Fran’s PB & Chocolate Bars

My friend Christine showed me a very cool recipe for vegan cereal bars that I eventually started calling “Christine Bars”. After experimenting with them for a while I started making my own variations and the following recipe has become one of my favorite for vegan cereal bars. These are very easy to make and store (no baking required!). I call these “Fran’s PB & Chocolate Bars”.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (I use gluten free).
  • 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (I make my own with roasted peanuts).
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped.
  • ½ cup almonds, finely sliced.
  • ½ cup goji berries.
  • ½ cup cacao nibs.
  • ½ cup dark agave nectar.
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds.
  • ¼ cup flax seed (milled).
  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds (if I have black sesame seeds, I like to mix them up).
  • ¼ cup chia seeds.
  • 3 little squares of mint vegan chocolate (flaked).
  • 3 little squares of orange vegan chocolate (flaked).
  • 3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder.
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon.
  • Materials: 20x30cm (8×12 inch) pan or baking dish, aluminum foil and/or parchment paper.

Procedure

  1. Chocolate Peanut Butter: Soften the peanut butter in a hot pan and add the cacao powder and cinnamon. Once everything is well mixed (so it looks like thick chocolate), remove from the stove and let cool down. Don’t use it until it has completely cooled down!
  2. Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together (everything!, grains, seeds, nibs and chocolate flakes).
  3. Wet ingredients: Add the agave to the dry ingredients. Mix everything well, making sure that the agave has spread everywhere. Then, add the peanut butter only when it’s cold (otherwise it will melt the cacao nibs and chocolate flakes). Once again, make sure that the peanut butter has mixed well with all the ingredients (beware of peanut butter lumps… these will make your bars fall apart once you cut them).
  4. Line a pan or baking dish. I like using foil to rap around the edges and then use as handles when removing it from the pan for cutting. Put the mix on the pan, evenly distributing it (press it down with your wet hands). Then, cover with some parchment paper. (Tip: I like to use a small cutting board – smaller than the pan – to press down the mix even more, and make it a very tight and even cereal brick).
  5. Put it in the freezer for about an hour. Then remove the cereal brick from the pan, cut into bar shaped pieces (I usually get 16 bars from my 20x30cm pan), and wrap in foil for individual bars.
  6. Store them in the fridge or freezer for up to 3 weeks (if you can last that long without eating them).

Enjoy!

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