Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars

Photo Credit: A Dash of Sanity

This chocolate oatmeal peanut butter bars recipe showcases the favourite combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Chocolate chips and peanut butter get melted together and spread on top of a baked oatmeal bar base making these easy desserts completely irresistible. Yes, you could just top these bars with melted chocolate, but why bother when you can have both chocolate and peanut butter? The peanut butter makes the chocolate topping more of a ganache texture too, rather than setting completely. Sandra, the author of A Dash of Sanity recipe blog, came up with this oatmeal peanut butter bar recipe when she was inspired by a treat she ate as a child. While still definitely a dessert recipe, Sandra made these slightly healthier than the original by incorporating natural sweeteners like honey and agave syrup into the bars. Of course, you could use the more traditional corn syrup if you like, but the honey adds so much extra flavour while being slightly easier to digest.

Slowly but surely, natural sweeteners, like agave syrup and honey, are making their way into dessert recipes as alternatives to more refined white sugar and corn syrup. These natural syrups are often comparable to refined sweeteners on a caloric level but are usually easier for the human body to digest. Plus, honey has a wealth of other nutrients if purchased in its raw, unpasteurized form. In the case of this bar recipe, it doesn’t matter if you use raw honey or not, though, since it gets baked in the oven, which will destroy the additional nutrients. Although natural syrups shouldn’t always be added to baked recipes to replace white sugar due to baking being a science, they work wonderfully here, where they are merely intended to be a sweetener and binder for the bars. Often, white sugar is beneficial for the texture of baked recipes, which is difficult to achieve with liquid sweeteners.

If you are searching for simple dessert recipes that are also somewhat healthy, these bars may be a suitable option. While not purely healthy, because of the amount of sugar, these bars are made up of a generous amount of oats, which are nutritionally rich. No matter the kind of oats you use, they all have a similar amount of fibre, which is crucial to get every day to maintain proper digestion. Sandra uses instant oats here, which are finer than large flake oats, but they consist of the same nutritional profile and the same amount of fibre. The instant oats are beneficial to this chocolate peanut butter bar recipe because they are finer and hold together in bar shape better than larger oats would. Oats are also slower to digest, which means that they will limit how much your blood sugar will spike when eating these bars. It is always beneficial to combine higher glycemic foods with high fibre ones to prevent insulin spikes. Sandra grants you the option of using margarine or salted butter in this bar recipe too. Either one will work well, but the salted butter will provide a better, more natural flavour than the margarine will.

These fun desserts are perfect for snacking on or having for dessert. Simply make up batches of them for the school and work week, and place them in packed lunches for yourself or your kids. The best part about these dessert bars is that they keep very well too and can likely be saved for up to a week in the refrigerator, although they are unlikely to last that long. Thank you to Sandra, the author of A Dash of Sanity recipe blog, for sharing her chocolate oatmeal peanut butter bars recipe with us.

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