PB&J Bars

By: Remy Raccuia

Serves: 12

Prep Time: 45 minutes

I am nostalgic for the classic combination of peanut butter and jelly. I hope I am not alone when I crave a pb&j sandwich that I used to enjoy during elementary school lunchtime. As an almost college graduate, I am constantly seeking ‘adult versions’ of the classic PB&J. These peanut butter and jelly bars are gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free! As someone who loves to bake, I have gotten familiar with using coconut oil and flour substitutes to help avoid my food sensitivities. I substitute butter with coconut oil whenever I can; coconut oil is filled with healthy fatty acids which encourage our body to burn fat and convert it into fuel throughout the day (Gunnars, 2020). 

Moving on to the best part, the peanut butter! I try to incorporate peanut butter into many of my breakfast and snack recipes as it is a great source of protein, containing about 25 grams per serving (Gunnars, 2018). As someone who doesn’t love to eat meat, looking for ways to incorporate protein is key! Another key ingredient to many of my recipes are chia seeds, which are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and iron and help keep us full for longer (Ware, 2018). Overall, I was so impressed with how delicious these bars turned out. They are perfect for a healthy snack throughout the week, or when you, too, are craving the OG pb&j sandwich. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup GF oats
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 small jar of your favorite jam (I used raspberry)
  • 2 spoonfuls of chia seeds

Instructions:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350℉.
  2. Next, whisk together the almond flour, oats, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, room temperature coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  4. Begin adding the flour mixture in 2-3 portions at a time. 
  5. Once combined, pour about 75% of the crust mixture into a square, greased baking dish. Press down with a spoon or spatula so that the crust is evenly spread.
  6. Spread the jam evenly over the peanut butter crust until fully covered. Add two spoonfuls of chia seeds across the jam.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture on top of the jam to make a crumble top.
  8. Bake the bars in the oven for 35 minutes, should be golden brown.
  9. Make sure to let the bars cool for 20-30 minutes before placing in the refrigerator.
  10. Once the bars have been cooled in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, cut into squares or rectangles, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for the rest of the week! 

Reference List:

Gunnars, K. (2018). Is Peanut Butter Good or Bad for Your Health? Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-peanut-butter-bad-for-you

Gunnars, K. (2020). Top 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil. Healthline. Retrieved fromhttps://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil

Ware, M. (2018). What are the benefits of chia seeds? MedicalNewsToday. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/291334#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

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