Tuesday, 8 April 2014

'Healthy' Oat, Cinnamon and Peanut Butter Bars

Hi everyone - I'm back with another tasty recipe which is almost completely guilt free!  After seeing Niomi Smart's Healthy Cake Pop tutorial on YouTube using 'Agave Nectar', I had to give a recipe containing it a go. Agave Nectar is a naturally occurring organic sweetener which is low in Gl and is said to be a healthier substitute for sugar. It is also gluten and wheat free which makes it suitable for vegans and vegetarians. It has the consistency of honey but it much much sweeter which essentially means that you need less of it. It's a new find for me, so I can't wait to use it in baking other treats to see what results they produce. Now with this recipe, it was a bit of a trial and error. The original recipe comes from 'AverieCooks',  but I found that I needed to change quite a lot in order to give the based the right consistency. As you can see from the photos, I haven't completely mastered it as it's a little crumbly (too many oats) but I will give you the reduced oat/adapted version down below. 

The end result was absolutely delicious but did take a lot of time to perfect. I originally made it how Averie instructed to with 3 cups of oats, but found that it was much much too dry so I found myself adding quite a lot more peanut butter, dates and agave to help hold it's shape - I would definitely recommend to start will fewer oats (2 cups) and add more if it's too sticky (see adapted ingredients/method below). I personally had never tried peanut butter until I made this, as the thought of it definitely didn't appeal but, after trying it in this I really like it! I really think this is a great introduction to agave and you guys will definitely be seeing more recipes containing this in the near future so stick around for more tasty goodness!

What you will need:

2 cups Oats (I used 3 which was way too much - you can always add more if too sloppy)
20 Dates - stoneless (juicy ones are best)
1 cup Peanut Butter - crunchy or smooth
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter - melted (optional)
1 1/2 cups Dark Chocolate or Chocolate chips
3 tablespoons Milk (Almond, Soya or regular)
3-4 ounces Dark Chocolate - roughly copped

NOTE: You will only need a fridge for this recipe as it's a no-bake one!
Makes: around 15 moderately sized squares


Step 1: Line a tin (I used a 8inch by 12inch as I wanted them to be thin) with baking parchment and leave to one side.

Step 2: Put the oats, dates, peanut butter (I used crunchy), agave, vanilla extract, cinnamon and the butter into a blender or food processor to bind the ingredients together to form a dough like consistency. It needs to be quite heavy in consistency and stay together when a little of the mixture is rolled into a small ball.  
If the mixture is too dry, add more peanut butter, agave or dates until it holds it's shape for longer.
If it's too sticky, add a few more oats a little at a time until it is less sticky. (you can see I added a few more dates, agave and peanut butter in the last photo below as it was too dry - do remember to taste after this as you don't want the bars to be overly sweet)

Step3:  Take the mixture and pour it into the tin you lined previously, and flatten the mix down with a large metal spoon or spatula until it's all even and compact.

Step 4: Place the dark chocolate/chips into a microwavable bowl and microwave for about 1 minute on full power. After this place the milk into a separate bowl and microwave until boiling - this should take around 20 - 30seconds. Next, pour the milk over the chocolate and leave for around 3 minutes and then stir it until it's smooth - if it's a little thick, place it back in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Step 5: Pour the chocolate over the flattened base and smooth over with a pallet knife until it's evenly spread out. Lastly, sprinkle the roughly chopped chocolate over the top, cover and place in the fridge. Leave in the fridge for a minimum of 40 minutes or when the chocolate is all set until cutting into squares/rectangles and enjoy!

Apologies for these photos for being a little out of focus!!

I think this recipe is such a great idea which tastes really yummy. It also has the added bonus of being reasonably healthy as there's only a little bit of butter in the mix and just the chocolate on top (and of course it's dark which means it's healthy)! Let me know in the comments if you give it a go. Can't wait to try it again so that I have a mixture which holds together a bit more. Hope you liked this recipe and enjoy eating it just as much as I did/still am :)

Harriet xo


  1. These look so great. And sometimes I wonder if butter isn't much worse than peanut butter. I have read so many mixed reviews on pb, but I still love it! Just try to take it all with moderation. Thanks for the idea/recipe!

    1. They really are and I thought the same but I suppose it depends on what one you buy! The one I bought was 96% peanut and didn't have any 'bad' ingredients in it. Calorie wise they're similar but it's better because they're nuts...(?) Exactly and no problem! x


I love reading all your comments and replying to them so feel free to leave a little note down below and I'll get back to you asap :) xo