Sink your teeth into one of these salted chocolate, banana, peanut butter slices! Imagine a fudgy chocolate layer smothered on a biscuit oaty base, topped with a crumbly crunchy oat topping and finished with a peanut butter drizzle.
The fudgey middle is actually made from dates soaked in hot water and blended together with organic cacao, a little water and a pinch of salt (who else enjoys the sweet and salty combo?!). The base is made from oats, flax and chia seeds and sweetened with mashed banana and a little maple syrup. What a great way to use up ripe bananas!
These slices are a delicious treat and free from refined sugars too, so ideal for all your clean eating buddies! They are vegan too (so perfect of those doing Veganuary, or simply wanting to reduce the amount of animal-based products in their diet). I heard from a colleague that he thought vegan food is boring, but these bars I think prove that plant based food can be just as every bit as exciting and tasty!
By using gluten-free oats, you can also make these suitable for those following a gluten-free diet. You can also sub some of the almond flour for protein powder to boost up the protein content, depending on your training needs.
These bars take about an hour to make (excluding soaking time for the dates). I love using caramelly Medjool dates as these are luxuriously plump and soft. If you are buying harder varieties of date, you may have to soak for a little longer.
This recipe makes about 16 slices (I guess it depends on how hefty you slice up the trayful!). They do freeze, but you lose the crispiness of the crumble topping upon defrosting. I love to eat these freshly made, with a mug of hot teas or coffee. How do you like yours?!
Makes: 16 slices
Preparation time: About 1 hr, plus 3 hrs-overnight soaking time for the dates
- 175g Medjool dates (about 11)
- 25g organic cacao powder
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 60ml water
- 95g rolled oats (gluten-free of required)
- 40g protein powder (I use soy or pea protein. If not using, sub with almond flour)
- 30g ground flaxseed
- 30g almond flour
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 2 medium bananas, mashed
- 30ml coconut oil, melted (or mild olive oil or rapeseed oil)
- 30ml maple syrup (if vegan) or honey (if non-vegan)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Peanut butter drizzle
- 3 tbsp. of peanut butter (a drizzle-worthy variety).
For the fudge layer:
- Take the seeds out from the dates and place the de-seeded dates in a deep medium sized bowl. Pour boiling water in to the bowl to cover all the dates. Leave to soak for 3hrs or overnight to thoroughly soften the dates.
- Pour away the water. Then place the soaked dates into a blender along with the organic cacao powder, sea salt and 60ml of fresh tap water. Whizz to combine into a chocolate-fudgey mixture.
For the base:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line and grease a rectangular baking tray measuring 8 X 11.”
- In a large bowl, add the rolled oats, protein powder (if using), ground flaxseed, almond flour, chia seeds, baking powder, sea salt and mix together with a wooden spoon.
- Then add the wet ingredients: mashed banana, melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Spoon three-quarters of the oat mixture into the prepared baking tray. Press down using a spatula to form a solid base (especially in those corners!)
- Top this oat base with all of the fudgey date mixture. Use a spatula to level off.
- Sprinkle loosely the remaining oat mixture (this will crisp up like a crumble topping in the oven). Drizzle with peanut butter.
- Bake in the oven at 180°C for 20-23 mins. (The oat crumble topping will start to brown). Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing up. Enjoy!