Grain-Free Peppermint Nanaimo Bars (vegan and sugar-free)

sugar-free, candida diet, vegan Peppermint Nanaimo Bars on

Chocolate + mint. Could there be a more divine combination?

I’m kinda partial to chocolate + caramel as well, come to think of it. And chocolate + cherry rocks pretty well, too. Oh, and chocolate + pumpkin. And what the heck–chocolate and chocolate is always a winner, isn’t it?)

But yeah, chocolate + mint is way up there.

Vegan Mint Nanaimo Bars recipe

Today’s divine concoction is a chocolate + mint Nanaimo Bar that is not only grain-free; it’s sugar-free, vegan and candida-friendly as well. (Who says you can’t indulge in your favorite treats, re-imagined for a low glycemic diet? As our most famous former Prime Minister said–in a radically different context– “Just watch me.”)

The HH declared these “very close to the original” in texture, which is normally a crumb-crust bottom layer topped with an icing-like filling and chocolate top layer.  And if you know anything about traditional Nanaimo Bars, you know they are chock full of butter, milk, egg, custard powder, graham wafer biscuit crumbs, and icing sugar. In other words, I’m pretty chuffed to be able to offer these babies to you today.

My no-bake version is made with good-for-you superfood ingredients like coconut, hemp seeds, cashews and fresh mint.  For sweetening, I used NuNaturals peppermint stevia (which you can enter to WIN right here!!) and xylitol (with which I’ve been experimenting lately).

Their pale green interior is also a perfect match for St. Patrick’s Day coming up. (Or, simply, Tuesday. Or my birthday. Or “I Feel Like Eating a Nanaimo Bar” Day). Because really, you can never have enough chocolate + mint in your life.

candida diet, grain-free, sugar-free mint Nanaimo Bars recipe on

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  1. WOW! I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow, run to the store and buy all the ingredients I need to make this recipe. Thank you for posting. The photo is going to look great on Pinterest, hope you don’t mind us sharing with our friends.

  2. These look amazing! I was drooling over them while reading the giveaway post so I’m excited to finally see the recipe :). Looking forward to trying these – I am not a huge fan of mint desserts so I might sub the filling for date caramel or something, hope that works.

  3. Those look fantastic! Love how healthy they are…especially like the addition of fresh mint 🙂

  4. These look superb Ricki! I’m very into that thick layer of chocolate on the top especially 😉
    I don’t tolerate xylitol well…if you know what I mean….but I’ll definitely be trying these out when I can do coconut sugar again.

    • I hear ya, Emma! 😉 The chocolate came out thicker than expected, but I’m certainly not complaining. And you could definitely use coconut sugar. I have also made them with all-stevia, which I like, but I know some people don’t enjoy the combination of those two.

      • How much stevia do you use for your all stevia version?

        • Wendy, you can use xylitol on the ACD Stage 1, which is why I used that. Can you have coconut sugar? That would be my first choice to replace the xylitol. I’ve found that all-chocolate desserts with stevia as the only sweetener can be tricky, as the line between “just enough” and “too much” is very fine, and it’s easy to slip into “bitter aftertaste” territory. That said, if you would like to replace the xylitol with stevia, I’d start with about 20 drops of the liquid, then taste and adjust. But note that this will also change the texture of the bars. Let me know how it works out if you give it a try!

  5. These look amazing! 🙂

  6. mmm…I haven’t made nanaimo bars in entirely too long! and I posted a non-xylitol version years ago

    • I find agave and I don’t get along that well these days, but yours look yummy nonetheless. People could easily sub coconut sugar for the xylitol if they are averse to it, of course. 🙂

  7. You’ve outdone yourself, Ricki. Love this! How did you find the fresh mint? I used to use it but prefer using peppermint extract now.

    • Thanks so much, Janet! There are packs of fresh mint at our local Loblaws. Obviously not as fresh as the ones I picked from my own garden in the summer. . . but I’ll take it. 😉

  8. Mint + chocolate is also near the top of my favorite flavor combinations as well, and a treat like this would certainly not stick around long if I was around. That looks absolutely incredible . I’m astounded at what you manage to create without making any concessions to unhealthy ingredients.

  9. I’m guessing the hemp hearts add crunch? I’m crazy allergic to hemp. Any suitable substitutes. Chia and flax come to mind, but I don’t know how hemp hearts function compared to these water-absorbing options. Thanks! I looked at converting a recipe for these years ago and gave up. Love chocolate and mint!

  10. Anonymous says

    Drool! I’m definitely making these….can I replace the cashews with something? Maybe silken tofu? I have a few friends allergic to nuts for whom I want to make this….

    • That might work, Anonymous, though it might not firm up quite the same way. You could also try sunflower seeds or more hemp seeds. . . again, the flavor/texture will be altered slightly. Can your friend have coconut? (If not, I think I’m at a loss there!). 😉 If you do try it with an alternative, please come back and let us know how it turns out!

  11. Genevieve says

    Oooooh!!! These look amazing! I haven’t had Nanaimo bars in ages and I’m super excited that they’re sweetened with Stevia. Always wanted to try NuNaturals but I can never find it in the health food stores in Montreal….It would be lovely to get this!!! 🙂

  12. Thank you for all of the ACD dessert recipes! I have enjoyed your new book and your blog very much. Quick question- I have read mixed reviews about xylitol and so I am not sure that I want to try it. Can I omit or substitute the xylitol from this recipe?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Estelle,
      Thanks so much for your kind words! So glad you’re enjoying the book. 🙂 And yes, you can certainly sub for the xylitol. Use coconut sugar if you prefer; or more stevia would work, too. 🙂

  13. I’ve never had a nanaimo bar, but they sure do look tasty! Looking forward to trying them!

  14. These look absolutely incredible, but I would be afraid of eat them since it contains cashews. From what I have read, peanuts, pistachios, and cashews are not allowed on the candida diet. Is there a replacement you could recommend? Thank you! Lori

    • Lori, I address this issue in my book, Living Candida Free. All nuts, seeds, grains, and other dried products harbor mold. Of the top moldy nuts, in many studies, cashews fall behind peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts and walnuts, even though the latter are often included in an anti-candida diet. For both those reasons, I was okay using cashews and am fine with them. Cashews do also appear in some other well-known anti-candida diet protocols. If you wish, you can try sunflower seeds, but I suspect they will have both a different taste and texture. If you do try it that way, come back and let us know how it worked out. Hope that helps!

  15. In the recipe for the filling it says 1tbs of coconut oil. But the directions don’t state when to add the oil. I know the coconut butter is added after the rest is blended. Could you let me know:)

    • Oops, so sorry about that! The oil goes in the blender with the cashews, milk, vanilla, mint and stevia. Normally, with a recipe, the ingredients are listed in the order in which they are added, so if I forget to put something in the directions, you can usually guess that way. 🙂 I’ll go fix it now! Thanks for letting me know.

  16. Is the filling supposed to be really watery? Whilst the flavour is amazing, the consistency was really watery and when frozen turned to ice 😔

    • Hi Yanika, No, the filling has a consistency of a thick custard. It should be soft, but firm enough to hold its shape when cut, like a thick frosting. Did you use 6 Tbsp (90 ml) coconut butter, and not coconut oil? I just made a batch to re-test after I got your email, and that’s the consistency mine came out. Not sure what happened with yours. . . perhaps they need to be refrigerated more? Just to note, they should be refrigerated before they are served (not frozen).

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