Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

Peanut-Butter-and-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars I’ve made these Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Oat Bars many, many times.  Each time making little tweaks here and there.

After several months, I think I’m ready to share them with you.

My boys love my homemade chocolate chip granola bars but I decided to add a little twist to them.

I took my basic granola bar recipe, and added 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.

While my boys claim this is one of their favorite snacks I make them, my favorite (so far) would be my Raw Hemp and Chia Seed Bars.

 

Feel-Good-About-What-You-Eat 5 Fast Facts about Oats:

  • provides significant fiber
  • helps control blood sugar levels
  • can reduce hypertension and high blood pressure
  • increases appetite control hormones
  • lowers bad cholesterol

5 Fast Facts About Almonds (Almond Flour):

  • helps to regulate cholesterol and blood pressure
  • energy booster
  • loaded with calcium and fiber
  • 1/4 cup contains 8 grams of vegan protein
  • high in anti-oxidants

5 Fast Facts About Raw Coconut Crystals:

  • low glycemic (GI of 35)
  • raw, vegan and gluten-free
  • unrefined and unbleached
  • contains 17 amino acids
  • is an abundant source of minerals and broad spectrum B vitamins

5 Fast Facts About Coconut Oil:

  • super high in lauric acid
  • rich in antioxidants
  • contains natural microbial and anti-bacterial agents
  • helps to improve metabolism
  • improves cholesterol levels

5 Fast Facts About Peanuts (Peanut Butter):

  • excellent source of vitamin E
  • high in folate
  • contains tryptophan which helps fight depression
  • good source of fiber
  • excellent source of vegan protein

5 Fast Facts About Maple Syrup:

  • contains manganese and zinc
  • super high in anti-oxidants
  • helps with inflammation
  • 1/4 cup contains more calcium than the same amount of milk
  • 1/4 cup contains more potassium than a banana

 

Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars

 

Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars

 

Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars

 

Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars

 

Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars

 

Peanut-Butter-and-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars

 

Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars

 

Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars

 

Peanut-Butter-and-Chocolate-Chip-Oat-Bars

 

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.

 

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Oat Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

www.thehealthyfamilyandhome.com The Healthy Family and Home

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 (Enjoy Life brand)

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 (Enjoy Life brand)

Directions

Prepare the oat mixture
Step 1 Put all ingredients for the oat mixture into a medium sized bowl and stir well until completely combined and blended well.

Set aside.
Prepare the middle layer
Step 2 Mix the peanut butter, maple syrup and coconut oil in a small bowl and stir well until completely combined and blended well.

Set aside.
Assembly
Step 3 Take 1/2 of the oat mixture and press firmly into the bottom of an 8 x 8 glass dish.

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).

Spread the peanut butter mixture on the top evenly.

Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on top of the peanut butter mixture.

Take the other 1/2 of the oat mixture, spoon it evenly over the peanut butter/chocolate chip mixture and press it down firmly.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 - 25 minutes or until the top becomes a golden color (don't overcook).

Let them cool completely before cutting and serving.

Store in the refrigerator and they will become firmer after being in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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24 comments to Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

  • Chris

    I have tried a couple of times to make granola bars for the kids…and me.. Though they were more healthy, they just didn’t have the appeal of the packaged ones. I think your secret weapon of PB and chocolate in the middle may be the way to get thumbs up from everyone! Thanks for sharing!

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Chris! I know ~exactly~ what you mean! Even though my boys love my homemade ones, if given the choice, they would take the packaged ones I’ve bought in the past in a snap. That’s so funny how kids are lol!

      Yes, the peanut butter and chocolate chip middle layer definitely adds a special twist that’s hard to resist.

      Thanks so much and I hope everyone enjoys them ;)

  • abby

    Are there any ingrediants you could substitute for the almond flour? Oat flour perhaps?

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Abby! I have substituted Bob’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour with good success but personally didn’t like the strong garbonzo flour flavor which is why I started using the almond flour.

      If I were to try something other than that or the almond flour, my next choice would be oat flour and I think that should work – but have never tested it.

      I’m not too familiar with homemade gluten-free flour combos but I think any other gluten-free flour would probably work well too.

      And, one more idea – if you didn’t need it to be gluten-free, you could try a regular unbleached all-purpose flour.

      Thanks for the question and I hope that was the information you were looking for ;)

      • Melissa

        Is that generally true, that you can substitute regular unbleached all-purpose flour in place of gluten-free flours in recipes? I am not gluten free but I do love the look of a lot of gluten-free recipes.

        • Karielyn

          Hi there Melissa! I’m not an expert by any means on gluten-free baking, but I do know that it would be definitely easier to covert gluten-free to all purpose flour than vice versa!

          I can’t tell you how many recipe fails I have had trying to convert all purpose to gluten-free!

          I think it’s really going to depend on the type of gluten-free flour that you are using when substituting. Coconut flour is very tricky, almond flour does well with eggs but is hit or miss when trying to make something vegan. I try to stay away from the gluten-free blends that use numerous ingredients because it’s just too complicated for me.

          If you’d like to try this recipe with unbleached, organic all-purpose flour, I would use that as a replacement for the almond flour but would add 1 – 2 eggs (if you aren’t vegan).

          Thanks for your question and I hope that helped ;)

  • great healthy recipe for my cookie fix!

  • I love these! My son is finicky but I will make these bars for him and I’ll bet he won’t be able to refuse…

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Tabatha! A peanut butter and chocolate chip combination sure is hard to refuse! But I hope they get your little man’s stamp of approval…I know my boys are sometimes my hardest critics lol! :)

  • Casie

    Can’t wait to try these! Could I fit chia seeds in here somehow? Would it greatly change the texture without changing another ingredient?

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Casie! I don’t think I’ve ever baked anything with chia seeds…I usually use them in raw or no-bake snacks and smoothies, but you could try adding maybe 1/4 cup or so.

      It shouldn’t change the texture other than giving it a little extra crunch, if anything.

      Thanks for the question and I hope you enjoy them ;)

  • Sara

    Do you have any idea what the calorie or fat intake would be for these bars? They look great!

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Sara! I don’t normally calculate calories/fat, etc for myself when I make something, but I just went into MyFitnessPal.com and put in everything and it looks like it would be approximately 227 calories/bar, 18 carbs/bar, 16g fat/bar, 5g protein/bar, 159g sodium/bar and 8g sugar/bar (using the low-glycemic raw coconut crystals that I used).

      The recipe make 16 large-sized, thick and dense bars and you could cut them into smaller pieces if needed.

      If you need 100% accurate figures for dietary purposes, you may want to go in an recheck everything because I did it very quickly.

      I hope you enjoy them if you decide to make the recipe…they are really good ;)

  • elizabeth

    I Love this recipe!! I have added hemp hearts, unshelled hemp seeds and Caco Nibs. Awesome!!

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Elizabeth! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the bars! I love the additions you made and was actually thinking of making a no-bake version using cacao nibs instead of the chocolate chips so that’s great to know you used them and it worked well.

      Thanks for trying out the recipe and for taking the time to let me know you liked it ;)

  • mary

    Hi –
    these look wonderful! I am trying to soak flour/grains b/4 using them. Would that work with this recipe? Also-why don’t you recommend that? I thought oats are very hard to digest?
    thanks!

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Mary! Although I have read about soaking flour/grains before using them, I have not done so myself personally, so I don’t know if that would work in this recipe.

      But from what I’ve read, it is definitely recommended to soak flour before using it, and I’d love to learn how to do it.

      I used to make homemade bread (grinding my own wheat from wheat berries) and have an expensive Zojirushi bread maker, but stopped making bread when I read about needing to soak the flour first. I just haven’t taken the time to follow up on it and put it into practice. Every once in a while my boys will ask me why I don’t make homemade bread anymore and I’m reminded I need to follow up on it.

      Since I’ve started my website, I’ve shifted away from gluten-free flours so I don’t really use them anymore (unless I’m making something for my family) and primarily use almond flour (I do soak my almonds) and coconut flour now.

      After I learn more about the specifics of soaking grains, I will recommend it on the recipes that use regular flour.

      Thanks for your question and I hope you enjoy the recipe ;)

  • Jennifer

    These look amazing! Can I freeze them? If so, do you know how long they will stay fresh?

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Jennifer! I have never tried to freeze them, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work if you put them in an air-tight container. I’m not sure if the oats would be soggy when they thawed out though?

      I made these back to back a couple of times trying to get them just right and had several batches that couldn’t be eaten right away, like we normally do. They were good for about a week keeping them in the refrigerator.

      Thanks for your question and I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it out ;)

  • Alejandra

    These were absolutely delicious! My hubby, 13 month old and I just loved them!,, Thanks for sharing. I cannot wait to try your other recipes :)

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Alejandra! I’m so glad to hear everyone enjoyed them..especially your little one! I hope you find some other goodies to try out too.

      Thanks for making the recipe and for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it…I really appreciate it ;)

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