With a peanut butter oatmeal bottom layer sweetened lightly with maple syrup, and a peanut butter chocolate topping, these no bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars are an easy, classic, healthier and fun Summer treat!
Do you like no bake treats?
They’re great during the Summertime to avoid turning on your oven, but they’re also great anytime of the year because they’re typically so quick to make!
After making my No Bake Cookie Dough Bars (and wanting to eat one everyday for the rest of my life…) I didn’t want to get off the no bake train.
I’ve seen no bake oatmeal bars before (and you know how much I LOVE oats!) and I wanted to put my own healthier spin on them.
These no bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars have a peanut butter oat bottom that’s lightly sweetened with maple syrup and made with coconut milk for a creamy bite. Topped with a simple peanut butter and chocolate chip topping, that’s sort of fudge-like.
These bars are really easy to make and they’re made healthier than others with less sugar and a more natural form of sugar. They’re easily gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan too.
And you know, you can’t go wrong with chocolate peanut butter, right?!
Let’s talk peanut butter first.
Before you start whipping these up!
What’s the best peanut butter to use? These bars are flexible, so a typical jar of Jiff or a more natural peanut butter will both work. As long as the peanut butter isn’t super runny.
I prefer to make my own peanut butter, and homemade peanut butter works great in the recipe too. You could also use chunky peanut butter if you want to play around with the texture a bit!
And, you can use whatever nut butter you want ultimately! I think these would also be delicious with almond butter or cashew butter too.
For the peanut butter oatmeal bar bottom, you’ll also use butter, maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla, salt and oats.
In these, I prefer to use butter or a butter alternative stick. You could use coconut oil, but that will change the flavor a touch.
For maple syrup, I recommend buying a large jug at either Sams Club or amazon, for a more affordable option! You can also use honey instead. If all else fails and you don’t have either, you could use about 1/2 cup of (preferably brown) sugar too.
Coconut milk is one of the ingredients that makes these bars creamy and dreamy. I don’t recommend using another milk in it’s place. Coconut milk is very thick and creamy, unlike other milks. You won’t get a coconut flavor from it, just creamy bars.
Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats for the bottom of these bars if you need them to be gluten-free.
The chocolate topping is super easy, since it’s only made of chocolate chips and peanut butter! You can’t go wrong there.
And, use a dairy-free butter alternative, dairy-free chocolate chips and maple syrup if you need them to be dairy-free and vegan too.
One more tip: I recommend letting the peanut butter oatmeal bottom chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes, prior to putting the chocolate topping on. This will help the bars stay in two separate layers, without accidentally blending any oats into your chocolate topping.
If you love chocolate and peanut butter, healthier treats, quick desserts, and desserts with a great texture, these are IT! My kids love these bars, but I might love them most. 😉
- 1/4 cup butter (or dairy-free butter alternative, for dairy-free/vegan)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey, if not vegan)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups oats (certified gluten-free)
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (dairy-free)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
To begin, prepare a 9×9 pan with parchment paper, with two sides sticking out for easy removal.
To a microwave safe bowl, add your butter, maple syrup, and peanut butter, and heat till your butter is melted, the mixture is warm, and stirs together smoothly. Add your coconut milk, vanilla and salt and whisk together again. Add your oats, and stir till all ingredients are well combined.
Pour your oat mixture into your pan and press down into one thin, even layer. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
To a microwave safe bowl, add your chocolate chips and peanut butter. Microwave in small increments, stirring in between, till your chocolate chips are entirely melted.
Remove your oatmeal bars from the fridge and pour your chocolate topping on top. Spread it out into a thin, even layer across the top of your bars.
Place your bars back in the fridge and let them chill for at least 30 minutes. Remove, cut into pieces, and devour!
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge these bars should last about a week.