If you’re looking for a completely customizable healthy protein or no bake bar that’s easy to make, flavorful and tastes like a chewy peanut butter granola bar, look no further because your favorite food blogger has you covered.
Meet my delicious no bake peanut butter oatmeal bars that are naturally sweetened with dates, filled with with crunchy chia seeds, nutty flaxseed and finished with a layer of dark chocolate on top. It’s a combination of a peanut butter cup, peanut butter granola bar and a chewy peanut butter protein bar packed into one. CAN I GET A HELL YES?!
Ingredients in no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars
These healthy no bake peanut butter oatmeal bars use super simple ingredients that you might even have on-hand right now. They’re packed with nearly 8g protein per serving, almost 5g fiber and only 7 nourishing ingredients making them the perfect snack. You’ll need:
- Natural, creamy peanut butter (just peanuts + salt): this adds healthy protein to the bars and helps them stick together well.
- Medjool dates: for natural sweetness, fiber and chewiness. They will also help the bars stay together. You’ll want to make sure your dates are nice and soft! If you’d rather use maple syrup or honey, I have instructions for that in the note section of the recipe.
- Vanilla extract: adds a little flavor boost. Feel free to skip if you don’t have.
- Chia seeds: I love adding these for the fiber, omega-3s and protein.
- Flaxseed meal: great for nursing mamas to boost milk production and a wonderful addition of omega-3s.
- Old fashioned rolled oats (do NOT use steel cut oats): for additional fiber and iron. Be sure to use a certified gluten free kind if need be.
- A dark chocolate bar or dark chocolate chips: because chocolate = love! Feel free to use a vegan or dairy free chocolate bar.
These easy ingredients make the vegan chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars dairy and gluten free for the perfect snack or healthy dessert.
How to soften medjool dates
For this recipe you’ll want to make sure your dates are nice and soft so they blend and break down well. If your dates feel a little hard, I suggest softening them up by soaking them in water. Simply add dates and warm water to a bowl and let them sit for 5-10 minutes, then drain water and use dates in the recipe as directed.
How to make no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars
- Add peanut butter, dates, vanilla, chia seeds and flaxseed to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. Process until the dates are somewhat smooth; there can be a few chunky pieces but not too many! Add in oats and pulse a few times until oats are somewhat combined into the dough.
- Press the peanut butter oat mixture into an 8 ½ x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Melt your chocolate bar in a saucepan on low until it’s smooth and completely melted. Pour the chocolate over your peanut butter layer so that it covers the layer completely.
- Place the loaf pan in the fridge for at least 1 hour to let the bars set set before cutting into 10 squares. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and enjoy!
How to store and freeze peanut butter oatmeal bars
- In the fridge: once you’ve cut your no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars into 10 squares, be sure to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them. They’ll stay good in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- In the freezer: these delicious bars can be frozen for up to 2 months! Simply store them in a freezer-friendly, airtight container. When you’re ready to enjoy, transfer the bars to the refrigerator to thaw it a bit before enjoying.
Why are omega-3s good for you?
These vegan no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars are packed with omega-3s thanks to the chia seeds and flaxseed meal. Omega-3s are a wonderful fatty acid that’s essential for your brain, your heart and the immune system. Most people don’t get enough omega-3s in their diet as we tend to not eat enough fish or veggies with the type of fatty acid. You can read more about 0mega-3s here.
More peanut butter + chocolate treats to try:
If you make these healthy no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram. We’d also love if you would leave a comment below and rate the recipe. We appreciate you! xo.
Vegan No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Incredible vegan no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars made with simple ingredients like natural peanut butter, dates, chia seeds, flax and rolled oats. These healthy no bake peanut butter oatmeal bars make a wonderful snack or healthy dessert and are delicious straight from the fridge. Freezer friendly and gluten free!
- 1 cup creamy natural drippy peanut butter* (just peanuts + salt)
- ½ cup packed pitted Medjool dates (about 6-7 large pitted Medjool dates)**
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (or sub hemp seeds or leave out)
- 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats, gluten free if desired
- 1 (3 ounce) dark chocolate bar (around 70%), dairy free if desired
- Maldon sea salt, for sprinkling
First soak the dates in warm water for 10 minutes before using in this recipe. This helps them become soft and the perfect consistency for blending with the peanut butter and oats. After 10 minutes, drain dates.
Add peanut butter, soaked dates, vanilla, chia seeds and flaxseed to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. You want to process until the dates are somewhat smooth; there can be a few chunky pieces but not too many! Add in oats and pulse a few times until oats are somewhat combined into the dough. You may need to scrape the dough down the sides of the bowl.
- Press peanut butter oat mixture into an 8 ½ x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Make the chocolate layer by adding 3 ounces of dark chocolate to a small saucepan and melting over low heat until completely smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and tilt the pan so that the chocolate covers the peanut butter layer entirely.
Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before slicing into 10 squares. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Store covered in the fridge until ready to eat. Bars will keep for up to two weeks. Bars can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
* Feel free to use natural creamy almond butter or sunflower seed butter in place of the peanut butter. If your nut butter is on the drier side, I recommend adding in a tablespoon of coconut oil.
If you don’t have a chocolate bar, you can feel free to use ½ cup chocolate chips of choice + 1 teaspoon coconut oil.
**Don't want to use dates? I've successfully made these with 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (honey will also work as a non vegan option) and they were delicious, but I liked the date version just a little bit more.
Freeze these bars: these bars can be frozen for up to 2 months! Simply store them in a freezer-friendly, airtight container. When you’re ready to enjoy, transfer the bars to the refrigerator to thaw it a bit before enjoying.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats