Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Bars
Makes 12 Bars
Trying to capitalise on the mountain of summer berries that are still available right now, I wanted to load up my freezer with easy to make berry chia jam. I know that the internet is totally saturated with recipes for it, but it really is such a fabulous way to use up any fruit that is clinging on to dear life (the peach/nectarine version is to die for!), that it is definitely worth mentioning time and time again. Anytime the fruit in my fridge goes a bit squidgy, I just make a quick jam out of it and it can live on for many more days to come! Plus, Chia seeds are a great source of soluble fibre and contain heart-healthy plant-based Omega 3 fats, so are a wonderful addition to your diet.
After I made an enormous batch of berry chia jam to see us through the winter, I realised (much to my horror) that I didn’t actually have any room in my freezer for it! So I put my thinking cap on as to how I could use it all up that was a bit more special than the usual ‘on top of yogurt’ way. And so these delicious and healthy peanut butter and jelly oat bars were born and went down an absolute treat with the whole family. They reminded us of being back in America and make a truly wonderful breakfast, afternoon snack or dessert. They are full of nutritious and wholesome ingredients that provide a great start to the day with a mixture of wholegrain complex carbohydrates, more plant based protein than an egg, and a ton of fibre that keeps you fuller for longer and blood sugar levels more stable. They can be enjoyed warm or cold, so are also a great grab ‘n go option for the mornings.
One slice provides 280 calories, 8g of plant based protein and 6g of fibre. They also provide almost a half of my daily calcium requirements, which is great news for those that are dairy-free.
Best served warm with a dollop of cream or yogurt.
For the crust
· 150g Wholegrain Flour of your choice (I usually use Millet Flour or Oat Flour)
· 150g Jumbo Oats
· 160g Almond Flour
· 25g Peanut Butter Protein Powder OR 50g Peanut Butter (I used “That Protein” Nutty Nutty Protein Powder)
· 30g Hemp Seeds
· ½ teaspoon Salt
· 80g Butter or Coconut Oil
· 130g Maple Syrup
· 40mls Milk of your choice
For the filling
· 400g Mixed Berries
· 4 tbsp Chia Seeds
· Splash of water
· Xylitol/Erythritol (or sugar) to taste if the berries are too tart
NOTE: If you don’t have any oat flour to hand – simply blitz some oats in a high-speed blender to make some.
· Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
· In a saucepan, heat the berries on a medium heat with a splash of water. Once they have been heated for a few of minutes, mash the berries, add the chia seeds and turn off the heat.
· Mix well, add sugar to taste (if necessary) and set aside to thicken.
· In the meantime, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
· Put all of the ingredients for the crust (apart from the jumbo oats and hemp seeds) in a high-speed blender and blitz together to form a dough.
· Add the oats and hemp seeds separately so that the dough still has some texture to it. Mix well.
· Set aside ¼ of the dough mixture for the topping, and use the rest to form the base.
· Using your fingers and knuckles, press the dough for the crust firmly down on the parchment paper until it is approximately 2cm thick. There is no need to go all the way to the edges, the bars hold up pretty well by themselves.
· Spread a thick layer of the berry chia jam on top, so that it covers the base evenly.
· Then sprinkle the rest of the dough to form crumbles on the top, leaving some of the berry filling visible so that it can ooze out of the top.
· Pop in the oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the topping has turned golden.
· Make sure you let it cool before you cut it into bars otherwise it will be too crumbly.
· Enjoy immediately and store the remainder in an airtight container for several days in the fridge.
· Or else wrap the bars individually in parchment paper, put in a Ziploc bag and pop in the freezer.
Calories – 280
Protein – 8g
Fat – 17g
Carbohydrates – 26g
Fibre – 6g
Vitamin C – 13%
Calcium – 49%
Iron - 9%