I went to Costco with my mom and bought a HUGE container of medjool dates. I love dates, but I knew it would be hard to get through that many by eating one or two a day. I thought I would make a date bar and started looking up recipes. In my search I realized lots of healthy desserts used dates as a "caramel" replacement. Immediately I thought healthy snickers bar, but still wanted to incorporate an oat layer from the date bars I had originally been craving. Hence my Healthy Oat Based Snickers Bar was born! They are like a hybrid of date bars and a snickers bar.
I love the different layers and textures in this bar. They are sweet, crunchy and salty. The oat layer is chewy, the date and nut layer is sweet and crunchy and the chocolate layer is, well, chocolate. I used dark chocolate because I love the bitter taste and it helps balance out the sweetness of the dates. This bar comes together so quickly, stores great in the freezer for when my cravings hit and tastes incredible. You can also leave your guilt at the door with this one. They are gluten-free and can also easily be made dairy and refined sugar free by using homemade chocolate (recipe linked below)!
These could be kept as a raw bar, but I found baking the bottom two layers made the caramel layer nice and sticky and gave a nice roast to the peanuts! If you want to leave them raw just skip step 5 below - and let me know how they turn out in the comments. Check below for the recipe!
Healthy Oat Based Snickers Bar
Makes: 16 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook & Freeze Time: 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/4 + 2 tbs ground flaxseed
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
2 tbs natural peanut butter
2 tbs honey
dash of vanilla extract
2 cups medjool dates
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup unsalted peanuts
pinch of sea salt
* you can also use the chocolate recipe from my Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups to keep them dairy and refined sugar-free
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grind oats and flaxseed in a food processor until they reach a fine consistency. Stir in the rest of the ingredients for the bottom layer until you reach a doughy consistency. Reallly press mixture down into a parchment lined 8x8 inch baking pan. Freeze for a few minutes to keep the oats from sticking to the next layer.
Blend medjool dates and boiling water in a food processor until smooth. Spread over oat base.
Sprinkle peanuts over the date layer and press them in so they stick. Then sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While this bakes melt the chocolate. You can this in the microwave in 30 seconds intervals or on the stovetop. Make sure not to burn the chocolate.
Once you remove the pan from the oven, pour the melted chocolate over top. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes until chocolate is hardened.
Remove from freezer and cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or the freezer.