You guys. I don’t even know what to say, other than if you make these bars you’ll want to eat every last crumb!
And that they taste exactly like a PB&J sandwich, but somehow better.
And that they’re vegan and gluten-free!
Can you tell I’m just a little excited about this one?
This simple 8-ingredient recipe starts with a crispy almond-oat crust that’s naturally-sweetened with coconut sugar and made with coconut oil in place of vegan butter (a swap you guys continue to request).
While the crust bakes up, prepare your jam filling. Strawberry jam is heated into a pourable sauce with the addition of a few fresh strawberries. The result is a sweet, 2-ingredient topping that pairs perfectly with the peanut butter swirl.
This is where things get serious: Jam on crust, swirled with generous amounts of peanut butter, and topped with crushed, roasted peanuts.
I mean, WHOA. Bake that up and put it in your mouth STAT.
I think you guys are going to LOVE these bars! They’re:
Crispy on the edges
Gooey in the center
Jam-packed (<- see what I did there?)
& Insanely delicious
When would one enjoy a PB& J snack bar? I’m so glad you asked. I would recommend sharing one with a friend over tea in the afternoon. Or taking one to go for a mid-day snack. Or, digging into one (or two) for a wholesome after-dinner dessert. Or anytime, anywhere, for any reason…really.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve made it), and pretty please take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see! We adore seeing our creations come to life in your kitchens. Cheers, friends!
- 1 cup (90 g) gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup (112 g) raw almonds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp (24 g) coconut sugar
- 4 1/2 Tbsp (68 g) coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup (240 g) strawberry jam (ensure vegan friendliness)
- 1/2 cup (80 g) frozen or fresh strawberries (or raspberries), chopped
- 2 Tbsp (32 g) natural salted creamy peanut butter
- optional: 2 Tbsp (18 g) roasted salted peanuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Add oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a food processor or high speed blender and pulse into a fine meal, making sure no large pieces remain.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add melted coconut oil. Stir with a spoon to incorporate. Then use your hands to work the oil into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Spread the mixture into the baking dish and press down into an even layer with your fingers or a flat object (such as a drinking glass).
- Bake for 15 minutes. Then increase heat to 375 degrees F (190 C) and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the crust is fragrant and the edges are slightly golden brown.
- In the meantime, add jam and strawberries to a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until hot and pourable - about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once crust is slightly golden brown, remove from oven and immediately add strawberry jam. Use a spoon to spread into an even layer. Then dollop on peanut butter in 1 teaspoon amounts.
- Use the handle end of a spoon (or a chopstick) to gently swirl the two together. Top with crushed peanuts (optional).
- Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F (176 C) and bake for another 12-17 minutes or until the strawberry topping is warm and bubbly.
- Remove squares from oven and let cool completely - 2-3 hours. Once cooled, gently lift bars from pan and slice into 9 even squares, or 10 bars.
- Store leftovers in a well-sealed container at room temperature for 2 days, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or the freezer up to 1 month.