Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Butter Cookie Bars (gluten free, vegan)

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These chocolate oatmeal almond butter cookie bars have the stamp of approval from my hubby!  You would never guess they are vegan and gluten-free.  They taste just as good as any version containing refined flour and eggs.  Try them and let me know if you like them!  This recipe is adapted from Megan Gilmore's (the Detoxinista) recipe "Deep-dish Chocolate Chip Cookie" that is found in her "No Excuses Detox" cook book.  Check out her website www.detoxinista.com for all kinds of free recipes and also check out her amazing cookbooks!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp ground chia seeds

  • 6 Tbsp water

  • 16 oz jar of almond butter (salt free and sugar free)

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 2 three ounce dark chocolate bars, chopped into small pieces (I used dairy-free organic dark chocolate with almonds, you could also use 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips instead, Enjoy Life is a great non-dairy chocolate chip option)

Directions:

1. Line a 9 x 9 dish with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  

2. In a medium to large sized bowl, combine the 2 Tbsp ground chia seeds with the 6 Tbsp water and set aside for 2-3 minutes.

3. To the chia mixture add 16 oz of almond butter and 2 tsp vanilla extract, and stir thoroughly.

4. Next add 1 cup coconut sugar, 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Stir until well combined.  This dough will be very thick.  Depending on what kind of almond butter you use, you may have to use the spoon to cut in and kind of chop up the dough. Almond butter that is runny will mix better, but any almond butter will work.

5. Add the chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips.  Whatever variety you decide to use, it should be about 1 1/2 cups of chocolate.  Work the chocolate in by chopping up the dough with your spoon.

6. Transfer the dough to your parchment lined dish.  Press down evenly until the dough is distributed evenly and is fairly flat on the surface.

7. Bake for 35 minutes until lightly golden around edges.  Let rest for 60 minutes before cutting. The cooler they are the easier they will be to cut and serve.  I only keep them on the counter for 1 day.  If they last longer than this, please put in a sealed container in the fridge or you can freeze them for later use.  

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