Sweet, peanut buttery, oatmeal goodness, baked into a perfect little bar. Oatmeal Peanut Energy Bars are bursting with nutritious, “good for you ingredients”. What’s not to love about this delicious treat?
Welcome back! I hope you’ve all been having a great weekend! It is finally starting to feel just a touch like spring around here in Michigan. The snow is melting, the sun has been shining, and we’re even starting to see grass in our yard! (Seriously, the ground has been covered with snow for the better part of the last 4 months.)
This little taste of spring is starting to make me realize that baby boy number three is going to be here before we know it! We only have about 2 1/2 months left until he makes his appearance. Thankfully, I’m not totally in the nesting mode yet, but I can feel it slowly creeping in. Lately, I’ve been more in the “cook all the things!” mode, which I guess isn’t all bad. The days that have been too cold to go outside, the boys and I have had numerous cooking lessons. They are getting to be quite the pair of little sous chefs. Sometimes I’ll cook with both of them, sometimes I’ll try to whip something up alone during nap time, and sometimes I will let William skip his quiet time and we’ll cook together. That’s just what happened here.
William and I created this recipe a few weeks ago, before we left for our trip to San Diego. I wanted to come up with a snack that we could all enjoy, that would travel well, and that fell into the “healthy, good for you” category. So, to the kitchen we went. Thankfully, James was napping during our little test kitchen adventure, so William and I could get serious and focus. (William has become a wonderful helper! He is not only great at measuring and gathering ingredients, but most importantly, he’s an honest critic!) I remember him saying to me as we were testing the peanut butter mixture for our first batch, “It needs more sweetness”. We kept taste testing and adding to it, until William and I signed off on the final version. We added everything together and stirred it up. Then we added a few more oats and chopped peanuts until we agreed that the consistency looked (and tasted) just right. We popped them in the oven and waited. Once they were cool enough to handle, the boys and I DOVE in full force! Seriously, I think I ate four or five bars without even thinking, and the boys each devoured three! Thankfully, we managed to save a few for Andrew when he came home. His verdict? He was sold after his first bite, and thought they tasted a bit like a peanut butter brownie! When I told him that these bars were actually HEALTHY, he responded with, “We should make these ALL the time!”.
Trying to take the advice of my husband, I feel like I have been pretty much making these non-stop. I made a double batch for our San Diego trip, and since we’ve gotten back, I have made at least three different (double batches). I just recently made these a few days ago and we had the chance to share them with both sets of Grandparents. They loved them, too! What a fun little (healthy) treat to share with the ones you love.
So, there you have it. Devoured by kids AND adults, and packed with all the right healthy ingredients to give you and your family energy whenever you need that little pick-me-up. These Oatmeal Peanut Energy Bars are sure to be a hit!
- 8 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 large very ripe banana
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon agave
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Puree dates and 1/4 cup warm water in blender or food processor until mostly smooth. Add peanut butter, banana, water, coconut oil, agave, vanilla, and salt, and process until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, peanuts, and baking powder and stir together.
- Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and stir together until oats are well coated.
- In a 13 x 9" baking pan, lined with parchment paper (that extends slightly past the sides of the pan) add batter and spread evenly into pan with a rubber spatula. Smoothing and pressing down as you go.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until set. Remove pan from oven and let cool on stove for 15 minutes. Then gently lift bars out of pan using parchment paper and continue cooling on wire rack.
- When cool, move bars (using parchment paper) onto cutting board, and using a serrated knife, slice into 24 bars.
- Store in an airtight container, lined and layered with parchment paper.