Remember when I said that these Salted Caramel Oat + Nut Bars were just the beginning and I had plenty more of these new oat bar combos coming your way? Well I decided there was no need to save the best for last so these P.B. + J Oat and Nut Bars are just that.
I don’t care how old you are, there is nothing like a good P.B. + J., right? The flavor of peanut butter and fruity jam or jelly were meant to be together. And as you have grown up, you may have taken a look at some of the “stuff” they put into your favorite nut spread. Not the greatest I would say. Peanuts are not the only thing in your spread. Palm oil, sugar, molasses and salt also are found in a jar of Jif. They always said choosy moms choose Jif. Well, take another look next time and find the real stuff. You know, the peanut butter that is just that: peanuts. Well, a little sea salt may not be so bad, but try it without the refined sugar. You will appreciate the richness of the peanut flavor.
As for this recipe, I made a chia strawberry jam which is one of my favorites. You can whip it up so easily and it adds the power of the chia seeds to your snack or treat. Any flavor would do if you don’t have strawberries on hand. Get creative and mix it up if you like and add other berries to the jam. Live a little!
P.B. + J. Oat and Nut Bars
Bar and Crumble Layer
- 1 3/4 c rolled oats regular or gluten free
- 3/4 c raw pecans
- 3/4 c raw almonds
- 9-10 medjool dates pitted
- 1/2 c natural creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 c coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash of sea salt
- 1 1/2 c strawberries stems removed
- 2-3 tsp pure maple syrup or honey
- 2 T chia seeds
- In a mixing bowl, mash strawberries until smooth with some chunks throughout. (you can also pulse in a food processor if you prefer)
- Add chia seeds and maple and stir well to combine.
- Chill for about 1 hour.
- While jam is chilling, add oats, almonds and pecans into a food processor and process until a grain like texture.
- Add in coconut oil, dates, vanilla, and sea salt. Process until dates are broken down and the mixture becomes somewhat dough like.
- Transfer to mixing bowl and add in peanut butter and stir to combine.
- Reserve about 1/2 cup of the peanut butter mixture for crumble topping.
- Press the rest of the mixture firmly into an 8x8 baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Set in freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
- Once jam is ready, spread it evenly over bottom layer in baking pan.
- Crumble the reserved peanut butter oat mixture over the jam and chill for about 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.