If your life is sweeter with sugar, treats like these are a good compromise.
These all natural, no bake Chocolate Peanut Butter bars are rich and delicious and contain good-for-you ingredients like cashews, oats, peanut butter, honey, dates, and dark chocolate. You will still get fat if you eat the whole pan, so moderation is key, but the ingredients offer your body protein, vitamins, minerals, and foods it can use to help nourish you.
Nuts contain protein but also high amounts of fat. Luckily it is fat that the body needs in order for good brain and joint function but should be enjoyed in small amounts. Sticky dates are a naturally sweet source of sugar and also offer antioxidants, fiber, and minerals. Coconut oil is healthy for hair, skin, and nails, and heart.
All three layers of this dessert are simple to make and complete in less than an hour.
For the base layer, I have found that adding dates to ground nuts while in the food processor can cause the nuts to over-process and release their oils. I like to use the method I use in my larabars and process the nuts and dates separately. Work the date paste into the nut mixture with your hands adding a few tablespoons of maple syrup to moisten and further sweeten the crust layer.
The top ganache layer is done easily with a bowl and a whisk, just be sure to whisk it enough so that the mixture goes from grainy to shiny. This will take at least a minute of whisking.
A bit too easy to sink your teeth into:
All Natural Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Recipe inspired and adapted from The Flour Sack
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1 cup organic rolled oats
1/3 cup raw cacao (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup organic dark chocolate chips
1 cup fresh medjool dates (10-12)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup organic rolled oats
2/3 cup organic peanut butter
1/3 cup raw honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil
hefty pinch of sea salt
6 tablespoons pure B maple syrup (or agave nectar)
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup warm coconut oil
sea salt for the top
First, place 1 cup oats in bowl of food processor and process until they become a fine powder. Set aside to use for peanut butter filling.
Place cashews, oats, cacao powder, and salt in the bowl of the food processor and whiz until mixture is ground up but before the nuts become too ground and start to become nut butter. Remove to a bowl and add chocolate chips. Add pitted dates to food processor and blend until dates are a sticky paste, mixture will form into a ball. Add dates to nuts and use your hands to blend. Add a few tablespoons of maple syrup and work it in until the dough is no longer crumbly and holds its shape. Press into plastic lined 8″ square pan and place in the refrigerator.
Add reserved processed oat flour to a bowl with peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and sea salt to bowl. Stir until combined. Add to top of crust layer, using spatula to spread it out evenly over the crust. Place back in the refrigerator while making top layer.
Place maple syrup, coconut oil, and cacao powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Mixture should be smooth and shiny, this will take at least a minute of whisking. Pour evenly over peanut butter mixture and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Refrigerate until set, at least one hour. Remove from pan, cut into bite-sized pieces and store in an air tight container for however long they last, that was about 3 days around here, but we ate them like pigs.