Healthy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Oat Bars

 

Yields:  about 12 – 16 bars    Prep Time:  15 minutes       Total Time:  35 minutes

 

Protein rich peanut butter and fiber filled oats are the base for these bars, with applesauce as a replacement for any extra oil or butter.  Fair warning – these go fast!

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 4 oz individual cup)

1 egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup gluten free flour (I really love Namaste flour)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Tad bit of preferred oil for greasing pan

 

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

2. Mix peanut butter, applesauce, vanilla, egg and brown sugar in a bowl.

 

3. In a smaller bowl, combine flour, baking soda, oatmeal, and salt.

 

4. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet mixture.  Mix well and add chocolate chips.

 

5. Lightly grease an 11 x 7 pan and using a spatula (I often grease this a tad bit as well to prevent sticking) spread batter evenly in pan.

 

 

 

6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until cooked through.  Let cool.  Store at room temperature, or for longer shelf life, store in refrigerator.

 

 

I’m always looking to bake something.  I see a certain product and it makes me want to just bake.  It’s an odd thing, really, but my mom has had this fresh bag of gluten free flour sitting around for a few days, and it was just calling me.

 

 

Although, I am not afraid of a little butter in baked goods, this is a little different recipe.  It actually does not use any extra butter or oil, except that found in the peanut butter.  Applesauce does the trick to keep the batter moist, and adds a bit of natural sweetness as well.  I’ve mentioned this in a few other recipes, but I sometimes prefer the to-go applesauce cups for recipes.  I feel a bit wasteful when I could be buying a larger jar, yet I’ve come up with satisfactory justification for this practice. 

 

 

To be honest, when I use the large jar of applesauce, I always seem to end up wasting most of it because we don’t use it before it starts to grow fuzzy stuff.  And as for the small cups, we wash them out and use them as paint cups.  It just works.  And so do these bars, which are definitely a healthier treat that has become a fan favorite!

 

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