No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

By Lilian Dikmans

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These No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars are gluten-free, nut-free, chewy and sweet. Topped with a crisp drizzle of dark chocolate. You don’t have to bake them, just blend the ingredients together, press into a tin and chill until firm.

The bars are sweetened with a combination of Medjool dates and maple syrup. I love the toffee flavour they provide.

This is my preferred way of sweetening the bars since they contain a lot of oats, which are bland in flavour with no natural sweetness.

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars
The chewy bars are topped with a crisp chocolate drizzle

The bars are held together with dark chocolate, which we melt before blending into the mixture. After chilling, the chocolate hardens and sets the bars.

Since the dates and maple syrup provide a lot of sweetness, I recommend using at least 85% cocoa dark chocolate.

If you have 90%, 95% or even unsweetened dark chocolate that would cut the sugar content even further.

How to make No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

Using a powerful food processor is the easiest way to make the bars. If you have one, you can simply process the oats into a powder, then add all the other ingredients and blend together.

However, I don’t have a powerful food processor at the moment, so I made the bars with the large chopping attachment of my stick mixer.

Ingredients for No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars
Rolled oats, whey protein isolate, dark chocolate, maple syrup, sea salt, vanilla and Medjool dates

If using a less powerful processor like me, I recommend blending the oats and whey protein into a powder first, then adding the dates only and blending until well combined.

Then I tip the mixture into a large mixing bowl, add the other ingredients and mix the rest by hand. This avoids overloading the processor with a lot of ingredients.

Boost the bars with whey protein

I boost the bars with some unflavoured whey protein powder. This increases the protein content and makes them more filling.

I haven’t called the bars ‘protein bars’ because I didn’t feel they have quite enough protein in relation to carbs and fats to warrant the name.

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars
The bars are gluten-free and nut-free

However, they do contain 6 grams of protein per bar. A full nutrition estimate is below. If you’re after a higher protein snack, you might like my Choc Mint Whey Protein Balls.

If you don’t have any whey protein powder, I imagine you could replace it with 1/2 cup of additional oats instead. I haven’t tested this, but would love to hear if you do!

Serves
16 bars

Prep time
10 mins

Cook time
20 mins chilling

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (200g) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (50g) unflavoured whey protein isolate
  • 150g (about 8) pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup (78g) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 140g dark (85% cocoa or higher) chocolate

Method

  • 1
    Line a 20cm x 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  • 2
    Measure out 100g of the chocolate and melt it in the microwave or using double boiler. Set aside the remaining 40g (for melting and drizzling on top later).
  • 3
    Process the oats and whey protein in a food processor until you get a powder. Add the pitted dates and process until the dates are broken up and well combined with the oat mixture.
  • 4
    Tip the mixture into a large bowl and add the maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt and melted chocolate. Stir until everything is well combined and holds together like a dough. I use my hands towards the end to knead the mixture together. The warmth from your hands helps to stop the chocolate hardening too quickly and firming up the mixture.
  • 5
    Press the mixture firmly into the lined tin. I use my knuckles to do this, then a flat-bottomed glass to level it out.
  • 6
    Chill the in freezer for 20 mins or the fridge for 1 hour before removing from the tin and cutting into bars. Melt the remaining 40g chocolate and drizzle over the cut bars.
  • 7
    Once the chocolate has set, store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

The bars are best eaten within 1-3 days. Any extra bars that you won’t eat in this time can be frozen, then defrosted in the fridge as needed.

If you have a powerful food processor, instead of tipping the oat and date mixture into a bowl and mixing the remaining ingredients by hand, you could simply process everything together in the food processor.

Nutrition

Serving size: 1 bar (made with 85% cocoa chocolate)
Energy: 616kJ (147Cal)
Protein: 6g
Total Fat: 5.4g
Saturated Fat: 2.6g
Total Carbohydrate: 19.1g
Sugars: 10.8g
Dietary Fibre: 3.5g
Sodium: 48mg
Potassium: 66mg

Nutrition information is an estimate only. It may vary depending on the brand of ingredients used.

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