These scrumptious vegan bars are a great protein filled snack or light meal. Simple ingredients you likely have on hand and easy to make. Flax seed and chia seeds add more fibre, protein and Omega 3s. You choose your level of decadence with the chocolate.
RECIPE: (adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter (or other natural nut butter) - the drippier the better
1/2 cup packed pitted Medjool dates (6-7) or other juicy date
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (or hemp hearts)
1/2 to 3/4 large flake oats
2-3 ounces dark chocolate (at least 70%) (I used 2 ounces ~1/4 cup)
1 tsp coconut oil
sea salt for sprinkling if desired
Place dates in bowl and cover with very warm water. Soak 10 minutes
In food processor add: nut butter, dates, vanilla extract, chia seeds and flax seed. Blend until combined. can be a few small date chunks but not a lot.
Add in oats starting with 1/2 cup. Pulse until well combined. You may need to scrape the edges down a few times. Press dough with fingers or spoon to see if it holds well but is not too wet. Add more oats if needed a little at a time and pulse until combined.
Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Press dough into bottom of pan.
Place chocolate chips in microwave safe container with coconut oil. Melt on high for 30 seconds - stir a lot. Repeat if needed. When liquid, pour over dough and move pan around to coat completely. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. (recommended)
Place in fridge for 1 hour and slice into ten squares. (TIP: remove from pan and turn over so chocolate side is down to slice - helps to keep chocolate in tact). Bars keep in fridge for up to two weeks or freezer for up to two months. (or two days in our house!)
I hope you enjoy this healthy treat. Let me know what you think!