Posted 3 weeks ago

Eat Well, Live Well – Vegan Chocolate, Date & Almond Bars


– 1 cup almond flour
– 3 tablespoons maple syrup
– 3 tablespoons coconut oil
– 1 cup dates, pitted
– ½ cup hot water
– ½ cup vegan bittersweet dark chocolate


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and line an 8-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, mix together almond flour, maple syrup, and coconut oil until a dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the loaf pan. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden around the outside. Let cool.
3. Pour the hot water over the dates and let sit for 5 minutes. Blend the water and dates together until smooth.
4. Spread the date paste on the almond crust in an even layer. Chill in the freezer.
5. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a microwave on 50% power, stirring occasionally, or in a double boiler. Once the chocolate in melted, pour it over the date paste, spread evenly, and return to freezer to set.
6. Cut the bars into desired size when the chocolate is set and the date paste has hardened into a caramel-like texture.

Brenda Gridley, CSP, RDN

Brenda is originally from Los Angeles, CA where she attended California State University of Los Angeles for her under graduate degree in Nutritional Science. She began her career with Kaiser Permanente in 2004.    Throughout her professional development, she has worked in Cardiology and open heart surgery, Renal/Dialysis, organ transplants and Oncology, including chemotherapy, radiation and head and neck.  Brenda has extensive experience with weight management programs, including Bariatric and finally Eating disorders and mindful eating.  She went on to specialize in the Pediatric population and has maintained her Certification in Pediatric Nutrition since 2011.  Areas she has managed include pediatric and neonatal intensive care units where she was responsible for individualizing therapeutic diets and alternate nutrition support  based on specific metabolic needs, medical conditions, and cultural preferences.

Her passion for nutrition was developed at a young age and reared by her grandmother who always instilled the importance of a healthy diet and active lifestyle.  When her grandmother became ill, Brenda became aware of the impact nutrition plays in disease prevention and maintaining overall mind and body health.  She cared for grandmother until she passed and has made it her goal to help others achieve their full “nutrition potential” with using a culturally sensitive holistic approach.

She is married with two beautiful daughters and in her spare time she enjoys watching movies with her children, experimenting with new recipes, reading mystery novels, running and Yoga.

Please ask your Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers provider for a referral to see our dietary counselors.