Healthy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Faux-Fudge

Jul 22nd

What do you bake when it’s 10:14 and you have a friend and her kids arriving at 10:30? You don’t. You food process.

Lately I’ve been lugging out my food processor on Sunday nights and basically emptying my pantry into it, grinding it all up, and calling it energy bars. I slice them, place a few in ziplock bags and store them in the fridge. When my husband leaves he will grab a bag to eat post or pre-workout or for a morning snack. Full of all of the foods I might pack separately for him, but all ground up. I’m happy to give it to my toddler who thinks it’s candy – not a single ingredient that’s unhealthy for her little body.

As I pulled them out of my fridge for my friend’s son, she said, “oh I know what they are!” and started to describe a dessert that sounded absolutely delicious but there was nothing healthy about it. I said, nope  – and then I handed her my scrawled out ingredients list. She was shocked! Fudgy, chewy and sweet – the main flavor hits come from the peanut butter, the cinnamon and the honey. Definitely worth a try for your picky eaters as they will likely have not a clue as to what’s actually in it. The perfect morning/afternoon snack with an apple or peach – and one you’ll look forward to!

Healthy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Faux-Fudge

Makes an 8×8 in. square – about 20 bars

1 c. roasted, unsalted almonds

1/2 c. walnuts, raw or roasted, unsalted

1 c. pitted dates

1/2 c. unsweetened coconut

1 1/2 c. oats

1/4 c. honey

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/4 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Pulse almonds, walnuts, dates, coconut and oats in food processor until well chopped, about 10 2-second pulses.

2. Add honey, cinnamon and peanut butter and process machine about 30 seconds or until no chunks remain.

3. Press a piece of parchment paper into an 8×8 inch square baking pan and transfer mixture into pan. Press into corners and flat across the surface.

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4. Microwave chocolate chips in a small glass bowl for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave in 10 second increments until chocolate is smooth. Pour quickly onto peanut butter bars and smooth with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.

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5. Cover and refrigerate until firmed up, at least 1 hour.

6. Lift chilled bars out using the parchment sling. Cut into 20-25 squares and place in tupperware, layers divided by pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper. Bars will keep in the fridge at least one week.

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