G Free Z Bars!!!

by danielle on July 20, 2012

Disclaimer…this recipe is most certainly not Paleo but…it is gluten free! I’ll admit it, back in the day I used to be addicted to bars. When I was in college I hated cafeteria food and was always on the go between dance classes so I often resorted to bars and the habit just kind of stuck. As my diet started to change to more Paleo I pretty much cut out bars but still would have the occasional one if I wanted something sweet! Since finding out I have Celiac Disease, I have to be even more careful about the types of bars I eat. Some of my favorite Gluten free bars are Lara bars, Kind bars, Nosh bars, and Think Thin. A few bars I especially miss….Luna, Clif, and Clif Z bars for kids! I know these are made for kids but I used to love the chocolate chip Z bars because they were lower in calories than Clif bars, but just as sweet and a good quick source of carbohydrates! Here’s my attempt at recreating a Gluten Free Z Bar! Hope you like it!!!

Gluten free Z bars

Ingredients: 

  • 1-1/4 cup Gluten Free Oats
  • 1/4 cup Chocolate Chips
  • 6 Medjool Dates
  • 1/4 cup All Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup Agave
  • 2 tbs. Flax
  • tsp. Vanilla
  • tsp. Baking Soda
  • Dash of Sea Salt

Directions: Preheat your oven to 35o degrees. In a blender pulse 1 cup of the oats until it reaches a flour consistency. In a bowl combine the oat flour, 1/4 cup oats, baking soda, salt, and the flax. Mix in the peanut butter, agave, and vanilla. In a blender or food processor pulse the dates until blended (make sure to remove the seeds). Combine the dates with the rest of the mixture until well blended, it will be sticky. Lastly add in your chocolate chips. Form the mixture into 6 or 12 bars and place on a baking sheet sprayed with oil. Bake 8-10 minutes until the tops begin to slightly brown.

gluten free chocolate chip bars

Straight out of the oven! I started by cooking 6 bars but they expanded a lot so I ended up cutting them in half to cut back on calories. They are probably the same as say, a Clif bar, versus a smaller Z bar. I prefer the smaller bars as I don’t do a ton of endurance activity so I don’t need the higher calorie bar!

g free z bars

Calories: 145kcal Carbohydrates: 24.6 grams Fats: 5.1 grams Protein: 3.2 grams

*Stats are for 12 bars and will vary based on brands and products used!

Not a fan of chocolate chip? My oatmeal raisin Z bar recipe can be found here.

What’s your favorite protein bar? 

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara @ Nourish and Flourish July 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

These look AMAZING! I’m a huge chocolate chip Z-Bar fan (it’s the only flavor I buy), and am beyond excited to now have a recipe that makes something that looks even tastier than the original. :-D

Your bar story is pretty much identical to mine. I completely avoided the cafeteria in college, and instead chose to get my vitamins and minerals in fortified bar form. The habit became even more engrained during my senior year, when I did an internship for Luna Bar. I’ve been slowly transitioning into a Paleo lifestyle, so the bar consumption has been reduced considerably. Now I eat 1-2/week for a treat. :) My all-time favorite is Luna White Chocolate Macadamia!

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

I love that there is someone else who can relate to my bar addiction! It used to be really bad and now it is pretty much nonexistent! You worked for Luna bar?! So awesome! How’s the Paleo transition working for you? I’m always interested to hear what everyone else thinks of it!

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Katie @wishandwhimsy July 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Danielle, you’ve done it again. Your recipes just sound and look so amazing. Would LOVE to give this a try. YUM!

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Thanks Katie!! Let me know if you do!!!

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Caroline @ After Dinner Dance July 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Can you taste the dates in these? I’m not a date fan, but I love Cliff Zbars! I didn’t think they had dates in them, but if they do, I’ve never noticed.

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Nope you can’t taste them at all! The Z bars have fig in them not date but I promise you can’t taste them! My sister, who can taste anything in everything, didn’t even know they were in there :) She really liked them and is usually not a fan of healthier things :)

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Lisa July 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Wahoo, this recipe looks fantastic! I’ve never had a Z bar before, but I think your ingredient list is just a tad better than theirs ;)

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Thanks Lisa!!!

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Court Star @ StarSystemz July 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm

What a great idea! I have had clients in the past that were gluten free and missed the quick idea of bars but I am glad to see you came up with your own recipe which I am sure saves money and tastes even better! Thanks for the recipe!

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Yep it is definitely more of a challenge to find on the go options being gluten free but I think we are better off because of it! You could totally make these and save them for the week to have on hand!

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Anne@LoveMintChocolateChip July 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm

these sound so good! i am excited to try them :) have a great weekend!

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Have a great weekend too :)

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Liz @ IHeartVegetables July 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Ohhh I need to try that flavor! I actually just bought the honey graham flavor from Target!!!

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm

It’s delicious! I love anything with chocolate in it!

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Erin @ erinberries July 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm

This recipe sounds delicious! I’m more of a fruity bar girl myself, but I bet this would be good with bits of strawberry thrown in! Yum!

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Thanks Erin! They would be awesome with strawberries! I will definitely have to try that out!

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Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance July 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Ooo yum! Thanks for sharing, Danielle! My favorite protein bar would have to be homemade ones. Store-bought bars can be so expensive!

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

I agree I love making them at home! They’re pretty easy to make too!

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Pavement Runner July 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm

That’s great. These need a name and should be sold. How about Clean Food Bars?

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

I love it!!!!

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset July 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Danielleeeeeee! I know I already thanked you on my blog today, but ahhh you are just the best lady, and so thoughtful, thank you :)
These bars sure look good too! I love Z bars, the oatmeal raisin one is the bomb.com, and I know these are tasty as well! I like saving money with my own bars, so thanks for the idea :)

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm

You’re so welcome!!! I never got to try the oatmeal raisin…they came out after my celiac diagnosis…maybe I will have to make an oatmeal raisin version next :) Have a great weekend!!

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset July 20, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Oh nooo it went to spam!

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danielle July 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Fixed it!!!

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Emily July 21, 2012 at 2:34 am

Oh my goodness…I lovelovelove Z-Bars! A gluten-free variation is brilliant. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you! <3

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danielle July 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Your Welcome! Hope you like them!!!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table July 21, 2012 at 4:35 am

what a great idea for a bar! i love them myself, but hate spending $2 on one little bar.!

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danielle July 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Agreed!!! These were pretty easy to make too :)

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Eva @ committed2nutrition July 21, 2012 at 11:39 am

OH-EM-GEE!! these look divine! Told Nick I’d be making these and he goes “make sure you put PB in there” and I said “don’t worry my friend, there is a quarter cup in there!” lol. He laughed. I’m pumped for this recipe!

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danielle July 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hahaha I love it! You add all the peanut butter you want!! Let me know if you try it!

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cathy March 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I just tried these and they are so great! I was out of two ingredients so for vanilla substituted a really good almond extract and sunflower seed butter for the peanutbutter. They taste amazing – and are husband, and kid approved – in a huge way!!!! This will now be a mainstay snack in our house.

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danielle March 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed them Cathy! Thanks so much for the positive feedback :)

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Ayesha A. March 23, 2013 at 9:36 pm

These look amazinggg! Just one thing: Can I omit the PB or substitute with something? My brother is EXTREMELY allergic to nuts so almond butter won’t work. I really want to try this but using PB is out of the question. I was thinking to use butter instead since I have organic—straight from Amish country! What do you think?

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danielle March 25, 2013 at 11:19 am

You could try soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter if he’s not allergic to those. Regular butter may work just fine too though! Hope you both enjoy them!

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Lainey Tweed March 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It doesn’t matter if they are homemade or store bought, I have yet to find a gluten-free bar that my kids will eat. They are still pining for the good old gluten-filled days with our favorite Clif Z bars (and I always ate/loved them, too!). I can’t wait to try out this recipe.

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danielle March 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

So glad you like these! I hope your family enjoys them!

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kriste June 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm

These are wonderful! Our family loves zbars, but the cost can make them prohibitive. I’ve tried your recipe and I think it’s a good try, but I can taste too much baking soda? Did you ever have this problem? I may try again with less baking soda and maybe they’ll be more dense and with less soda-y flavor.

Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

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Abbey June 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I can’t wait to try these!
My 5 year old has his own bar addiction. He is gluten free except for chocolate chip z bars and I just haven’t been able to get him off them. I know I should just quit buying them but I’ve been looking for something to sub for them before I cut him off. :)
He loves to help me in the kitchen so I think he will enjoy making these.

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