These whole food treats have been a staple in our home for years now. This recipe for healthy peanut butter bars is a regular demand, and there is near pandemonium when we run out. These yummy treats meet a plethora of dietary restrictions and needs. Just to name a few, they include:
They are the perfect solution for a sweet tooth and are packed with healthy whole food ingredients that actually do the body good.
Oats are an incredible food source as they are a rich source of healthy carbohydrates, fiber and micronutrients. In fact, half a cup of dry oats contain over 63% of your bodies needed amount of manganese, and over 13% of the daily value of copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. They are also a good source of vegan protein and contain several essential amino acids and soluble fiber, a critical nutrient which can lower LDL and total cholesterol levels.
The nutrient profile of nut butters can be wide. This is why I like to rotate them in different dishes. For those who cannot tolerate peanut butter, try cashew butter, almond butter, or a blend. Sesame seed butter, aka tahini, is also a great option and can produce an exciting new flavor to an old recipe.
Overall, no matter which type you choose, you will benefit from a calorie-rich food that is a good source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Just be sure to watch for sneaky added ingredients such as sugar, soybean oil, or palm oil that has not been sustainably sourced.
The power of cacao powder is significant. This rich food can improve cognitive function through its polyphenol content, further reducing the risk of alzheimers and similar degenerative neuroogical diseases. Cacao powder is also a good source of antioxidants, compounds that reduce the risk of developing cellular damage that can lead to cancers and other health risks. This substance has also been found by researchers to support cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of diabetes, and improve overall energy.
This increasingly popular oil is touted for its antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits, amongst others. And the research backs this saturated fat that is unlike other saturated fats. This is largely due to its heavy content of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that possess multiple health benefits. For instance, evidence shows that consuming MCTs may increase the number of calories your body burns, in turn leading to potentially greater fat loss over time.
The MCTs found in foods such as coconut oil are also a great source of sustained energy and can improve your overall function throughout the day.
Coconut oil can also inhibit the production of various forms of bacteria and fungi making it a great addition to your diet for overall gut health and oral hygiene.
And if you need more reasons to incorporate coconut oil into your diet, it is also good for your hair and skin. Reports show that it can reduce dryness and help rejuvenate the skin, while strengthening hair and reducing breakage.
This natural sweetener is an excellent alternative to refined white sugar. It is made from the sweet sap of the coconut palm tree. While it is still a sweetener and should be consumed in moderation, it has a lower GI compared to cane sugar. It also contains some nutritional value, unlike table sugar.
Coconut sugar is rich in inulin, a dietary fiber that has prebiotic properties. This nutrient is important for ideal gut function.
Perfect Healthy Peanut Butter Bars, No Sugar
Diet: vegan adaptable, raw, gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free, dairy-free Prep time: 10 mins
Chill time: 2 hrs Total time: 2 hrs 10 mins Serves: 12
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup peanut butter, or preferred nut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cacao powder
Line a 9 x 13 glass dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place all base ingredients in a food processor. Blend until a creamy texture is achieved. It will still be slightly gritty from the oatmeal. Pour this mixture into your prepared pan. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, in a small pot, place the coconut oil for the chocolate topping over low heat. Warm until just barely melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the honey and cacao powder until smooth. Drizzle over the chilled peanut butter base. Place in the refrigerator to chill for another hour.
Once solid, slice into 24 squares and enjoy. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, and enjoy for weeks.
This blog post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.