Do you need a nutritious snack to keep going during the work week? Perhaps a healthy alternative to sugary treats? Oatmeal peanut butter energy bars are it!
These oatmeal peanut butter energy bars are toasty, chocolatey, nutty, and slightly sweet. Better yet, they’re good for you. I wouldn’t suggest downing the entire batch (like I almost did), but even if you do, you can rest easy knowing that every ingredient is good for you. The energy bars consist of an oatmeal base with peanut butter as a binder and honey for sweetness. After everything is combined, they bake up in a flash. Even better, each bite has tons of texture.
Why You’ll Love These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars
Minimal ingredients required – You need five ingredients to make these oatmeal peanut butter energy bars. Yes, five! So simple.
A generous dose of protein – There’s protein in chia seeds, peanut butter, and even a little in cacao nibs. That’s three sources in total!
Chocolatey – Cacao nibs bring a deep chocolate flavor to the bars and the texture of roasted coffee beans. Better yet, they’re less processed with no unhealthy additives.
Travel-friendly snack – Store a few in a food-safe bag to take with you.
Truly energizing – Protein and complex carbs bring the energy to these bars. Oats fall into the complex carb category since they’re slow digesting, providing the body with fuel over an extended period. Although oats are excellent, the protein sources in this recipe (chia seeds and peanut butter) take even longer to break down than carbohydrates making them even more energizing!
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars Ingredients Notes
To make these tasty energy bars, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Oats: This recipe uses rolled oats. Since they’re flat and flakey, they cook fast and absorb moisture well.
- Cacao nibs: The crumbled bits of dried cacao beans are available in the health section of most grocery stores.
- Chia seeds: For the most protein, go with black chia seeds. However, if you’re more interested in omega-3s, go with white.
- Peanut butter: The sticky, nutty, and protein-packed nut butter adds a yummy flavor to the bars and acts as a binder.
The complete ingredients list with amounts is in the recipe card below!
How to Make Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a square baking pan with parchment. For the best result, butter or oil your pan before lining it with parchment. The parchment sticks to the pan this way, and you’ll get nice crisp corners.
- Mix: Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
- Press: Press the energy bar mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake: The bars take about 10 minutes in the oven.
- Slice: Cool the bars, drizzle with a bit of honey, slice, and serve. For the cleanest cuts, firmly press a chef’s knife through the bars, gently drag the knife out of the end that is closest to you, and repeat.
Variations, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips
Use a light baking pan – Light pans reflect heat while dark-colored pans absorb heat, increasing the likelihood of the sides and bottoms of the bars cooking and browning more quickly, which may result in an unpleasant, bitter taste.
Watch them closely – Some ovens run hot, so keep an eye on the bars as they bake to ensure they don’t overcook.
Go vegan – Swap honey for maple syrup to make vegan energy bars.
Add nuts – Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, or cashews will add protein, healthy fat, and texture to the energy bars.
Add fruit – Dried cherries would be nice. You can crush dehydrated strawberries and sprinkle them over the top to add some tartness, chop dried figs, and more.
Skip the peanut butter – Almond butter, sunflower, or cashew butter will work equally well.
What to Serve with Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars
Oatmeal peanut butter energy bars taste great with a cold glass of milk or a small smoothie. You can also serve them with nut or seed butter for dipping or enjoy them with fresh fruit.
This oatmeal peanut butter energy bar recipe falls under the make-ahead category. Since cooling time is required before cutting into bars, they’re best prepared ahead of time. After they bake, set them on the counter to cool for 2 hours before slicing, serving, and storing. Cooling time is essential since they firm up during that time. Cut them too soon, and the energy bars may fall apart.
Storage and Freezer Tips
Store the oatmeal peanut butter energy bars in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to a week. You can also individually wrap the bars. They are handy snacks that you can take practically anywhere. I do not recommend freezing since the cold temperature will impact the texture of the bars, as will the added moisture once they thaw.
- 3 cups raw rolled oatmeal
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup cocoa nibs
- ¼ cup honey, divided
- 1 cup chia seeds
- Pre heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients while reserving about a tablespoon of honey.
- Line a square baking tin with parchment paper and, using a spatula, press the oatmeal mixture into the dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, drizzle with remaining honey, cut into bars and serve! These keep up to a week in the fridge!
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