Chewy Pecan Bars {grain-free, sugar-free, vegan}

Recently, every blog post or magazine article seems to center around super-fast meals or a quick workout to fit into our "busy" lives. Everyone has no time. No time to sit down and eat a meal. No time to cook. No time to snail mail a card. No time to buy a gift or volunteer...  


I myself fall prey to the "I'm so busy" mentality. Working out and rushing to work or court each morning - while simultaneously thinking about a story I'm writing that night or cookies I need to bake by the weekend. I find my own heart rate increase if I think about my "to-do" list. So, I just stop and breathe... and I take lots of walks.

So, sure. Everyone is "busy"... but, are we really? Maybe we just don't use our "free-time" effectively. (Go for a walk instead of watching T.V., do yoga while your vegetables are roasting and do your big grocery shopping trip on the weekend.) 

And you know what? No matter how busy I think I am, there is always still time for birthday parties, family dinners, daily gym sessions, yoga and coffee shops. There is plenty of time to fit in what we love. And trust me, there is always still time to bake. 

And baking something healthy? Well, that's even better! After dinner, I like to whip up these bars to have in the fridge all week. For me, they make the perfect after-dinner bite. But, go on and eat them any time you'd like!  


These are chewy, a bit salty and sweet from the dates. 

Chewy Pecan Bars {sugar-free, grain-free, vegan} 

  • 7-8 large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped  
  • 1 cup raw pecans  
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons chunky all-natural almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil  
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon  
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  
  • 1/2 cup almond flour  
  • 1/4 cup raisins (or golden raisins)  
  • Handful of chopped pecans, for topping


  1. In a food processor, blend the dates until it forms a paste. Add in the pecans and chia seeds and pulse until finely chopped. Add the almond butter and coconut oil (add warm water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too thick and needs more moisture to blend).
  2. Add the salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract to the processor and pulse to combined. 
  3. Add the almond flour and pulse to combined. Or, dump the mixture into a medium bowl and work the almond flour into the dough with a wooden spoon or your hands. Add the raisins and mix. (Don't worry - the mix will be thick!)
  4. Press into an 8x8 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Press down to even out the top.  Spread chopped pecans on the top and press them into the dough. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are turning golden brown. Let cool completely in the pan and then pull up on the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into bars of desired size. Store in refrigerator for a week or freeze for a month or two.

The best part about the start of a week is that you get start fresh. A clean slate...

So, cheers to new beginnings and cherishing that free time!