I love recipes that are fast, simple, and that replace a favorite with a healthier version that tastes yummy. I have a weakness for peanut butter cups--like, even if I am overly full and uncomfortable, I will accept one and eat it. However, they are loaded with sugar and chemicals and weird stuff that I don't truly want to eat. This recipe is my solution, gluten-free, dairy-free (if you use DF dark chocolate chips) and 90 % refined sugar-free (because of the small amount of innate sugar in PB and chocolate chips).
"There is one stipulation with these babies- you need to use standard creamy peanut butter, the natural kind with the oil resting on top will not hold together well in this recipe!"
Notes: Peanut Butter is Jiff. Chocolate chips are semi-sweet, Tollhouse. Protein powder is plant-based, Garden of Life.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars with Chia
Ingredients: 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1 2/3 cups almond flour, 1 tsp. vanilla, pinch of salt, 1/3 cup coconut sugar, 1 heaping scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, 1 tsp. coconut oil, 2 tbsp. chia seeds.
Makes one 8x8 slab.
1. Preheat the oven to 350* and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, add peanut butter, almond flour, vanilla, salt, coconut sugar and protein powder. Pulse until combined and clumping together.
3. Press into the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and cool completely.
4. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between each. (When the chips are losing their shape as you stir, stop heating and allow the residual heat to melt them the rest of the way.)
5. Spread chocolate over the peanut butter base, then rain over the chia seeds. Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving. Store covered in fridge.
Tip: The chocolate hardens to a "shell" in the fridge, which is nice. But if you are concerned about it cracking a bit when you cut them, let them sit on the counter for 5 minutes or so, first.