This recipe takes a basic granola bar recipe, and adds a special layer of goodness. Warm, gooey peanut butter and melted chocolate chips between two layers of chocolate chip granola. It takes a basic granola bar to a new level and adds extra nutrition as well from the peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Oat Bars [Vegan]

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Calories

289

Serves

16 bars

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Ingredients

For the Oat Mixture
  • 2 cups organic quick rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut crystals (or other granular sweetener)
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil (melted/liquid)
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds + 4 tablespoons water)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
For the Middle Layer
  • 1/2 cup homemade peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil (melted/liquid)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
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Preparation

For the Oat Mixture
  1. Put all ingredients for the oat mixture into a medium sized bowl and stir well until completely combined and blended well.
  2. Set aside.
For the Middle Layer
  1. Mix the peanut butter, maple syrup and coconut oil in a small bowl and stir well until completely combined and blended well.
  2. Set aside.
To Assemble
  1. Take 1/2 of the oat mixture and press firmly into the bottom of an 8 x 8 glass dish.
  2. Take the entire bowl of peanut butter mixture and put 5 large dollops on top of the oat mixture (one in each corner and one in the middle for easy distribution).
  3. Spread the peanut butter mixture on the top evenly.
  4. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on top of the peanut butter mixture.
  5. Take the other 1/2 of the oat mixture, spoon it evenly over the peanut butter/chocolate chip mixture and press it down firmly.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 - 25 minutes or until the top becomes a golden color (don't overcook).
  7. Let them cool completely before cutting and serving.
  8. Store in the refrigerator and they will become firmer after being in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!
 

Notes

Tip #1: You can adjust the sugar content depending on the sweetener you use and the amount of chocolate chips you use. I used 1/4 cup of a low-glycemic granular sweetener, and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the oat mixture and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the peanut butter layer to keep the sugar content down. If you want a sweeter bar, you can use 1/2 cup of granulated sweeter and and 1 cup of chocolate chips in the oat mixture instead. Tip #2: Use Enjoy-Life Chocolate Chips for a gluten-free, vegan option. Tip #3: Although I prefer to use homemade peanut butter, you can certainly use your favorite peanut butter instead. Tip #4: Some other substitutions/alterations I’ve made: substitute the almond flour with Bob’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour (equal amounts). This worked well but the garbanzo bean taste is too overpowering for me. I’ve also added 1/4 cup of organic applesauce and it worked well. And, I’ve added 1 cup of chocolate chips to the oat mixture instead of 1/2. Tip #5: Sometimes I have been in a hurry and didn’t melt the coconut oil before mixing it in with the oat mixture and peanut butter mixture and it worked fine. I just had to use my hands to mix the oat mixture to make sure everything was evenly distributed, so you can skip this step if you’d like. Tip #6: As tempting as it will be to eat them right out of the oven, it’s much better if you let them cool off completely before cutting and serving. They will be very soft and not hold together well while they are warm. But, because of the coconut oil in the oat bars and peanut butter center, they will get firm and harden a bit if you put them in the refrigerator, which in my opinion, is when they taste the best. They become very dense and hold together much better. Take them out of the oven and put them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour or so to cool and firm and they will be good to go! Tip #7: This recipe makes approximately 16 thick, dense square sized bars.

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Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 289 | Carbs: 22g | Fat: 21g | Protein: 6g | Sodium: 44mg | Sugar: 7g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.