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peanut butter, chocolate, oats, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, healthy, fuel,

I am not one to start my day with too much sweetness or loads of fat. Sweet and fatty food starts drastically change my morning, sending me into afternoon crashes, and keep me feeling heavy. Clean, simple morning foods noticeably make all the difference. My brain is crystal clear, I feel light, and these foods are easier than ever to prepare. Fruit, veggies, cereals, quick on the go grabs make for fail proof healthy eating.

These oat bars literally popped in my head the second my husband mentioned buying a snack at the mini-mart down the road on the way to a mountain bike ride. How can I let him eat something over-processed when I can create something in 30 minutes or less with whole ingredients? Easy peasy. Gluten free and vegan if using the appropriate chocolate.

Fun fact: I don't even like peanut butter and chocolate together and these tasted pretty good! Like if I were stuck somewhere with these to eat, I'd be stoked. Update: I made these with sunflower butter and almond butter and both came out just as delicious (better for my not PB & Chocolate fans).

What you need:

½ c. walnuts

½ c. gluten free rolled oats

2 pitted dates

1 scoop chocolate protein powder, vegan, gluten free

(OR if no protein powder use: 1 ½ T. cocoa powder and 1 T. coconut flour)

2 T. smooth peanut butter

1-3 T. cold water

For the chocolate layer:

⅓ c. (Vegan, Gluten Free) dark chocolate chunks

⅛ t. Chunky sea salt

What to do:

In a food processor or blender, add everything but the water. Blend until smooth and flour like in texture. Add 1 T. at a time of water until the mixture starts to clump up and stick together. Press this into the bottom of a standard bread pan lined with parchment (or silicone bread pan works without the parchment). Chill in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes.

While the oat bar chills, melt the chocolate chunks in either the microwave, stirring every 10 to 20 seconds until it’s melted or in a Pyrex over simmering water until the mixture is shiny and melted. Spread the chocolate over the oat bar, covering every nook and cranny. Sprinkle salt evenly over the chocolate & place in the fridge and chill until the chocolate is hardened.

Cut the bar into 8 pieces and enjoy! I would store them in the freezer in a sealed bag (try these stasher bags) and take them out for a few minutes before devouring.

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