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Healthier Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

This recipe has been slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest! (http://bit.ly/1lfAlla) I used oat flour and brown rice flour instead of whole wheat flour, maple syrup and dates in place of 1 c of brown sugar, and decreased the amount of oil by 1/4 c. This is a delicious snack with ingredients that will provide sustained energy and is a healthy alternative to a regular chocolate chip cookie!

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Servings: 12

Prep Time: 10:00

Cook Time: 18:00

Main Ingredients

2 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup oat flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt + more for sprinkling

1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

3/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup real maple syrup

1 flax seed egg or 1 regular egg

4 dates, pitted and soaked*

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup natural peanut butter**

1 - 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preparation

1Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Grease 9 x13 pan or prepare with parchment paper.

2Add rolled oats, oat flour, brown rice flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional) to a large bowl. Mix well.

3Add soaked dates, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a blender. Pulse until you get a pretty amber colored mixture.

4Pour into a medium sized bowl. Whisk egg or flax seed egg into mixture, and then add peanut butter. Mix together.

5Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use an electric hand mixer, if you have one, to mix all ingredients together. Fold chocolate chips into the oatmeal mixture.

6Scoop dough into pan and spread evenly. You will probably need to use your hands to smush the oatmeal mixture into the pan. Sprinkle a tiny bit of kosher salt over the bars before you pop them in the oven!

7Bake for 18 - 20 minutes and then let the bars sit for about 15 - 20 minutes. Don't over bake!!

Additional Notes

*Heat up about 1/2 cup of water in a microwave safe bowl. Let dates or apricots soak for about ten minutes. **Use the peanut butter that is freshly ground in the grocery store, it has the best flavor and has one ingredient; peanuts. You may need to warm the peanut butter up a bit so it is more pliable and therefore easier to mix.

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