Peanut-Butter and Chocolate Oatmeal Bars Sponsored by Samsung
Summer is well on its way - even ended, maybe, for some. I, however, have been working well into August this year and will therefore be enjoying my summer holidays in the last days of this beautiful month. We don't have any special plans for the moment - as I'm sure was the situation for many this year. What I'm really hoping for is to be able to spend a few quiet days in the mountains, surrounded by nature and simplicity.
As some of you may know, it's a bit of a habit of mine to prepare snacks for every trip we take; I prefer eating home-made food (especially when it comes to snacks) and like having something always at hand whenever we're wandering around.
Before we leave this year, I decided to make some peanut-butter and dark chocolate oatmeal squares. These are great on-the-go tummy fillers packed with energy, so I find they're perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and, you know, the occasional sunbathing. ;)
I developed this recipe in partnership with Samsung and will therefore be using my Samsung microwave during the procedure. It's a very straightforward recipe but the amount of each ingredient is crucial for the end result (the oatmeal bars need to keep their shape and not fall apart, but at the same time they can't be too moist or gooey, otherwise they become hard to eat on-the-go).
I'll be posting everything I did as precisely as possible so you can achieve the same consistency.
Spoiler alert: after making my first batch of these (which turned out to be too dry and tended to fall apart easily), my boyfriend decided to help me out and really took care of things. Indeed, all the scraps were gone by the next morning. He's currently going through the final batch at lightning speed too, so it's always all about the strictest quality control here at home. I think I'm going to have to lock up my third batch, otherwise there'll be none left for our trip!
So here goes my third Samsung microwave recipe for you guys, all inspired by these wonderful summer days we've been enjoying and the yearning for some time surrounded by nature. Ready for some healthy peanut-butter and chocolate oatmeal bars?
The below ingredients will make you about 12 to 16 squares. Boyfriend hungerzilla aside, these would last I'd say about 3 to 4 days feeding a "normal couple" as easy-to-run-to snacks (they're extremely filling). If you're a family with kids I think you'd be good for 2 to 3 days.
In any case, even if you decide to double the batch, these treats keep really well (though we wouldn't know that, would we?). You'll be ok keeping them in an airtight container for about a week in the fridge.
250 grams of oatmeal
450 grams peanut butter
100 ml maple syrup
250 grams dark chocolate (for the topping)
Place your oatmeal in a medium-sized bowl, then pour in the maple syrup and stir. At this point you just want to start mixing the ingredients but the oatmeal will still be pretty dry, so you won't get an even consistency yet.
Then take the peanut butter and add it in, slowly incorporating the oatmeal. My suggestion is that you divide the peanut butter into 3 gos, so it'll be easier to work with. If you have a stand mixer, you can also let it do the job for you; the end mixture is going to be pretty thick so the extra help might come in handy (I, for instance, am no hulk!).
Once the mixture is nice and even and you have a very thick paste, take a square or rectangular microwave-safe baking tray and line it with baking paper. I, for example, did not cover my baking tray for photography purposes during my first batch and then regretted it afterwards, so yes... the importance of baking paper! :)
Start pouring in your mixture and then slowly even it out, pressing it well into the tray. Once you have a firm, well-pressed oatmeal base, take a cutting board and finely chop up the dark chocolate. Drizzle it over your oatmeal mix and place the baking tray in the microwave. Set the microwave on Jet start for 4 minutes and behold all the glory of melting chocolate, right before your eyes!
Once the microwave has completed its task, take the baking tray out of the microwave (using oven mittens, because the tray will probably be hot) and, with a knife or spatula, even out the melted chocolate, spreading it evenly over the oatmeal base. Let everything cool for about 1 hour in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer.
When cooled, carefully lift the mixture out of the baking tray (this is where the baking paper comes in handy!) and place it on a cutting board. With a bread knife, cut your oatmeal bars into even squares.
Note: if you decide to double the batch I suggest you cook it in two gos. You don't want to make the oatmeal layer too thick, so split it into two containers. Note 2: you can add anything else you like and switch the ingredients around a bit. For example, you can add raisins or dried fruit, add cinnamon or honey, or maybe go for white or milk chocolate instead of dark. Just remember the essentials: you need something to make the oatmeal bond (in my case maple syrup and peanut butter) and it's best if you have a layer of chocolate on top to seal off the oatmeal mixture, making it more resistant for you to bring along. :)
Note 3: despite the importance of the chocolate layer, if you know you're going to be making these to bring, let's say, to the beach, you might want to keep in mind that the chocolate will probably be subject to melting. In that case, you can try making it without. I've tried and it does still hold together quite nicely.
That's it, healthy granola bars (or squares) for all your trips (or on-the-go breakfasts, too)! I hope you'll enjoy these as much as we did. - Lots of love <3