This bar definitely brings to mind the question, "is this a granola bar or a candy bar?" Because it is a little high in fat due to the peanuts/peanut butter, that is a reasonable question, but since it is held together with pureed prunes and only a little honey, and it boasts the omega-3 fats with the addition of chia, has antioxiants found in the cocoa (and even the chips) and is full of both soluble and insoluble fibers (oats, prunes), this bar can easily be worked into a healthy lifestyle.
Because granola bars are so nutrient-dense, I use these as a meal replacement on a hectic on-the-go day or to nourish my body after a really intense workout. They are also great to keep in your pack for a day hike or throw them into the car before your next road trip.
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cook)
1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon white chia seeds
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
3/4 cup pitted prunes
6 tablespoons natural, peanut butter (no oil added)
3 tablespoons raw honey
1.5 ounce of dark chocolate, 60 % cacao or higher, chopped into "chips"
1 – Peheat oven to 300 degrees. Meanwhile, line baking pan with two sheets of overlapped foil (see photo, below).
2 –Spread oats onto a baking sheet and toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice and watching carefully as to not burn. Set aside to cool.
3 – While oats are cooling, place prunes into the base of a food processor and puree until a thick paste has formed. You can also purchase prune puree in well stocked grocery and health food stores; if you do this, substitue 1/2 cup prune puree and omit this step. Set prune paste aside.
4 – In large bowl, combine oats, chopped peanuts, chia and cocoa powder.
5 – Using hands (it is helpful to have gloves here) work prune puree, almond butter and honey into oat mixture until well combined.
6 - Mix in chocolate chips.
7 - Press mixture into pan. Using an object with a flat bottom, press the mixture evenly and uniformly into pan. As shown in the photo below, I used the bottom of a small Kinetic Go Green Storage Container that I obtained from the NutriMirror store.
8 - Place pan in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until warm and the surface has begun to shine slightly from the heat. The objective here is NOT to cook the bars, just to fuse the ingredietns together.
9 - Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan and then, using foil overhang, lift entire recipe out of pan in one piece. Score into eight even pieces and cool completely. Wrap in wax paper and store in larger container or zipper bag in the refrigerator until ready to eat or pack into your snack sack for the day.
~ Recipe makes 8 bars. ~
Nutritional data* per 1/8 of recipe:
*Nutritional data calculated using ingredient compilation program and is deemed close but not exact.