These peanut butter chocolate bars are loaded with goodness, made with real ingredients, and are naturally sweetened (the sweetness comes from the natural sugar in the dates). We’ve always loved a good granola or energy ball, but recently I’ve started making bars to switch things up. These are great as a snack or an addition to your lunch. When we have these around they are a favorite “treat” to add in my girls’ lunches.
These bars start by blending up the dates which creates the paste needed for the bars and also provides the sweetness without adding in additional sugar. The remaining ingredients are then blended together, topped with chocolate, and sprinkled with coconut. We always use dairy-free chocolate as a preference, but any chocolate will do.
Natural Peanut Butter – always look for peanut butter with just peanuts or peanuts and salt as the ingredients. We love Smucker’s Organic Creamy Peanut Butter. There is no added sugar or oils.
How about those dates – dates are a great source of antioxidants, are high in fiber, and are a great way to add natural sweetness to just about anything. I always buy pitted dates to make things easy.
Oats – Did you know that all oats are technically gluten-free? It’s confusing when you see some oats labeled as gluten-free and some not… am I right? But in reality, all oats are gluten-free. However, during processing, some may become contaminated with gluten. People with a gluten intolerance should buy gluten-free certified, but for the rest of us that prefer to avoid gluten, all oats are okay. However, we still buy certified gluten-free oats. Our favorite oats are these. And similar to our date friends, oats are high in antioxidants and fiber, but are also a great source of whole grains. Clean food tip: always buy rolled oats as quick oats and instant oats are more processed.
Let’s not forget about flaxseeds – I love adding in any sort of superseeds to my recipes to increase the nutrition. Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Always buy ground flax (flax meal) as it’s easier for the body to absorb.
If you make this recipe, please let me know what you think! Leave a comment below and/or share a photo on Instagram and mention @CleanPlateMama!
Peanut Butter Chocolate BarsPrint Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups pitted dates (about 12 dates)
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup rolled outs (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut + more for sprinkling
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Blend dates in blender or food processor until a paste forms and only small pieces remain. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor or blender a few times until done.
Add peanut butter, oats, flaxseed, coconut, and salt. Pulse until just incorporated; leaving the oats whole as much as possible.
Place parchment paper in the bottom of a 9x5 loaf pan. Scoop mixture into prepared pan and press down firmly with fingers or back of a spoon until mixture is evenly packed down.
Using a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring half way through.
Pour melted chocolate over mixture in the pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with additional coconut.
Refrigerate for at least one hour so chocolate and bars can set. By pulling on the parchment paper, take bars out of pan. Evenly cut into 10-12 bars or squares.
Store bars in fridge. These should stay good for about a week in the refrigerator.