Friday, February 12, 2016

Strawberry Peanut Butter Bars

Happy Friday and Valentine weekend! It's going to be a chilly few days ahead in Chicago, with a wind chill advisory late tonight {temps below zero - yikes}. K and I originally planned to go ice skating downtown on Saturday at the figure 8 Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, but with a high of ten degrees tomorrow, that's definitely not happening. We might check out a museum instead for a pre-Valentine date. Either way, I always like to have a fun snack for the weekend so today I'm sharing a recipe for Strawberry Peanut Butter Bars - this batch of no bake, no added sugar, vegan bars are delicious and a cinch to make!

My Strawberry Peanut Butter Bars contain only five ingredients -

*Dry roasted peanuts {unsalted}
*Dried strawberries
*Peanut butter
*Vanilla powder {can substitute vanilla extract}

To prepare for making these bars, I soak the dates in a bowl of unsweetened almond milk for an hour or two before mixing up the ingredients in my food processor. Soaking the dates helps the ingredients bind together into bars.

Earlier this year, I shared my 2016 No Added Sugar Challenge. This is a 60-day effort to remove all foods with added sugars from my diet, including any processed or packaged food with added sugar, and desserts. I love dessert as much as the next person, especially chocolate, but after plowing through the first 6 weeks of this challenge, I realized I feel so much better cutting added sugars out of my diet most of the time. When I need a sweet fix during the challenge, I reach for a date or dried fruit instead. 

These Strawberry Peanut Butter Bars offer a great healthy option for a snack or dessert. I used dried strawberries with no added sugar. If you're looking to reduce the sugar in your diet, make sure to check the label on your dried fruit - a lot of packaged dried fruit contains additional sugar. I found dried strawberries without added sugar at my local Mariano's grocery store.

Strawberry Peanut Butter Bars
Yields: 16 bars

1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup dried strawberries
25 dates*, soaked in 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tablespoon peanut butter {unsweetened}
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder**

How to~
*Soak dates in unsweetened almond milk for 1-2 hours. Any milk product will work. Drain the dates before mixing the ingredients.
*Add all ingredients to a food processor - dates, peanuts, dried strawberries, peanut butter, and vanilla powder.
*Process until the ingredients are evenly combined {20-30 seconds}, using the "pulse" function.
*Remove from the food processor and press into an 8x8 pan, lined with parchment paper.
*Bars will last chilled in the refrigerator for one week, and a few months if stored in the freezer.

Recipe notes:
*I used California dates, which are quite a bit smaller than Medjool dates. If you use Medjool instead, use half as many.
**You can substitute vanilla extract.

For more healthy snack ideas, check out my recent post - 10 Clean Eating No Bake Snacks. Have a great weekend!

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1 comment:

  1. Dear Celia, these sound like such a wonderful treat to have on hand...this is a must try. xo, Catherine