Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Granola Bars – Gluten and Dairy Free

Crunchy pretzels, creamy chocolate, nutty and chewy bars. The most amazing energy bars ever! I posted them a few months ago but the picture was bad and I made a few more changes. An especially important ingredient I added this time was some coarsely ground sea salt. It, along with the crispy pretzels create a pretty amazing flavor! The mix of oat flour and quick oats hold it together nicely without creating a boring texture. I changed the chocolate topping so it firms up better, making them much more portable. Now, just a side note that I want to mention. The first picture has huge bars. That is just to show how pretty they are. We do NOT actually eat bars that large for a snack! These bars are incredibly filling because they are full of oats, protein powder, and nuts! Plus, they freeze beautifully, though I do recommend defrosting them in the refrigerator so that the pretzels do not get soggy. Once again, this recipe is heavily, heavily, HEAVILY adapted from ‘Running with Spoons’.

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Yields: About eight bars, depending on the size.
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup GF rolled oats, measured, then ground into a course flour
½ cup GF quick oats
1/3 cup Protein powder (I used soy protein powder that was chocolate flavored)
1/3 cup Gluten free pretzels, pulsed in a food processor or blender until they are in small bits (I used Glutino)
½ cup Natural peanut butter (I used chunky this time and it tastes pretty amazing, but both chunky and smooth work.)
1/3 cup Honey
2 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract, divided
½ teaspoon Coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons Nondairy milk (I have used almond, cashew, and soy creamer)
6 tablespoons DF chocolate chips

Directions:

Step 1:          Grease a nine by five loaf pan with spray oil.
Step 2:          In a small mixing bowl, combine both oats, protein powder, and pretzel bits.
Step 3:          In a microwave safe bowl, stir honey, peanut butter, and 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract. Microwave it for about a minute and stir. Keep microwaving in short bursts, stirring in between, until the peanut butter mix is hot.
Step 4:          Add the peanut butter mixture to the oat mixture, and stir to combine. I like to use my hands because is a little hard to get it combined with a spoon. Mixture should hold together well.
Step 5:          Press into loaf pan.
Step 6:          Pour the milk, chocolate, and the remaining vanilla into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for one minute, stir, and microwave in thirty second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth and silky.
Step 7:           Pour the chocolate onto the bars, and smooth it with a spatula.
Step 8:          Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour, or until chocolate is set.
Step 9: Use a sharp knife to slice the bars into the desired size.

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