Nutty Choc Oat bars are an easy to make, protein-rich nutty treat with a chocolate fix! Many people shy away from nuts as calorie-laden but not all calories are equal – nuts are a marvellous source of essential nutrients. These should be an occasional treat (rather than a daily staple!), as a healthier alternative to processed sugary treats. So easy for kids to make too.
Nutty Choc Oat Bars are Free-From:
Gluten-free, Dairy-free. Vegetarian, Vegan. However, do check the contents of the chocolate you are using!
Cashews – a good source of protein, essential fats, magnesium, potassium, iron, biotin & zinc. The monounsaturated fats in cashews are known to protect against heart disease and cancer.
Dates – an easily-digested carbohydrate (most dates contain glucose or fructose) which is rich in antioxidants, fibre, B vitamins and minerals copper, potassium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, zinc & selenium. Excellent for adding softness to stools and aiding the digestive tract.
Chocolate – rich in flavonoid antioxidants helpful for a healthy heart, reducing blood clotting and managing cholesterol levels. Chocolate contains a substance believed to give feelings of love and euphoria – hence why many people feel better after eating chocolate. However, make your choice a wise one – the higher the cocoa content, the higher the love! Choose 70%+ cocoa content and buy raw cacao when you can.
Oats – a good source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium & iron. An excellent source of digestive-friendly fibre. Oat fibre is well-known to reduce cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy choice too.
Ingredients (makes approx. 6 large nutty choc oat bars or 12 small ones)
1 cup cashews
½ cup dates (Medjool or California dates are best)
½ cup gluten-free oats
100g bar of 70% dark chocolate
- Break the chocolate into small pieces & add to a glass bowl
- Put the bowl over a pan of hot water – make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl and do not allow the water to boil or simmer – you may have to keep removing from the heat. Scorching the chocolate can spoil the flavour
- Add cashews and dates to a food processor and whizz until you get a breadcrumb-like texture
- Add cashews and dates to the chocolate mixture
- Add oats and mix well
- Pour into silicone moulds (these are best to get crisp edges on your bar) or a greased tin or tray (these may be harder to cut into bars)
- Refrigerate until hard, then store in a glass or metal storage container
OPTION 1: To increase the antioxidant content and reduce sugar content, replace the chocolate bar with raw cacao powder. Add more dates to sweeten or to make a gooier mixture if required.
OPTION 2: If you find the dark chocolate too strong or want to be grain-free, then just do stage 3 and roll the cashew and date mixture into tiny balls (left picture) and refrigerate.
This recipe uses US cup measurements, I tend to use cups as they are so much easier than measuring out ingredients. You can buy a set of American stainless steel cups like these for between £10-£20. Alternatively, here is a conversion chart.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on my blog, please comment below…
What makes these bars super-powered is the quality of the chocolate. Read my blog A Nutritionist’s Guide To Choosing Chocolate to help you choose ethical, quality chocolate that aids not only your health but supports cocoa-growing communities too.
Jane Barrett is a registered nutritionist and expert in digestive health helping women & children with digestive issues take control of their health through food. She offers support through meal plans, online courses & personalised 1:1 programmes on Zoom.