Quick Easy Healthy Raw Vegan Cookie Recipe

Bar Cookies: Gluten Free, Delicious, Satisfying Cocoa Nibbles

Cocoa Nibbles

Sample recipe from Ricki Heller's Sweet Freedom Dessert Cookbook: Quick easy raw vegan bar cookies are Corn Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free, have lots of calcium & magnesium, and are so much fresher & cheaper than store-bought raw bars!

This very tasty raw bar cookie recipe has 4 ingredients: almonds, dates, cocoa powder & vanilla - no sugar, no oil, no salt. Two of the optional ingredients aren't raw.

Total prep & cook time: 20 min

8 Servings

Nutrition Data Per Serving: 121 cal, fat cal 39, 20g carb, 15g sugars, 5g fat, 1mg sodium, 5g fiber, 3g protein, low aturated Fat, very low Cholesterol, good source Manganese. Estimated glycemic load 9


  • 1/2 cup (80 g) raw natural almonds (with skin)
  • 1 1/4 cup (150 g) unsweetened dried dates, chopped (they should be soft)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) cocoa powder, preferably not Dutch process
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Optional Additions (choose 1 or 2):
  • 6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp (1 - 2.5 ml) chili flakes
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml)chopped candied ginger (not raw)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) raw cacao nibs
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) gr cinnamon
  • 1 - 2 tsp (5 - 10 ml) instant coffee substitute or instant coffee (not raw)
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  1. In the bowl of a food processor, process the almonds, dates and cocoa until you have what looks like a fine meal (there whould be no large pieces of almond visible)
  2. Sprinkle with the vanilla and any optional add-ins, if using, and continue to process until the mixture comes together in a ball that rolls around the walls of the processor bowl (this may take a while - 5 - 10 minutes or so; stop occasionally to scrape the sides of the processor and push the mixture toward the blades).
  3. The "dough" is ready when, if you pinch some and press it between your thumb and fingers, it sticks together readily and appears a bit shiny. (Sometimes, if the dates are too dry, this doesn't happen easily. In that case, sprinkle up to 2 tsp or 5 ml of water along with the vanilla, and proceed as above). The mixture should not be as soft as cookie dough, but more like clay in texture.
  4. Place a clean piece of plastic wrap on the counter and turn the mixture onto it. Using your hands, form the mixture into a log about 8 inches (20 cm) long. Try to compress the mixture as much as possible so you have a very dense log.
  5. Wrap with plastic and roll the log one or two times, compressing it more with your hands, to squeeze out any air pockets.
  6. Alternatively, pat the mixture into an 8 inch or 20 cm loaf pan; press down as hard as you can to remove any air pockets, then cover with plastic.
  7. If you have a pressing need for chocolate, you can slice and eat the nibbles immediately. However, these are much better if they've been refrigerated first for at least 2 hours or overnight, as they firm up considerably and will attain an almost fudge-like texture when cold. Makes 6 servings.
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Recipe Tips:

A food processor is handy for making this recipe super fast, but if you don't have one, a spice grinder is perfect for grinding the almonds into a fine meal, and dates can be chopped quickly with a chef's knife. If you don't have any of those items, it's time to go shopping! We found that grinding the almonds first made the food processor segment go much faster.

All testers agreed that cocoa nibbles are tasty treats. The chocolate addicts felt that adding 1 or 2 more Tbsp of cocoa would be a good thing, having the added benefit of making the mixture stiffer so the nibbles would need less time in the fridge and could be eaten sooner. Yeah!

I felt that there was enough cocoa, but that a Tbsp of ground chia seeds might be a good addition. I liked the cinnamon and orange peel flavoring options that we used.

We used Medjool Dates, which were very soft, and had to be pitted. Soft pitted deglets are less work, cheaper, and give a firmer result. Plus they have less calories, sugars and carbs, reducing the glycemic load considerably. We based the nutrition data on using deglets.

Being a Good Canadian, Ricki has given metric equivalents in her recipes, and expains the different metric measuring options in her Sweet Freedom Dessert Cookbook. That's very handy for everybody who lives outside the US!

Preparation Time: 15 - 20 minutes. Makes 16 - 24 cocoa nibbles, or 8 servings. The recipe says 6 servings, but 8 seemed right to us.

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