DIY Energy Bars: Dashew Bars

Most of us who are gluten-free struggle with eating on-the-go. Living an active, busy lifestyle that is also gluten-free requires a lot of planning ahead, so that you don’t get stuck somewhere with an empty stomach and nowhere safe to eat. I usually have a handful of nuts or a homeade granola bar stashed in my bag wherever I go, and any of our family and friends could tell you that when I stay at their homes, I often fill the fridge with my own food upon arrival. My reactions to gluten are getting much more severe as I get older, so I try to minimize gluten risk as much as possible when outside my home. It’s a good thing cooking is one of my passions, as life wouldn’t be nearly as much fun or flavorful otherwise.

I’ve recently begun to follow Bernice Mast (@gfveg) on Twitter (you can follow me there as well @jennsutherland). Bernice is the Gluten Free Examiner, and posts lots of good resources and recipes for GF folks. A couple days ago she reposted a favorite snack item to twitter – her “Dashew” bars. They’re a simple energy bar with dates and cashews, and WOW – are they good!

I’ve added coconut and cinnamon to Bernice’s recipe, and the bars are going over very well in our house. Mark said that they tasted like the “tank tracks” Oatmeal Cookie Bars in the Army MREs (meals ready to eat). Apparently, those were a sought after item, and probably better than they sound. But these two-bite little wonders are extremely tasty, and will give you a little energy boost when you need it. Because these are calorie dense little buggers, cut them small, and wrap them individually in waxed paper, so you will be less tempted to eat them all in one afternoon. I actually cut them about a third smaller than in the photo above, and the finished bars are about 2×2″, and 1/3″ thick. Give these simple bars a try next time you need a portable snack.

Dashew Snack Bars
Serves 12
97 cal, 5.3g fat, 9g sugars, 2,1g protein, 12g carb

4 oz cashews, unsalted, raw
4oz dates, pitted
1/2 cup dried coconut, unsweetened
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the cashews on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the coconut to the sheet pan, and toast cashews and coconut for another 5-8 minutes, until both coconut and cashews are a toasty golden color. Take them out of the oven, and then set them aside on a cooling rack to cool.
  2. When the cashews and coconut have cooled, add all ingredients to your food processor. Process until the mixture is ground fairly fine, and begins to ball up into a thick paste. Line a small baking sheet with parchment. Turn the paste onto the parchment paper, and press the bars together into about 1/3″ thick sheet. Fold the parchment overtop the bars, and press very firmly to evenly distribute the mixture to form nice, uniform bars.
  3. Stash the sheet pan in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes, then remove and cut into 2″ blocks. Wrap in waxed paper and store in the fridge for an easy to grab snack.

10 thoughts on “DIY Energy Bars: Dashew Bars

  1. These look great Jenn! I'm not GF and I'm the same way about wanting to have my own food everywhere – I can only imagine how frustrating it can get for you being around food that you aren't sure of. The bars look great, simple and good for you too.

  2. Haha – that's funny – my friend Danielle said the same thing about thinking it was a typo. 🙂 They are very tasty, and not too sweet – perfect snack.

  3. My last name is Dashew, I'm a musician, and I always tell people to spell my name like "cashew with a D"! Also, I eat gluten-free too…Going to give these a try. I must say it was very strange to see a trademark symbol next to my name.. 🙂 cheers, sarah dashew

  4. That's awesome, Sarah! By all means, you must give these a try, (and then make the bars famous, by connecting them to yourself!)

  5. Regarding MRE Oatmeal Cookie Bars: they were called "tank tracks" because they were about 1" x 1" x 4" with every corner a perfect 90-degrees, and they were nearly as hard as a tank track. I wouldn't say that they were super-popular, but I thought they were quite tasty. They were very dry and crumbly, unlike the daschew bars. The daschew bars are a bit sweeter, but they look like oatmeal cookie bars.Sadly, I believe that tank tracks were dropped from the MRE menus ~1995. Pour some out for our retired homies: O.C.B.

  6. hi, jenn,thanks so much for writing about the Dashew. interestingly, another person named Dashew wrote to me on (i had NO idea I was using an existing family name for the bars!). check out (that's my blog) to see the other versions of the Dashew: the Prashew (prunes etc) and the Cranshew (cranberries etc). I agree, you have to be careful around these tasty little guys–my solution? I make bars and what i call bites (little balls). i also keep them in the freezer, and when i'm absolutely dying for something rich and sweet, i start gnawing at one of the bites. it's a struggle to eat just one, because they are so good! despite the fact that im veg and youre not, i love your blog for its good writing and lovely pix and i'm putting you on my blogroll right now. thanks again!

  7. Thanks, Bernice – I definitely follow your blog, and I've made both the prashew and cranshew versions, but the originals are still my favorite! And I've been keeping them in the freezer, too, so I'm not so tempted. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll!

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