no-bake dark chocolate peanut butter granola bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
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Recipe type: granola bars
Serves: makes 8-10 bars
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups old fashioned oats, also called rolled oats - You can also make these gluten-free by using gluten-free oats.
  • 1 cup (approx 7-8 large) pitted medjool dates - You don't need to buy pitted dates, just get the regular medjool dates and de-pit them
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut - I love the brand from Let's do Organic
  • 1 3.5-ounce bar 70% good quality dark chocolate, chopped into chocolate chunk sized pieces - I love the 70% chocolate from Green and Black
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup to make these bars vegan
  • ¼ cup creamy salted natural peanut butter, you could also use almond butter, but note that almond butter doesn't have the same smoothness as peanut butter - I adore the no stir peanut butter from MaraNatha
  • optional - 2 tablespoons chia seed -these add some Omega 3 fatty acids, protein and fiber
Instructions
  1. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, or you can use a similar sized pan or tupperware container.
  2. Chop up your chocolate bar into small pieces. Remember these are going to be in the granola bars, so think chocolate chip or chocolate chunk sized pieces.
  3. Measure out the rest of your ingredients.
  4. By the way, I always use a dry cup measuring cups, not liquid when measuring out ingredients like honey and peanut butter.
  5. De-pit the medjool dates. All you do to de-pit the dates is literally open up a date with your hands or a knife and take out the pit. Easy peasy!
  6. In a food processor or mini prep (I've used both) fitted with a metal blade, process the pitted medjool dates. They will break down and end up forming into small clumps as seen below.
  7. Transfer the processed dates to a medium sized bowl.
  8. In a small sauce pan, warm the the ¼ cup honey and ¼ cup peanut butter over low heat, stirring until warm, but not boiling.
  9. You just want to melt down and merge the peanut butter and honey together, as they are going to be the binding ingredient for the bars.
  10. Add to the bowl with the processed dates, the 1½ cup old fashioned oats, ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped chocolate and the chia seeds if using. Give all of the ingredients a good stir.
  11. Add the melted peanut butter and honey mixture to the oat mixture.
  12. Now it's time to mix everything together until it's completely incorporated. You will need to get your hands in there and mix the mixture, as the dates are difficult to mix in with a spoon. Your hands will get messy, but it's worth it. It's sort of like massaging kale, but stickier :)
  13. Transfer the mixture to the parchment lined 8x8 dish, and press the granola mixture down with your hands and a spatula until it's as flat and even as possible. Think about making the bars even all the way around.
  14. Cover the bars/baking dish with plastic wrap and freeze the bars until firm, about ½ hour.
  15. Once the bars are cool, remove the parchment with the bars from the pan.
  16. Take a knife and slice the bars into 8-10 bar (rectangle) sized pieces.
  17. Store the bars in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can store them at room temp, in the refrigerator or freezer, it's really personal preference. I prefer to store mine at room temp.
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at http://marinmamacooks.com/2015/03/no-bake-dark-chocolate-peanut-butter-granola-bars/