Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

These bars were a special treat for my husband!  When it comes right down to it, he’s a meat & potatoes kind of guy!  Thankfully he’s also very tolerant and encouraging of my culinary adventures…and let’s just say some of them will never see the pages of my blog! 😉  And thankfully he’s also not extremely picky, so for the most part he eats what I prepare without much comment one way or another.  Unless I try serving peas…then I get some grumbling from him!  So while it’s nice that he doesn’t complain, it’s also a little frustrating that he’s rarely complimentary as well.  But the good thing about that is that when he does ooh and ahh, and takes a second serving, and actually comments on how good something I’ve made is…then I know I’ve hit the nail on the head!  And that’s what happened when he tried these bars!  Of course he had a big ol’ scoop (or 3) of ice cream with his!  If you’re an ice cream eater he highly recommends you do the same! Personally I opt for enjoying one of these with a cup of coffee or tea, and I highly recommend that as well!

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

I used to make a bar similar to this a few years ago, but there’s absolutely no way that old recipe was going to work into my CEBH Lifestyle!  It had butter, flour, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, brown sugar, even toffee bits in the recipe.  Sooo…wow….that’s a hard recipe to try to “healthify”!  I kept the oats from the original recipe, but pretty much everything else went out the window and I started from scratch!  I managed to nix the flour, refined sugar, and dairy, yet still turn out what we thought was a super delicious dessert that satisfied our sweet tooth without feeling like we’d sacrificed anything – most certainly not flavor!  Because these are not only chewy, but also gooey and delicious!!!

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

Yet here’s the thing…if you take out butter, and sweetened condensed milk, and sugar…something’s gotta go back in!  The crust is made from oats, cashew butter, eggs, maple syrup, applesauce, coconut oil, vanilla, and a little baking soda.  The gooey chocolate layer is made from more of our cashew cream, cacao, vanilla, maple syrup, and the secret ingredient – espresso powder – which really serves only to enhance the chocolate flavor of these bars!

Tip: Making your own nut butter is a simple process, though you’ll need a high speed blender like a Vitamix or a Ninja, and a fair amount of patience!  For cashew butter: Put 2 cups of lightly roasted (unsalted if you can get them) cashews in the blender and turn it on low until the nuts are ground into very small pieces, then gradually increase the speed, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary.  Continue blending on medium high to high speed about 10 more minutes, until nut butter is smooth and creamy.  It may be rather melty and hot by the time this is achieved.  At this point you’ll want to taste it and add salt as desired.  Transfer it to a jar and store it in the fridge.  Voila!  You’ve just made homemade cashew butter!  And the best part is – you can do this with almonds or peanuts too!  

For the chewy oat layer I ground 1 cup of the oats in the blender until it resembled coarse flour, then combined it with all the rest of the oat layer ingredients.  Press 2/3 of the mixture into a greased 11″ x 7″ baking dish, reserving the other 1/3 for the topping.  The bottom layer of the oat bars then gets baked 10 minutes while preparing the chocolate layer.  

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

The cashew cream in this recipe is prepared slightly differently than in our previous recipes.  For these bars, the cashew cream must be smooth and creamy, but not too thin.  To start, I added the organic cacao, vanilla, espresso powder, and maple syrup to the soaked and drained cashews.  Then I blended it all on high, adding water 1 tbsp at a time until the chocolate filling is smooth and creamy and has a consistency similar to pudding.

Once the bottom oat layer has baked 10 minutes, remove it from the oven, carefully spread on the chocolate cashew cream layer, evenly distribute the remaining 1/3 oat mixture over the chocolate layer, and return it to the oven to bake an additional 20-25 minutes.

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

When the Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars come out of the oven they’ll look wonderful, and they’ll smell wonderful, and you’ll have to force yourself to be patient once again while they cool.  First cool them to room temperature, then store them in the refrigerator.  Ours have been in the fridge for a week and they’re still good as the day they were baked!  

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars | cookeatbehealthy.com

Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars
Serves 24
Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars....'nuff said!
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
255 calories
29 g
16 g
13 g
8 g
5 g
74 g
35 g
6 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
74g
Servings
24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 255
Calories from Fat 111
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 5g
23%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 16mg
5%
Sodium 35mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 29g
10%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 6g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
3%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the Oat Mixture
  1. 4 cups whole oats, divided
  2. 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  3. 1 cup cashew butter ~ substitute peanut or almond butter if preferred
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  5. 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  6. 1/3 cup coconut oil
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 1 1/2 tsp baking sofa
  9. 1/4 tsp salt
For the Chocolate Layer
  1. 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least 2-3 hours, then drained
  2. 1/3 cup cacao powder
  3. 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  6. Water as needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly grease an 11" x 7" baking dish and set aside.
  3. Grind 1 cup of oats in blender until they resemble coarse flour.
  4. In a large mixing bowl add ground oats, whole oats, eggs, cashew butter, applesauce, 1/3 cup maple syrup, coconut oil, 1 tsp vanilla, baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt, and stir to combine.
  5. Press 2/3 of the oat mixture into prepared baking dish and set the remaining 1/3 aside.
  6. Place baking dish in preheated oven and bake 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.
  7. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine raw cashews, cacao, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, and espresso powder.
  8. Blend on high, stopping to scrape the sides as needed, and adding water 1 tbsp at a time until the chocolate mixture resembles the consistency of pudding.
  9. Carefully spread chocolate over pre-baked oat layer, then evenly distribute remaining 1/3 of oat mixture over the chocolate layer and return to the oven.
  10. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes, watching closely the last 5 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.
  11. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before cutting into 24 pieces.
Notes
  1. Store covered, in refrigerator. Bars stay fresh for at least 7 days.
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calories
255
fat
13g
protein
8g
carbs
29g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/
I hope you’re able to try these Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars soon – I think they’d be a perfect dessert for a potluck!  And really – chocolate and oats – is there anyone who doesn’t like those?!?  Do you have a favorite “healthified” dessert recipe?  I’d love to see it – share the link in the comments!

 

 

 

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins | cookeatbehealthyblog.com

I have a real weakness for blueberries in general, and for blueberry muffins, specifically!  I mean who doesn’t love plump and juicy purple blueberries?!?  I enjoy them in smoothies, on granola, in salads, and out of hand, but nothing satisfies my blueberry craving like a muffin!  I think it’s the combination of the sweet batter baked up all warm and fresh, with the burst of juicy flavor from the blueberries that hit all the right notes for me!

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins | cookeatbehealthyblog.com

When my husband and I were first married and we’d come to my hometown for a visit, my dad always took us to breakfast at Perkins the last morning we were I town.  While Perkins is far from my favorite restaurant, I do have to say they serve some pretty darn delicious muffins.  And of all the variety of flavors they offer, the blueberry are by far the best!  My husband always asked the waitress what kinds they served and she’d name off several, and then he’d order blueberry anyway…..every.single.time!  🙃   There’s something so wonderful about the juicy plumpness of blueberries in a tender cakey muffin that always takes me back to those breakfasts with my dad.  

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins | cookeatbehealthyblog.com

Dad’s been gone over 16 years, but if he were still alive I’m sure we’d still be enjoying muffins together, only from my kitchen these days rather than from a restaurant!  I love how certain foods, or even the scent of a food can evoke memories of a person or event.  ❤️  So today’s recipe is a nod to my dad and those breakfasts we shared with him so many years ago!

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins | cookeatbehealthyblog.com

Now you might be wondering how blueberry muffins can possibly be a part of my Cook Eat Be Healthy lifestyle.  They work for me because I’ve turned the traditional muffin recipe loaded with sugar, flour, and butter on it’s ear and come up with a much healthier version that still tastes just as decadent, but doesn’t compromise my healthfulness standards! I’ve substituted old-fashioned oats for flour, banana and honey for sugar, and coconut oil for the butter.  I’ve even topped them with a oat and walnut crumble sweetened with maple syrup!  These are some seriously delicious muffins, and unless you tell your friends and family they will never even suspect they are a “healthified” version!

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins | cookeatbehealthy.com

The ingredient list for these muffins is pretty basic – in fact you probably already have everything in your pantry and fridge with the possible exception of the blueberries and the disgustingly ripe bananas!  Typically I wouldn’t come near those bananas with a 10 foot pole, but for this recipe I want not only the sweetness, but also the texture of over ripe bananas.  You’ll need old-fashioned oats, eggs, 2 bananas, blueberries, coconut oil, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, honey, cinnamon, walnuts, and maple syrup.

Tip: You can easily substitute frozen blueberries for fresh in this recipe, just be sure to use them directly from the freezer.  DO NOT thaw them first!

The first thing you’ll want to do is stir up the oat and walnut crumble and set it aside while you mix up the muffins.  The muffins come together in no time thanks to the fact that they’re mixed in the blender which does all the work for us!  Start by whizzing the oats until they’re pretty finely ground.  Then it’s just a simple matter of adding everything else EXCEPT the berries and blending until well combined.  You may have to stop and scrape the sides a time or two.

Bonus Tip: After blending the oats, but before adding the other ingredients remove a couple tablespoons of ground oats and coat your berries.  This will help to prevent them from settling at the bottom of the muffins.

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins |cookeatbehealthy.com

Pour the muffin batter over the berries in a large mixing bowl, gently fold together, then distribute evenly among paper lined muffin tins.  I used a regular ice cream scoop to get uniform sized muffins and this recipe yielded 15 muffins.  Top the muffins with the oat and walnut crumble, pop into a 350 degree oven for 28-32 minutes, remove from the oven, and enjoy!

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins | cookeatbehealthy.com Flourless Banana Berry Muffins | cookeatbehealthy.com image

The plain ones are for my walnut hating friend and business partner…we’ve all got people like that in our lives, right?  😉  No worries though – they’re delicious naked too!!!

See how beautiful and delicious they are when they’re fresh from the oven???  YUM!!!  Bake some today – and let the memory making begin for you and your family!  

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins | cookeatbehealthyblog.com

Flourless Banana Berry Muffins
Serves 15
Here's the healthy blueberry muffin recipe you've been looking for!
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Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
238 calories
34 g
25 g
10 g
6 g
6 g
91 g
142 g
12 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
91g
Servings
15
Amount Per Serving
Calories 238
Calories from Fat 83
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 6g
28%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 25mg
8%
Sodium 142mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 34g
11%
Dietary Fiber 4g
17%
Sugars 12g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
4%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the muffins
  1. 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  2. 2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  3. 2 very ripe bananas
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1/3 cup coconut oil
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  10. 1/2 tsp salt
  11. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the Oat & Walnut Crumble Topping
  1. 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  2. 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  3. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  4. 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  5. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  6. Pinch of salt
For the Oat & Walnut Crumble Topping
  1. In a small bowl, stir the walnuts, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp coconut oil, maple syrup, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and pinch of salt with a fork until well combined. Set aside.
For the Muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place 2 1/4 cup oats in blender pitcher and pulse a few times until the oats resemble coarse flour.
  3. Remove 2 tbsp of ground oats and toss with blueberries in large mixing bowl to coat.
  4. To the rest of the ground oats add all the remaining muffin ingredients, except the blueberries.
  5. Blend on low until well combined, stopping and scraping sides of pitcher a few times as needed.
  6. Pour muffin batter over berries in mixing bowl and fold together gently until the berries are evenly distributed in the muffin batter.
  7. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill each liner about 2/3 full. I find an ice cream scoop is the perfect amount.
  8. Sprinkle Oat & Walnut Crumble over the unbaked muffins, pressing it in just slightly to ensure it adheres to the muffins while baking.
  9. Place muffin tins in preheated oven and bake 28-32 minutes until golden, and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and cool in pans 3-5 minutes, then remove from baking pans and continue to cool on wire rack.
  11. Store in a covered container.
Notes
  1. These are best enjoyed within a few days, or frozen to enjoy another time!
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calories
238
fat
10g
protein
6g
carbs
34g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Sassy Flourless Brownies

Sassy Flourless Brownies | cookeatbehealthy.com

When I began the process of regaining control of my diet the very first thing I gave up was sugar.  And let me just say, it was hard!  The fact is sugar causes changes in our brain similar to those caused by cocaine.  I was literally addicted to sugar!  But now that I’m 4 or 5 months into my transformation, the sugar cravings have passed and I find myself disliking things that are overly sweetened….thankfully my sweet tooth is not nearly as intense as it used to be!

Sassy Flourless Brownies | cookeatbehealthy.com

But having less of a sweet tooth hasn’t changed the fact that I love all things chocolate.  Apparently my love for chocolate is hereditary because whenever we go visit our daughter, Anna, and I ask her what she wants me to bring, she always chooses brownies! Of all the wonderful things I’ve ever baked, brownies are her favorite! Her recipe of choice includes lots of sugar, butter, and chocolate syrup….not exactly Cook Eat Be Healthy friendly! But because I care about her health as well as my own, I wanted to develop a recipe for brownies that I could feel good about both of us eating. And above all, it had to taste at least as good as her old favorite!

I decided to try using black beans as a base for these brownies after having seen many recipes for black bean brownies on Pinterest over the past several years.  But I didn’t just want to make flourless brownies, I wanted to make SPECIAL flourless brownies!  You know that saying….”Classy, Sassy, and a bit Smart-Assy”?  Well that’s kinda me – except I’m more “Sassy, Smart-Assy, and not a bit Classy”!!!  😜  And the sassiness in me just loves to mix things up a little bit!  Chocolate is good, sure!  But chocolate with coffee….and cinnamon….and a dash of cayenne for good measure….BE STILL MY SASSY HEART!!!

Sassy Flourless Brownies | cookeatbehealthy.com

You might be asking if all this is just too much for one brownie, and I will reply just as my granddaughter did one day when playing with glitter glue and I told her she had too much.  She said, “But Grandma, I like too much”!  So, readers, let it be known that I like too much!  This might help to explain the sassy, smart-assy part of my personality!  But even though I’m not exactly classy, the brownies most certainly are not lacking class.  The myriad of flavors in this recipe only serve to enhance one another.

Sassy Flourless Brownies | cookeatbehealthy.com

And can we just talk for a minute about the fact that these are FLOURLESS brownies???  And BTW, they are all naturally sweetened with dates too.  No flour.  No sugar.  Fudgy. Chewy. Spicy. Delicious.  Let there be no doubt these are definitely sassy brownies…perfect for my daughter, for me, and for all chocolate lovers everywhere.  Even those of you who aren’t sassy will want to devour these brownies!  They won’t judge you…and neither will I – but I do have a special place in my heart for all the sassy people out there!  That’s why I had to picture my favorite coffee mug that Anna gave me for Mother’s Day.  She knows me so well!  😉

Sassy Flourless Brownies | cookeatbehealthy.com

‘The ingredient list is really pretty simple, and other than the chocolate covered espresso beans to top the brownies, you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry.  I started by putting the pitted dates in the food processor and drizzling in hot dark coffee until the dates were blended into a paste.  Then I dumped in all the rest of the ingredients except the espresso beans and processed it until the brownie batter was smooth and free of lumps, it only took a couple minutes on low power.  Then I poured the batter into an 8″ square pan I’d greased with coconut oil, popped the pan into the oven, and baked it at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  You’ll know they’re done when they just start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Tip:  The key to a chewy brownie is to not over bake them.  In fact, I try to remove them from the oven just about a minute or two before I think they’re done, as they will continue to bake a little bit more after removal from the oven!

Serves 16

Sassy Flourless Brownies

These flourless & sugarless brownies get their sass from the addition of coffee, cinnamon, and cayenne. Go ahead...spice up your life with these fudgy, chewy, and decadent sassy brownies!

20 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

50 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, 15 ounces, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup hot strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp coconut oil for greasing the baking pan
  • 16 chocolate covered espresso beans for topping brownies

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare 8" square baking pan by greasing with coconut oil, set aside.
  3. Place dates in bowl of 8-10 cup food processor.
  4. Process on low speed while drizzling in hot coffee,1 tablespoon at a time, until a smooth paste is formed. I used about 6 tbsp, but this will vary depending on how dry your dates are.
  5. To date paste add black beans, eggs, cacao, baking powder, and spices.
  6. Blend on low until smooth and free of lumps.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula.
  8. Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out just slightly sticky.
  9. Cool at least 20-30 minutes before cutting into 16 squares.
  10. Top each individual brownie with a chocolate covered espresso bean.
  11. Cover and store in refrigerator.
Cuisine: Desserts |
6.8
http://cookeatbehealthy.com/sassy-flourless-brownies/
Calories
115 cal
Fat
4 g
Carbs
21 g
Protein
2 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

I hope you like these as much as we do!  And for those of you who don’t like spice in your chocolate – by all means leave it out!  Maybe you could sass up your brownies with some chocolate or toffee chips!  Different strokes sass for different folks!