I spent a beautiful night tonight with some of my besties….we did one of those salad bar pot-lucks….such a smart idea. Seriously, why haven’t we done this before? Made for a simple and healthy dinner that everyone could customize, and took such little effort from each of us. Win-win-win, all around. Truth be told, what we all really came for was the connection, not the food. The Chocolate Oatmeal Trail Bars that I brought for dessert—–well, let me just put this out there—-a healthy dessert that is also decadent is all the self-care you need sometimes.
I put this in the category dessert because CHOCOLATE…..and sea salt.. Together. Winning combo in my book. Super tasty…..but it’s also loaded with goodness. Plenty of protein from the nuts and seeds. Healthy fats from the nuts and seeds and the tahini. No refined sugar. Vegan. Gluten-free. I could make a case for this to be in the breakfast category—-oatmeal is a great way to begin the day, plus calcium from the tahini, and all that protein will keep you full and energized all morning. What about an afternoon snack. Yup. Check that box too! This Chocolate Oatmeal Trail Bar tastes both wholesome and decadent at the same time. It’s got just the right mix.
If you’re a recipe follower….then this is for you. Follow. Follow. Follow. It will be great. If you like to improvise and make substitutions, then this recipe is for you. Any nuts are good. You don’t like pecans, but are a fan of walnuts? Go for it. Don’t have any dried cherries, but you have tons of dried cranberries left from Thanksgiving…..an easy swap. Tahini isn’t really your thing (can we talk about this??)…then swirl in some almond butter or peanut butter, no problem. You want less chocolate (why??), or more chocolate (why not?)….a bit more sea salt? It’s all good and it will all work out. Chocolate Oatmeal Trail Bars are fail proof. I promise.
This is the perfect dessert to take to a holiday party. The other desserts will all be rich and delicious and your dessert will compete beautifully in the taste department, yet you’ll have an edge because your dessert is also healthy. People won’t believe the wholesome ingredient list can taste this good.
Chocolate Oatmeal Trail Bars are the answer when you’re feeling low energy in the afternoon. They’re the answer when your friend stops over for tea, or your neighbor pops in for a glass of wine. Who wouldn’t like these? Make a batch to give as gifts! (This granola is also a good gift idea). These are the perfect treat when you feel like indulging but you’re not up for the internal negative dialog…..all of the taste, none of the guilt.
I know it’s a busy time of year and we are all juggling a lot. It’s a perfect time to make these because they are simple to make, use ingredients that you probably already have in your house and they are so versatile. Make yourself some Chocolate Oatmeal Trail Bars…..cut them into small squares. Keep them in your freezer and be prepared no matter what comes up.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 Tablespoons cacao powder
- 6 dates
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup old fashioned oats.
- 6 oz chopped dark chocolate (or about 1 cup chocolate chips)
- 3 teaspoons tahini
- ½ teaspoon flakey sea salt (I use maldoon)
- 3 Tablespoons raw pistachios
- 3 Tablespoons sliced raw almonds
- 3 Tablespoons cup raw pecans
- 2 Tablespoons raw pepitas
- 2 Tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 Tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened and unsulfured dried cherries, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a 8 x 8 square baking pan with parchment paper
- Make bottom layer: Put all ingredients of bottom layer into food processor and process until crumbly. Scrape into pan and use fingers to pat down evenly. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Place all ingredients (except dried cherries) onto baking sheet and add to oven for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, turn oven off. Remove nuts/seeds to cool. Sprinkle chocolate over bottom layer and put back in oven for 4 minutes. Use offset spatula to spread chocolate evenly. Glob tahini onto chocolate and use a toothpick to swirl it into chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt and then the nut/dried cherry mix.
- Let cool in fridge for 30 minutes for chocolate layer to harden before cutting into squares. Store in fridge for two weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months---if they last that long!
Amount Per Serving Calories 199Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 1mgSodium 171mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 4gSugar 9gProtein 5g