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Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Let’s talk snacks.

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In my opinion, there are really two varieties of snacks: the munchy, shove-into-your-face kind and the balanced, filling kind.  Think  three servings of chex mix vs yogurt with granola and fruit.  Sometimes, I really want the former.  I want chips and crackers and fake cheese powder.  But that doesn’t really fill me up, and I end up eating four times as much as I should.  And then on other days, I’m totally motivated to put together a wholesome snack of granola and cottage cheese and apple slices.  But sometimes that gets boring and doesn’t satisfy my desire for something on the more decadent side.

When I made these bars, I knew I’d found the perfect balance.

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When you take your first bite, your “junk food tooth” will immediately be satisfied.  These bars are chocolatey and gooey and just taste bad for you.  But here’s the kicker: they’re not. The recipe includes  no refined sugar, no butter, no oil, and no flour.  What is does include, however, are whole grains, healthy fats, and a pretty decent amount of protein.  All that will keep you full and satisfied without weighing you down.

When it comes to snacks, these bars are the best of both worlds- healthy, without tasting like it 😉

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Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Ingredients

2 cups dates, pitted

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 special dark cocoa powder (or another good quality cocoa powder)

1/2 cup peanut butter, heated until thin and drippy

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper.
  2. Fill a medium size bowl with hot water. Place dates inside and allow them to soak for 10 minutes.
  3. While you wait, measure oaks, quinoa, and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Mix to combine.
  4. Once dates have soaked for 10 minutes, place them in a food processor. Blend until dates have broken down to form a thick paste. Stop to scrape down the sides of the machine as necessary.
  5. Add date mixture to bowl with oats, along with melted peanut butter. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated and a thick mixture has formed.
  6. Scoop mixture into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Place pan in fridge for at least 2 hours to allow mixture to chill. Once chilled, remove from oven and slice into 16 small squares. Bars will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week, and can be frozen as well.
http://thesmartcookieblog.com/healthy-chocolate-peanut-butter-bars/

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Don’t forget about these bad boys next time you’re looking for a snack!

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