No-Bake Dark Chocolate Oat + Nut Snack Bars

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There is something comforting about having cake in the house. A peckish craving springs in the mid-afternoon and a slice of cake with coffee is calling your name. Although, sometimes I want something slightly more nutritious waiting for me.

Whenever I’m working I don’t really have time for a proper sit down breakfast. It’s up and out the door in half an hour and having something I can grab on the way out is really useful.

I’ve been trying to make healthy breakfast-type bars for months now. All of my attempts  were either way too sweet or tasted great but didn’t have the soft chewy texture I was after. I’m kind of put off by shop bought oat bars since they’re usually packed full of sugar and expensive.

These are easy, delicious and quick to make. No oven required, so great to make on a hot summers day when the thought of turning on your oven sends visions of burning hell. Peanut butter, oats, dark chocolate and nuts make these a wonderful filling snack.

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Ingredients – Makes 12 Bars

  • 160g smooth peanut butter
  • 150g honey
  • 230g porridge oats
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 15g coconut oil
  • 150g dark chocolate 70%
  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 50g almonds, roughly chopped
  • 20g pumpkin seeds

Method

Grease and line a 9x9inch cake tin with a little oil and baking paper, leaving an overhang on two sides so you can lift out the bars later.

Place the peanut butter and honey into a pan over low heat. Combine the oats, sea salt and ground cinnamon into a bowl. Once the peanut butter and honey is warm and melted together, pour over the oat mixture and stir together until fully combined. Tip the mix into your prepared cake tin and pat into an even layer using the back of a spoon. Make sure to pack it very tightly and take time to ensure its even and flat. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes while you prepare the topping.

Place your chopped pecans and almonds into a saucepan over low heat to toast, making sure you keep moving them so that they don’t catch. After around 5 minutes they should be golden and have a lovely nutty aroma. Move into a bowl to cool.

Place the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a microwaveable bowl and heat in short bursts until fully melted and combined (this can also be done over a bain-marie.) Take your oat base out of the fridge and pour over the chocolate mix. Spread the mix until it is flat and even, I like to use a small palette knife for this. Sprinkle the toasted nuts and pumpkin seeds over the top and chill in the fridge for a further hour.

Run a sharp knife around the edge of the oat bars to release them. Lift them out of the cake tin using the two overhanging pieces of parchment paper. Cut the slab in half then cut each half into 6 pieces so that you are left with 12 even bars. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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