peanut butter & jelly oat squares.

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Recently Featured on the Pure Barre Blog.

I made the classic PB&J into a healthy treat! If you know me, I am peanut butter obsessed. I’m the person that eats out of the jar with a spoon. I decided to use an all-natural, organic peanut butter mixed with a homemade, no sugar added chia jam to make this perfectly delightful snack.

Which peanut butter should you purchase? Here are some tips on how to choose the best peanut butter:

  1. Avoid hydrogenated oils – Most regular (not natural) peanut butters add hydrogenated oils to improve the texture of the peanut butter, but it also adds trans fat which is directly liked to heart attack and stroke. Choose a natural peanut butter with the least amount of ingredients (some only have peanuts).
  2. Stay away from added sugar – Choose a peanut butter that does not list “sugar” in the ingredient list. Some other ingredients that sugar can be listed as include: molasses, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, and evaporated cane juice.
  3. Purchase Full-Fat – Reading “Reduced Fat” on the label may trick people into making this peanut butter seem healthier. The truth is, when fat is removed, sugar and trans fats can be added to make it taste better. Peanut butter contains healthy fats, no need to purchased the reduced fat, just watch your portion size!
  4. The fewer ingredients, the better – Choose a peanut butter with the least ingredients. For instance, Whole Foods 365 all-natural, organic, no sugar or salt added peanut butter lists only one ingredient: dry-roasted organic peanuts. This is ideal!
    Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Squares

RECIPE: (makes 12 squares)

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2/3 cup creamy, all natural, organic peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup earth balance butter spread
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the chia jam:

  • In a small sauce pan, add blueberries and raspberries with about 1 tablespoon of water.
  • Heat until it comes to a boil.
  • Simmer until all the blueberries pop and raspberries break down (about 10 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and add chia seeds.
  • Let sit for about 30 minutes until chia seeds plump up and jam cools and becomes thick.

For the dough:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl, mix oats, whole wheat flour, and brown sugar together.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat the peanut butter and earth balance butter for 30 seconds and stir until smooth and melted.
  • Add peanut butter/butter mixture to the dry oat mixture.
  • Add egg whites and vanilla.
  • Mix until mixture combines (dough will be sticky and crumbly).
  • Add 2/3 dough to the bottom of a greased, 9×11 rectangular baking dish, pressing down until flat and even.
  • Spread chia jam to the top of the dough.
  • Crumble the rest of the dough on top of the jam and press down slightly.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until jam is bubbly and dough crumbles are slightly browned.
  • Let cool, then cut into squares and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (1 square): 280 calories, 16g fat, 2g monounsaturated fat, 3g polyunsaturated fat, 29g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 12g sugar, 7g protein

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