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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Date Balls (DF, GF, No Bake)



Granola bars are a necessity in my house for my picky tummy in the morning, but the gluten-free, dairy-free, wholesome variety tend to be pricey. About a year ago, I started devising this recipe to be a bar alternative and discovered that they are sweet enough for a dessert. My kids are crazy about them and they are so easy to make!

Tonight, I whipped up a batch while Dave gave the boys a bath. V was so disappointed that we vetoed eating one after he’d brushed his teeth that we had to draw a picture of a date ball on our dry erase board as a reminder/promise that he could have one along with the rest of his breakfast tomorrow morning. I can’t remember which book I got this strategy out of, but the idea is to write down (or draw, since we have pre-readers) what the child wants to acknowledge their desire but not alter the boundary you need right then: like adding a favorite food you are out of to the grocery list or putting an activity on the plan for the next day. We use this strategy regularly and it usually ends the tears quickly. Because young children don’t have a concept of time, what adults know is just a “not right now” kind of no can feel like “never again” to a young child. This acknowledgement strategy let’s them know that there is hope for the future of eating the yummy food or playing with X toy. I’m no artist, but if my silly sketch can move my little guy forward, bring on the markers!

Cookie Ball Drawing



Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Date Balls (DF, GF)
A dairy-free, gluten-free, no-bake, delicious, healthy treat for breakfast through dessert.
Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1 pound pitted dates
  2. 3/4 cup quick oats
  3. 1/3 cup cashews
  4. 1/2 cup peanut butter (salted or add salt, if desired)
  5. 2/3 cup dairy-free* chocolate chips (reserve)
  1. Add all ingredients except for the chocolate chips to a food processor and process. Pause the food processor if needed to prevent overheating the motor. Depending on the ripeness of your dates, this mixture may become very heavy and sticky. Process just until a ball starts to form. Test crumbliness of mixture, as this will vary based on ripeness of the dates; it should be able to hold into a 1-1.5" ball. If not, add more peanut butter until this is possible. After that, add the chocolate chips and process for 10 more seconds. Form into balls, press into an 8x8 pan to cut into bars, or press into a gluten-free pie crust. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge to maintain moistness. Note: unless the dates were over-ripe, the mixture will remain crumbly until chilled.
  1. You can substitute in other nuts for the cashews or other nut butters for the peanut butter. Let me know what combination was delicious to you.
  2. *Both Trader Joe's and Wegmans' semi-sweet chocolate chips are dairy-free.
More Green for Less Green


About More Green for Less Green

Hi, I’m Pamm. Welcome to my little slice of the web! As a progressive Evangelical female pastor and crunchy homeschooling mom, I’m never quite what anyone expects of me. But, hey, that’s what makes blogging interesting, right? Join me as I try to wholeheartedly parent my three little boys, slowly fix up the trashed foreclosure we bought in 2009, and live simply.

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