While absolutely not keto-friendly, we love the chewy oat bars you can get at any grocery store. We try all kinds of different recipes but one of my favorites is dark chocolate with anything.
Add in a few nuts and a wonderfully sweet “hold-it-together” substance and you’ve won my heart.
Still, more than anything, I enjoy crafting my own goodies. This is no different. So I have my favorite go-to recipe that I make from time to time and I wanted to share it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll take this base and play around with it to see all the different things that work for you.
Leave out things you don’t like, and make substitutes where it makes sense. After all, if you don’t like the result you end up with, what’s the use in making it? You want it to be yours entirely, just like I do, and that’s totally possible with a recipe like this.
Chewy Oat and Nut Bars
1 1/2 cups of oatmeal (can be any rolled, quick-cook, etc.)
1 cup of your choice of dried fruit (bananas, cranberries, dates, apricots, etc.)
1 cup of your choice of nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, macadamias, etc.)
1/4 cup of honey (can also use pure maple syrup)
1/4 cup of peanut butter (can be natural, or you can sub cashew or almond butter as well)
1 cup of pitted dates
Start by placing your dates in your food processor and processing them until they form a consistency that resembles a dough. You should be able to roll this into a ball that won’t fall apart when formed.
Next, add the oats and nuts. If you prefer, you can roast these a bit, for a nice toasty flavor. Just pop them into an oven warmed to 350 degrees and let them hang out there for about 10 minutes. Leaving them raws is fine too.
Now, take these items and mix them all together in a mixing bowl.
In a saucepan, melt your honey and peanut butter (or butter of your choice) together over low heat. You want to do this slowly, and certainly not hot enough to create a bubble to the mixture. Stir well until completely melted and then pour over the mixture you had set aside earlier.
When you have all the ingredients mixed well, put it in a parchment paper-lined baking dish that measures 8X8, or a pan of similar size. Larger pans are fine, but the bars will be thinner. On the other hand, you could also use a loaf pan for thicker, heartier bars.
Using something flat, like the bottom of a tumbler or glass, press the mixture firmly and evening, packing the mixture tightly together. This allows them to hold together better and avoids a crumbly snack.
Once well flattened, cover the top with parchment paper and leave in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This gives them time to become firm.
Take them out of the freezer and lift the parchment paper from the pan and cut into ten bars. You can store these in any container that is completely airtight or wrap individually, and they will keep for a few days. Storing in the freezer is another option, and keeps them fresher longer.
Enjoy, and repeat as necessary!