The power of suggestion.
I saw a post on Facebook about a week ago with this recipe, just before I was about to go to bed. Since I knew I’d never remember it the next day, I took a screenshot of the recipe with my phone.
A couple days later, in the midst of the “Juno” blizzard here on the East Coast (read: with plenty of time on my hands), I rediscovered the recipe while scrolling through my photos and immediately went to the kitchen to make them.
I didn’t have oats like the recipe wanted me to (and there was no chance of leaving the house to get them), but I did have some puffed rice cereal, so I made a couple of swaps. The end result was fantastic. Like a healthy Kit Kat bar. The perfect treat for that 3 pm slump, or the kids’ lunch box. Or your lunch box. Or a blizzard.
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Adapted from the blog I Hear Exercise Will Kill You. For the cereal, try to choose something with the fewest ingredients as possible. I used a combination of Erewhon brand Crispy Brown Rice cereal (ingredients: organic brown rice, organic brown rice syrup, sea salt) and Enjoy Life brand Crispy Flax cereal (ingredients: whole sorghum flour, ground flax seed, honey, raisin juice concentrate, salt). You can also substitute oats, but the bars won’t have the same crunch factor. And if you don’t like coconut, I personally don’t think you can taste it here, but feel free to substitute more puffed rice, or some dried fruit, or even almond meal. Makes 20 to 25 small squares.
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/4 cups crisped rice cereal
1/3 cup crushed peanuts or other nuts (optional)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sea salt, for sprinkling on top (optional)
Grease a square (8 x 8 in) pan or line with parchment paper. I like to grease the pan with a little coconut oil, then lay a piece of all-natural parchment on top of that (the oil helps it stay down), with the paper overhanging on two sides. Then, once it’s firm, I use the paper sides as “handles” to gently pull the whole square out of the pan.
Melt peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil over medium-low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add cereal, peanuts or nuts (if using), shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Stir until chocolate is entirely melted. Pour into an 8×8 pan and sprinkle a little sea salt over the top.
Place in the fridge and chill at least 2 to 3 hours, until completely set. Cut into squares and enjoy. Store in the fridge.