like). Both substitutions worked fine (though I’ve never tried the original so can’t compare).

  63. Valerie Potts

    I made these bars this morning and had 1 for dessert after lunch…they are sooo yummy!! Thank you for the recipe! I cannot eat eggs so I substituted 4 Tblsp flax mixed with 6-7 Tbsp hot water. They needed to bake about 10 min longer and I imagine are a little more moist. I will be making these again. I may try using less of the flax/water mixture.

  64. Thank you for sharing that those look delicious, so thick and chewy looking. If you’re interested, you can check out my gluten-free almond date bar recipe , I’d love to know what you think.

  65. LJ

    These are wonderful!! They are for breakfast in the morning but I can’t keep my hands off of them!!

  66. Robyn

    I just made these- and everyone in the room (both gluten free and non-gluten free people)thought they were amazing!!! Easy to make and delicious and AMAZING!

  67. Kathleen

    Hi Elana,

    I just to let you know this recipe is to die for! This my first gluten free recipe and I can honestly say “WOW, I’ll be making these divine bars again”. Thank you so much for posting all of the wonderful gluten free and FANTASTIC recipes.

  68. Jeanne J

    Decided that I was craving Xmas fruitcake flavors, so I took the base of this recipe, added candied orange peel, lemon zest, orange zest, almonds, dried cherries, raisins to the dates and walnuts (to make a total of 4 cups of add-ins). I doubled the almond flour, salt and baking soda and doubled the wet ingredients – I used melted butter + maple syrup w/ the eggs. Am using an 8×13 pan and plan to cook for 30+ mins, per someone else’s experience above on doubling the recipe. Will let you know how it tastes!

    • Jeanne J

      Ok…really, really good! I should mention, I added a bit of organic lemon extract (1tsp) and a bit of organic orange extract (same amount.) I would call it a cake. Very deelish!!

  69. Maddie

    Delicious! I added chocolate chips to mine and they’re scrumptious.

  70. Susan Betancourt

    Dear Elana, I made this recipe last night for company. However, when I added the wet into the dry the mix was crumbly and dry! I scatched my head. Something wasn’t right? I double checked I’d followed your recipe to the T. Yes I had. What to do? I added a 1/3 cup water but it was still crumbly. Then decided to not monkey anymore and put in the oven anyway…the guests were coming soon. I baked it for the time allotted, it had browned nicely. Let it cool. When the time came to serve it was all still crumbly so served in small bowls. I ended up adding coconut cream to it to moisten it enough to eat palatably. What did I do?

    The recent batch I made of your almond flour banana with similar proportions was terrific and the batter thick and moist when I put it into the pan to bake. Everyone loved it when baked!

    I would appreciate any critique!! Mahalo for all your beautiful work!

  71. Rachel

    Thanks Elena, we loved this recipe and will definitely be making this again since it was such a hit. I just substituted the agave for rice malt syrup for a fructose free version. Thanks again!

  72. Kimberly

    I just made these and they are incredibly good! I didn’t have grapeseed oil so I used roasted almond oil. Super easy recipe–I will be making these again and again! Thank you.

  73. Dawn

    I just made these yesterday while snowed in and everyone LOVED them! They were so moist and tasty and I followed the recipe exactly.

    I will be making these again for sure! And actually I will probably need to make them sooner rather than later becuase they are all gone!!

    Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  74. Sara

    Yum! I loved the flavor of these bars, the combination of walnuts and dates is perfect. The only changes I made to the recipe is that I omitted the oil and agave for a total 1/2 cup of unsweetened organic apple sauce, added and a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 40 drops of organic liquid stevia. Superb! It was moist and fluffy, more like a soft cake than a bar. I highly recommend replacing the oil & agave with fruit purée. Next time I think I will try pistachios and cranberries with the applesauce. Thank you so much for posting this Elana, I feel amazing when I eat your recipes. Healthier and better able to tackle my food issues (wheat, dairy, sugar) while still eating well and enjoying the occasional treat. Thanks again!

    Sara

  75. Sara

    Eeek typos, sorry about that! It is clearly a side effect of being up too late and-thinking about what I’m going to bake next. :-)

  76. shawnna

    I LOVE this recipe! I have made it several times and make it as a loaf. It is absolutely delicious and everyone that has tried it loves it too!!!!!!!!!

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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