I’ve been mulling over the reasons why some people tend not to like healthy desserts. Part of the reason is the stigma that. healthy food and desserts are bland and boring. The other part is texture. We’re so used to eating ooey gooey sweet things, and when we want to change, it’s hard to get past the taste and texture. That’s why I created these gluten free dark chocolate peanut butter oat squares with 90% cocoa dark chocolate. These squares are moist, non-gritty with a fudgy layer of chocolate peanut butter ganache.
Many people who have undergone chemotherapy search for sweet treats that aren’t too sweet or are gluten free. I created these squares in mind for those with a stomach sensitivity from the chemo.
Not only are these dark chocolate peanut butter oat squares great during chemo chemotherapy, but they’re also a new treat that you can add to your arsenal of healthy foods.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER OAT SQUARES
- They are gluten free. Made with rolled oats and oat bran.
- These squares have a lot of valuable protein.
- Their consistency is almost fudgy.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE
- Rolled oats: I used rolled oats and not instant oats. Old fashion rolled oats will Gove the squares more stability and texture.
- Oat bran: I used oat bran to fortify the dark chocolate peanut butter squares with fiber, potassium, magnesium and iron.
- Peanut butter: You can use either unsweetened crunchy or unsweetened smooth peanut butter. I used crunchy peanut butter to add extra texture and flavor to the oat layer.
- Maple syrup: I used real maple syrup for a butter flavor and lighter sweetness.
- Dark chocolate: I used Lindt 90% cocoa chocolate bars for a deeper flavor without all the added sugar.
- Coconut oil: I used organic coconut oil for added moisture, and a stabilizer for the chocolate ganache. Add coconut oil to melted chocolate makes the Laye thicker and easier to cut through.
- Cocoa nibs: Coco nibs adds even more crunchy texture. Coco nibs for crunch and nutrients such as antioxidants, magnesium and potassium.
- Vanilla extract: I used a good quality real vanilla extract. For the best flavor, use real vanilla.
- Sea salt: Just a pinch of sea salt will elevate and bring out the flavors of the chocolate and peanut butter.
HOW TO MAKE DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER OAT SQUARES STEP BY STEP
STEP 1: GRIND THE OATS
Add the rolled oats to a food processor and pulsate until the rolled oats turn into meal. Add the oat bran and pulsate until mixed.
STEP 2: MELT THE COCONUT OIL AND PEANUT BUTTER
Add the coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to a medium sauce pan and heat until smooth and somewhat runny. Add this mixture to the oats, and pulsate a few times until the dough comes together.
STEP 3: PRESS THE DOUGH INTO THE PAN
Roll the oat dough into the parchment lined 8×8 pan, With a large sharp knife, chop one of the dark chocolate bars into small pieces. Scatter the chocolate pieces over the dough and start pressing the dough into the pan. Evenly spreading it out. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
STEP 4: MELT THE CHOCOLATE AND COCONUT OIL
Melt coconut oil in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Chop the send bar of chocolate into small pieces, and add the warm coconut oil. Turn the heat off. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, maple syrup and pinch of salt.
FAQ AND EXPERT TIPS
Will the maple syrup make these squares too sweet?
Actually, no. If you can tolerate sweet, and prefer foods that are low in sugar, real maple syrup is a better choice than using granulated sugar. These dark chocolate peanut butter oat bars are not as sweet as you might expect.
What are cocoa nibs?
Cocoa nibs a.k.a cacao nibs are are crumbled bits of dried cacao beans, which grow on the cacao tree. These are the same beans used in chocolate products.
STORAGE AND REHEATING
These dark chocolate peanut butter oat squares do very well in the refrigerator and the freezer. They will last up to 2 weeks inside of an airtight container in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer stored in a freezer appropriate container.
ADDITIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- You can add almonds when you’re grinding the rolled oats. Just toss the rolled oats and almonds together and pulsate using a food processor.
- You can substitute the dark chocolate with semisweet or milk chocolate. Try chocolate chips instead of the chocolate bars.