50% off Strength programs

Chocolate Orange Date Bars | stephgaudreau.com

Chocolate Orange Naked Bars

Chocolate Orange Date Bars | stephgaudreau.comOkay, so these are actually called Cocoa Orange Nakd Bars, but I didn’t want to infringe on anyone’s trademark (and I figured I’d get more hits for having “naked” in the title) so I added the “e”. Clever!

When I was in Scotland, it became pretty clear that getting Paleo-friendly snacks on the go was as easy as it is here in the States. Read: virtually impossible. Z and I were in Tesco or Sainsbury’s (Tesbury’s?) when he chucked a couple of these my way.

A quick scan of the ingredients revealed nothing offensive…just a simple quartet of dates, cocoa, orange and almonds. Now, who knows if the orange is just orange flavoring or not, but they seemed pretty benign. Recently, though, I endeavored to recreate this treat, and I think the outcome is even better than the original. They’re kinda sorta Lara bar-y but better, I think. I’d file these under the “treat” category since they are high in natural sugar from the dates. Definitely not ideal for the Whole30 crowd, but an occasional indulgence for the rest of you.

Disclaimer: you’ll either need a food processor or the patience of a saint (if you chop the ingredients by hand) to make these.

Chocolate Orange Date Bars | stephgaudreau.com

Chocolate Orange Naked Bars

Course: Snack
Cuisine: Fruit, Gluten-Free, Paleo
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 237 kcal



  • 1.5 cups of nuts I used 1 cup almonds + 1/2 cup macadamia…baller status, I know. Use whatever you like or is on hand.
  • 20 Medjool dates these are the big, fat, squishy ones
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • Zest of one large orange
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with plastic wrap or wax paper. Set aside.
  2. Add the nuts to the food processor and pulse down until they become small, crumbly bits. Don’t let it go too long or it will become nut butter – er, not that there’s anything wrong with that but it won’t help this recipe. Some pieces may be a bit bigger and some might be tiny. That’s okay. Pour the nuts in a large bowl.
  3. Now, pit the dates and put them in the food processor. Pulse about 5 times until they are slightly broken down.
  4. Add the cocoa powder, orange zest, orange juice and sea salt.
  5. Process until the dates form a huge chocolatey ball.
  6. Now, with clean hands: add the chocolatey dates to the nuts and combine both together. You’ll have to knead pretty well but keep at it.
  7. Once all the nuts are blended in, you’ll take the lump of deliciousness and put it in the baking dish. Press the mixture into the dish until it’s packed down and smooth.
  8. Freeze for 20 minutes until firm.
  9. Turn out the mixture onto a cutting board and chop into pieces as big or small as you’d like. I usually make 12 bars from one dish.
  10. I individually wrap them. They can be frozen for a couple months if packed to withstand freezer burn. If not, store in the fridge for short term use.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Orange Naked Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 376mg11%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 60IU1%
Vitamin C 0.9mg1%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin this for later!

Share this post

56 Responses

  1. ya had me at “baller status…” 🙂 can’t wait to make these. Thanks for sharing them with all!

    1. Haha! Sometimes I entertain myself a little too much when I write up my recipes 😉 Thanks for checking in. Hope you like them!

  2. Wow! I’ve been looking for something quick, no fuss and delicious…So, so delicious!! Plus it gave me a chance to break in the new processor! Thanks for such yummy recipe 😀

    1. Hi Mike, I splurged on this one and used cocoa from Penzey’s but any cocoa powder will work. Use whatever you have available though the higher the quality, the more chocolately it tends to taste.

  3. I’m confused. “So these are actually called Cocoa Orange Nakd Bars”… is this recipe a recreation of something else? A reference to something I’m not familiar with? Is Nakd a brand?

      1. Yes they are! I bought them in Washington State at a grocery store. I’ve been looking for them forever and found them, finally, in Canada too!

  4. Steph, does it matter if you use “regular” dates instead of Medjool dates? Medjools are so expensive up here in the Pacific NW.

    1. Any kind of dates will work, though you’ll just need more of them because they are smaller.

  5. Thanks ever so much for this, I use to spend a fortune on Nakd bars now I can do them at home, as I write this I’ve got my first batch in the freezer ! 🙂 I don’t have a food processor but I found that if you chop the dates finely then it works, I bought two sorts of almonds chopped and flour and mixed them up. Even if the ingredients seemed expensive the yield is higher and it costs half the price of the shop bought ones. Brilliant ! Thank you, Fab

    1. Hi Fab!! Yay! That’s music to my ears, and I’m glad you were able to do it without a food processor. I’m going to look into some of the other flavors when I get there, though I remember the rhubarb custard flavor had no rhubarb in it!! Glad you liked them.

  6. Hope you enjoyed your visit to Scotland. I am an American living in Aberdeen. Been in the UK for 16 years now. Certainly not an easy task being Paleo up here, though we do have a local Grass Feed Beef farm shop 2 miles aways. Nakd bars have helped my kids break their sugar addition. So glad you came up with a homemade version. Looking forward to trying them, and it will be cheaper 🙂

    1. Hi Jennifer! It’s quite different compared to home, isn’t it? Ohhhh lucky on the grassfed beef though! Here in central Glasgow, I’ve been having a hard time finding higher quality meat unless I go to Marks & Spencer. I’m going to see if I can make a few of the other flavors. Hope you like them!

      1. Try Waitrose – all their meat is GM feed free I believe. Also Sainsbury’s does a good organic range, Tesco has a slightly smaller range. I’ve found farmers markets easily in different cities and towns (never lived in Glasgow) where you can find ethical meat & veg. Things are labelled differently here which may be why you’re finding it difficult (eg. ‘outdoor bred’/’free range organic’/’biodynamic’ instead of ‘pastured’ & ‘grass fed’). The UK has a very large production and import of organic goods – I’d hazard a guess a higher percentage of the food market here is organic than the US, and its definitely higher welfare. Feeling lazy so not gonna research the organic market share right now 🙂
        Although ‘standard’ or the average meat in the UK is higher welfare and better quality than the average meat found in the US (because Britain and Ireland never got to the point (yet) where CAFOs for cattle etc were standard practice), GM feed has started to get into some supermarkets’ animal feed in the last couple years 🙁
        No GM crops are grown in Britain, and only is approved in the while EU I think … And it doesn’t look like Scotland ever wants GM —

  7. I made these tonight for the family. I like them! The orange is a great twist. We added sliced banana to the top as it wasn’t set hard enough by the time we were ready to eat. Turned out delish! Thanks 🙂

  8. Hi Steph,
    Thanks for the recipe, if using regular dates about how much,half a cup a cup?
    I have changed to a healthier eating lifestyle (I don’t like the word diet, seems so negative)
    A cross between Paleo and Gluten free, going Gluten free has helped me tremendously with daily aches and pains in my joints and my acid reflux has disappeared using this eating combination.
    I am a Baker and cake decorator so it’s been hard to find desserts that work for company & family.
    I’m usually ok with fruit. I hope to see more dessert ideas and come up with some myself.
    This is still all very new for me a few months in but I also dropped 35 lbs with out ever working out, the weight just melted off.

    1. Hi Pamela…you’re a woman after my own heart. I used to decorate cakes, too!

      That’s very heartwarming to hear all the positive changes you’ve experienced, and I hope it continues for you.

      Would you be a bit more specific about what you mean by regular dates? I’ll get an answer to you right away. Thank you!

  9. That is not paleo! It has a massive amount of sugar. Try testing your blood sugar an hour after eating this, it will be way up in the diabetic zone.

    1. I get them from my local market. They sometimes come pitted, sometimes not. Whatever variety you can find should work, but the really tiny ones are sometimes really tough for the food processor to break down.

  10. Wow, just made these and there super good! It’s crazy how just a few ingredients can make such a great tasting snack.

  11. Love this recipe!! Made my second batch with 2 Tbs of dried cranberries. Cranberry/orange is one of my favorite flavors. These are easy to make and way more cost effective! Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. I’m a newbie to Paleo. Its just seems to make sense. Nothing processed. Anyhow, found your site and like the simple recipes you offer. Cannot wait to try these as I am a sweet tooth at heart. Thank you.

  13. What makes them not Whole 30 friendly? The dates? I’m thinking of trying Whole 30 and still reading about it. Is it that dried fruit is off limits? They look so yummy and sweet snacks are my weak spot. Looking for good substitutes.

  14. Hi – I have tried to follow this recipe but keep getting it wrong! The mixture keeps coming out too dry – almost like sawdust. It gets a little better when I press into a mould but still no where as yummy as yours look!

    I have added a little hemp protein powder (about 10g per 100g) but am using 50g of dates per 100g of mixture. I added the powder as I struggle to get enough in my diet.

    Maybe the dates are not fresh enough? Maybe the powder is causing the issue?

    I only have a blender also – not a food processor. Could this cause the problem?

    Sorry for all the questions and thanks for any help you can give!


    P.S. LOVE your site.

    1. Hi Jean…often times, dates are quite dry inside, especially if they are older. Are you using the Medjool dates? They’re bigger and moister inside than other types of dates. The hemp powder could definitely be making it drier as well.

      Thanks 🙂 I appreciate your kind words.

  15. We found that you can use a mixture of Prunes and Raisins (just over 1 cup) instead of dates if you can’t find any! We also added a bit more orange juice as we didn’t quite have enough zest. This is a great recipe, a cheaper alternative and they taste just like “Naked” bars!! Haha 😀 Thanks so much for posting!

    1. Hi Elisabeth, Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I’m sure you’ll find more valuable information exploring the site. Have fun!

  16. heey thank you so much for the recipe! I noticed that shortly after I take them out of the freezer they melt, is this because i put too much orange juice? thank you!

    1. Melt? They will soften considerably when you take them out of the freezer. But if you added more orange juice, that could make it worse.

  17. Absolutely amazing low calorie recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. They are not only delicious but inexpensive in comparison to the branded bars. My mother in-law loves them so much, stating they are “the best healthy snack she has ever tasted.”

Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


Purpose built for strength, fitness, and athleticism. This is a templated, app-based 12-month progressive strength program for women over 40.


Strength Nutrition Unlocked

For athletic women 40+ who want to get stronger, build muscle, boost energy, and perform better. Implement evidence-backed strategies to fuel, train, and recover smarter with the support & accountability you need.

free workout program