I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care if my son’s friends liked me or not. I do, and I want my son’s to have meaningful and strong friendships. I want to get to know my son’s friends. And, I would love for our home to be one of their favorite “hang out houses.” You know, a place that feels like home away from home. Where I can hear all their giggles, weird boy noises and arguments. Where they can build and deepen their friendships and have authentic bonds of affection. My oldest is seven, so I’m just starting to get into this space, but I am pretty darn sure that food can be a bonding experience for boys?
While these no bake chocolate peanut butter bars are no Reese’s peanut butter cup, they’re dang close. And who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? Oh yeah, kids with a tree nut allergy. Well, in that case, use sunflower seed butter in lieu of the peanut butter and skip the crust. Here is why I love these bars:
Package-free, less nagging to get them to pick up wrappers left in your car
The perfect combo of sweet and salty but secretly healthy
High-fiber fruits plus healthy fats help stave off pre-dinner hunger and/or serve as the ideal pre-game fuel
You only need a food processor or blender
Who doesn’t love a “no-bake” recipe?
Outside of food, experienced mamas of older children, how do you become the “hang out house?” #withoutvideogames #withoutlargescreens
2 squares graham crackers (4 small squares or 2 large “sheets”)
Chocolate Nut Butter Mixture
1 c. dates, pitted
1/3 c. old fashioned oats, regular or instant
1/3 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. virgin coconut oil
2 T. honey
1 t. vanilla
In a food processor or blender, combine dates, pistachios, and graham crackers. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped but not too gooey.
Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Chocolate Nut Butter Mixture
Wipe out the food processor/blender from the crust. No need to wash!
Add all ingredients, dates through vanilla. Pulse until well combined.
Transfer to a small bowl and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
After both mixtures have chilled, assemble a small sheet pan and parchment paper.
Place the parchment paper on the sheet pan. Pour crust onto the paper. Using your hands, press the crust into a rectangle. Your crust should be slightly thicker than a traditional pie crust.
Use the parchment paper to shape out the sides of your rectangle.
Once your crust is formed, top the crust with the chocolate nut mixture. Gently press the chocolate mixture on top of the crust until the crust is fully covered.
Chill the bar for another 1o minutes before slicing.
Slice into bites or bars!
Cook time is not “cook” but “chill” 😉
Keywords: no bake chocolate nut bars
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons.
If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.