Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

Home! It is a good place to be. Home baking — even better. Especially during cookie season! Just four days out of the house over Thanksgiving break refilled my creative energy… if only I had time to cook every idea that comes to mind!

We visited Roy, New Mexico for Thanksgiving, so instead of your traditional holiday dinner we cooked with a camp stove among friends (including some camping recipes that I’m definitely going to share here come summer: black bean and kale skillet enchiladas, an iteration of these chorizo and egg breakfast tacos, and plenty of cocoa). Not your traditional holiday, but it was perfect for me. A way to unplug, relax, and enjoy the beautiful dessert!

Besides, I have been craving a trip to New Mexico since last Christmas when I tried to convince Oliver to go on a last minute road trip to Santa Fe (instead we spent it at home doing not much of anything).

In anticipation of some upcoming trips, I had made these bars ahead of time, and they were the perfect mid-day snack while we were out climbing, and delicious enough to be a treat around the campfire.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs
Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

After baking them, I sliced them up and kept them in the freezer, and then packed them into the cooler with the rest of our supplies.

Chocolate and peanut butter is a classic (the best!!) so when I went to make something akin to a snacking bar but more luxurious, it felt like the perfect fit. Something hearty and filling for long days outside, but something that still tastes basically like dessert (happy sweet tooth = happy me).

Adding in hemp hearts and cacao nibs also walks this line of snack gone dessert… hemp hearts make me think granola bar, cacao nibs feel more like a treat. What you get is a treat you feel good about — and a snack for those moments when you really want a treat (and I always want my snacks to feel like treats).

These bars also are a GREAT better-for-you option for holiday cookies. Like blondie meets oatmeal cookie meets peanut butter cup with more good stuff packed in. Which is why I’m sharing it with you now!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

Published November 29, 2018 by
   Print This Recipe

Serves: 12   |    Active Time: 1 hour



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup smooth, unsalted peanut butter (stirred and at room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup honey (you can also try maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of flake sea salt for topping
  • 1 cup semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9x9 glass baking dish with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, egg, honey and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add salt, oats, almond flour, peanuts, hemp hearts, and cacao nibs and fold to create a thick, sticky, crumbly batter.
    3. Press mixture into prepared baking dish in an even layer, and bake in middle rack of oven for 15 minutes.
    4. Allow base to cool completely before adding chocolate topping. While base cools, melt chocolate and coconut oil by placing bowl in a microwave-safe bowl, and heating at 30-second intervals, stirring between each round. (You can also melt the chocolate in a double boiler).
    5. Spread chocolate in an even layer over oat base. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts and 1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt. Allow chocolate to set completely.
    6. Once chocolate is set, lift the bars from the dish (pull out the parchment paper with the bars to get them out more easily) and slice into 12 equal pieces.
    7. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.

    Comment

    Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

    Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

    I have this terrible habit of buying the fruitiest trail mix at the store, and eating pretty much only the nuts before deciding I'm done. Buying the trail mix without fruit takes some serious self control-- at the store, it looks like sweet little pieces of candy. A few bites in, I'm done and ready to move on. 

    What's better is when the nuts are somehow transformed into a treat, like the cocoa-dusted pecans in this trail mix, which are roasted with a bit of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne. 

    Mexican Mocha Trail Mix
    A healthy dose of chocolate never hurt, so I usually opt for the trail mixes with dessert-like names. No regrets. This trail mix follows suit, with chocolate-covered espresso beans and cacao nibs. It's the perfect afternoon pick-me-up to keep in my desk drawer, with a little bit of chocolate, a little bit of caffeine, and some healthy fat from hazelnuts and macadamia nuts to slow it all down so I don't end up bouncing off the walls (that part is important).
    Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

    Time to get ready for National Trail Mix Day (It's on the 31st!)! 

    Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

    Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

    Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print This Recipe

    Cocoa-dusted pecans with cinnamon and cayenne, along with chocolate-covered espresso beans make this trail mix a sweet and spicy treat!

    Yields: 4 cups   |    Total Time:



    Ingredients:

      For the pecans:
    • 2 cups pecans
    • 1 egg white
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 2 tablespoon coconut sugar
    • Pinch cayenne
    • Small dash salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • For the trail mix:
    • 2 cups macadamia nuts
    • 2 cups hazelnuts
    • 1/2 cup cacao nibs
    • 1/2 cup chocolate-covered espresso beans

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Whisk egg white to soft peaks. Fool in pecans until coated. In small bowl, whisk together the cocoa, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne. Toss pecans in mixture. Spread on cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool completely.
    2. Toss pecans with macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cacao nibs, and espresso beans. Store in airtight container.

    Comment

    Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

    Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

    I've never figured out the whole meditation thing. I know, I know, it would probably do me a lot of good. But my patience is fleeting, my focus is like a pin ball and my energy boils over like an unattended pot on the stove. Which, some of you may take as further evidence of my need for meditation, but trust me on this: all of those things make it very had to get started. 

    Everywhere I've ever looked, meditation was described as simply not thinking or clearing your mind, or for beginners like me, focusing on something simple, like your breaths. It's a beautiful thought, it really is, but do you know how long I last simply not thinking

    Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

    If your guess was you don't, then you nailed it. 

    But then I was out at dinner, and someone described meditation in a totally new way: it's focusing your energy on visualizing the best expression of your compassion.

    I'm just going to let that sink in for a minute there. 

    Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

    Ok, did that resonate with you at all? Guys, this makes me want to meditate! I also now have this voice following me around, one that just pipes in every once and a while. Was that the best expressions of compassion you've got? 

    Anyways, I've always found I can more successfully focus my energy into one thing if I have a cup of tea in hand. Trying not to think about anything is also easier with a cup of tea in hand, especially one that is soothing. You know how crazy I am about chocolate, so you can imagine that this tea is right up my alley. ❤︎

    Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

    Chocolate Mint Tea

    Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

    Yields: 1 cup finished tea blend; 48 cups brewed tea   |    Total Active Time:



    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
    • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
    • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
    • 1/4 cup spearmint
    • 1/4 cup peppermint

    Directions:

    1. Using a clean coffee grinder (make sure there’s no leftover coffee grounds in it) or a mortar and pestle, grind the cacao nibs just slightly— until they’re broken up. Don’t not grind them all the way into a powder. Then, place ground cacao nibs, coconut and cloves in a small sauce pan. Place sauce pan on the stove top over medium-low heat. Gently toast the spices/coconut, stirring occasionally until ingredients become fragrant. Remove from heat.
    2. Once cooled, combine the cacao nibs, coconut, and cloves with the spearmint and peppermint leaves in a 1-cup jar. Place lid on jar, and shake until everything is combines and well distributed.
    3. To make a cup of tea: Heat 1 cup of water to a boil. Put 1 teaspoon of tea blend into a tea strainer, and place over mug. Pour water through tea, and allow to seep for 5 minutes. Remove tea strainer, sweet tea to taste, and enjoy. (Scale this to make a whole pot of tea using the ratio 1 teaspoon tea blend to 1 cup hot water)

    2 Comments