I’ve probably eaten about a dozen cups of oats in the last few days alone. I recently discovered a deep-seeded love for them, and I’ve been indulging ever since. Oatmeal for breakfast, overnight oats, oatmeal smoothies (post coming soon!), and my latest obsession, oatmeal bars.
I had a craving for a good oatmeal bar the other day. One that was dense and chewy, slightly sweet, possibly with a bit of chocolate, and loaded with oats. The only problem was, all the recipes I could find contained a fair bit of butter and sugar. While they would undoubtedly be delicious, I was looking for something healthier.
Oats are SO good for you – they’re packed with fibre and minerals that do wonders for your health – so the idea of combining them with a ton of butter and sugar seemed to negate the whole point of eating them.
A bit of peanut butter, for flavour.
Coconut oil (in lieu of butter), for some healthy fats.
A bit of raw honey for sweetness.
Some medjool dates to bind it all together.
Vanilla extract to deepen the flavour.
A heck of a lot of oats, for texture and chewiness.
And chocolate, of course. Just because.
Oh my. These bars turned out fantastic. They taste so delectable, you won’t even know they don’t contain ANY butter or refined sugar!
Grab one for breakfast; the peanut butter packs a bit of protein and the oats will help you stay full for longer. Or, snack on them throughout the day. The naturally sweetened bars will give you a boost and help you carry on until dinner time.
The only problem is, it’s hard to just eat one. They’re irresistibly chewy!
They’re also really simple, containing pantry staples that you most likely have on hand. There’s no need to bake them, just combine everything, press into a baking tray and chill for a few hours until they firm up.
You could skip the chocolate, if you wanted to be extra healthy. But really, who can say no to peanut butter and chocolate?
My one tip: when you melt the chocolate, melt it with a bit of the peanut butter. This gives the chocolate a chewy, fudge-like consistency, so you won’t break your teeth biting into it.
Store these bars in an airtight container in the fridge for best results. You can keep them on the counter, but the coconut oil and peanut butter will soften at room temperature. I find it’s best to store them in the fridge and just let them warm up for a minute or two before eating.
As a bonus, these bars are wonderful to freeze! Once you cut them into bars, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. Simply remove them from the freezer and let thaw for about 10 minutes before eating.
I wanted to call these Wonder Bars, because they really are wonderful!
|Healthy No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars||
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp raw honey, or maple syrup
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with wax paper, leaving an inch or so hanging over the edges.
- In a food processor, add ¾ of the peanut butter, coconut oil, honey, dates, and vanilla, pulsing until smooth. Add in the oats and pulse until well-combined. The mixture will be crumbly, but it should hold it’s shape when pressed into a ball.
- Press ¾ of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips and remaining peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Pour the chocolate onto the crust layer and spread evenly with a rubber spatula or spoon.
- Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate, gently pressing it in.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Once firm, remove from the pan by lifting the wax paper by the edges. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.