No-Bake Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars
I’m going to admit something to you all. I’m a total snacker! I can’t make it through lunch and dinner without some sort of snack. I mean I think/know I could make it, but I choose not to, as I love snacks. My kids are total snackers as well, and when they get home from school, the first words our of their mouths are, “hi mom, what can I have for a snack?” Most of the time I try to rummage up a of healthy, non-processed after-school snack for them, like a smoothie, popover, gluten-free healthy cookie bites, quesadilla topped with fresh guacamole, avocado-tahini dip or my kid’s favorite homemade popcorn, but some days you just have to have a snack that you can take with you on-the-go, and that’s where these no-bake dark chocolate peanut butter granola bars come in handy.
One of our favorite on-the-go snacks are granola bars. Granola bars are portable and tasty! We’re currently in love with these bars from Kind. I love the Kind bars because they’re a healthier bar. They’re chock-full of real ingredients like nuts, whole-grains, berries and dark chocolate. There is nothing processed in their bars, which makes me feel good about serving them up to my kids. Zoe’s favorite Kind bar (and mine as well) is their peanut butter dark chocolate bar, but she’s not entirely in love with nuts, so I decided to play around and create a “nut-free” granola bar version for her. I played around with a few different versions and came up with this bar, and let me tell you, it was a HUGE success, not only with Zoe, but with friends that I pawned them off on! These bars are not the traditional crunchy bars, they’re on the chewy side!
I will warn you that these bars extremely addictive. I find myself breaking off a piece and then going back for seconds and thirds. When that happens I just have to take the container and put it out of reach, or else I will literally eat the entire container. Sometimes I’m not so good at self control.
These bars are made with 6 simple healthy ingredients, and contain no refined sugars, bonus! Oats are wonderful because they’re full of protein and fiber. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and let’s admit, it tastes great! Medjool dates are loaded with protein, dietary fiber and contain more potassium than other known mineral to man, bonus! I use natural organic peanut butter which is full of healthy fats, and I also use local honey which helps a bit with seasonal allergies. Plain and simple, these bars are healthy, super tasty, extremely addictive and easy to make. So get out your aprons and let’s make us some granola bars…
no-bake dark chocolate peanut butter granola bars:
makes 8-10 bars
- 1 1/2 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
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut – I love this 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
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup to make these bars vegan
- 1/4 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
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.
Measure out the rest of your ingredients. By the way, I always use a dry cup measuring cups, not liquid when measuring out ingredients like honey and peanut butter.
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.
Transfer the processed dates to a medium sized bowl.
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 🙂
Transfer the mixture to the parchment lined 8×8 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.
One the bars are cool, remove the parchment with the bars from the pan.
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 like to store mine at room temp.
Try my gluten-free healthy cookie bites. These cookie bites are made with 100% whole ingredients. They’re dairy-free, butter and oil-free, grain-free and gluten-free, but have an amazing buttery taste and texture. They’re also totally kid approved and tested! Give them a try. They only take 10 minutes to whip up and 12 minutes to bake.
Guilt-free dark chocolate chip cookie bites! These are one of Zoe’s favorite cookies and she begs me to make them weekly!
I also love these quinoa snack bars. They’re filled with the goodness of quinoa, quinoa flour, chia seeds, goji berries, local raw honey and so much more. They may not be pretty, but they’re tasty! You can even make these gulten-free by using gluten-free oats.
Granola anything is always a hit in my house. Why not make granola bark? Coconut granola bark. We go crazy for this bark. I break it up, store it in a large jar on the counter and it just goes..