These easy no-bake chocloate oat bars really are the perfect any time of the day snack. With only a handful of wholesome ingredients and minimal effort, you can enjoy a deliciously healthy, gluten and refined sugar-free sweet treat.
We are big fans of oats in this house, for breakfast, snacks and sometimes even in our pudding. I have to say I do tend to spend a small fortune on oat snack bars for convenience and we have found that as long as they are low sugar they seem to be kinder on blood glucose levels. Great when you have hungry teenagers always looking fro snacks!
Our favourite Oat bars are by Graze, which I always stock up on when they are on promotion. But as I said, it can get expensive. So it made sense to create a delicious homemade version and so the easy no-bake chocolate oat bars were created.
Why I love these Chocolate Oat Bars
Firstly, these beauties are packed with a winning flavour combination, which is one of my personal favourites, chocolate and peanut butter. The peanut butter acts as a tasty glue for the oats which means you can use less syrup. However, if you’re not a fan of peanut butter then why not try another nut or seed butter. Almond, sunflower and Pumpkin all work really well in this recipe.
So not only do they taste delicious, but they really are a healthier snack option. They contain less sugar than some shop-bought versions, use wholesome ingredients and are fibre rich. Basically making them a great snack option for a balanced diet as well as helping to fill you up for longer.
In addition these oat bars are a real slow burner on my daughter’s blood sugar levels. Oats have a low glycemic index which can be a really good choice for diabetics and blood sugar management. But I appreciate what works for us may not be the same for you. However, we have found that by choosing low GI options, such as oats, means that your body will be slower in turning the carbohydrate to glucose resulting in a more delayed and potentially a smaller rise in blood sugar levels.
Check out my post on the benefits of a whole food diet and diabetes if you would like to read more on this
In this recipe, I have chosen to use a refined sugar-free syrup as I really wanted to reduce the overall countable carbs. We have tried quite a few syrups which tend to be sucralose based. These can take some time to get used to as they tend to have a slight aftertaste. In addition, we have found that some tend to be quite runny and missing that syrupy element to them.
Our personal preference is Sukrin Syrup. This syrup is low carb and completely gluten-free as well as being very gentle on blood sugar levels. Other benefits of switching your syrups are they are more tooth-friendly and this particular syrup is also a good source of fibre.
Below is a table of the carbohydrates per 100g
|Carbohydrate (per 100g)||21g|
|-of which sugars||1.8g|
|-of which ployols (carbohydrates not metabolized by the body)||14g|
These no-bake chocolate oat bars are deliciously rich thanks to the dark chocolate topping adding an intense chocolatey kick. They make a brilliant tasty afternoon snack, and I promise you they never hang around for long in my house. I think the extra layer of intense dark chocolate makes them even more moreish!
What you will need for these easy no-bake chocolate oat bars
- A gluten-free whole grain
- Oats are such a magnificent superfood; they are wholegrain, a great carbohydrate source, full of fibre, essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Chia seeds
- Loaded with antioxidants, fiber, protein, omega-3s and calcium. These tiny seeds have it all!
- A great swap if you’re looking to reduce the carb count aswell
- Cacoa nibs
- These are basicially just crumbled bits of dried cacao beans.
- They have an intensley chocolatey and sour flavour
- Great for adding a little extra crunch into recipes
- Coconut oil
- This oil reportedly has a number of emerging benefits for your health.
- However I always use the minimal amount as it is very high in saturated fats
- Try to choose organic, virgin coconut oil rather than refined versions.
- Peanut Butter
- Avoid peanut butter with added palm oil
- Always read the labels, the best ones don’t have any added ingredients and are simply ground peanuts
- I use a refined sugar-free syrup in this recipe to reduce the overall carb-count.
- You could also use maple syrup, honey or agave. Use whatever you prefer the taste of
- Dark chocolate chips
- Try and use a chocolate that has a cocoa content 70% or above as this really makes the difference with the overall carb count
- The higher the cocoa content the lower the sugar!
- Chopped Nuts (optional)
- Give a little extra crunch on top
How to make these easy no-bake chocolate oat bars
First you need to prepare your tin. Line a rectangular dish with parchment paper so that the paper overlaps the edges. I use a dish measuring 21cm x 17cm.
To make the oaty layer, combine the oats, chia seeds and cocoa nibs in a bowl. Then add the oil, syrup and nut butter mixing well to ensure all the oats are well coated. You can always add a tbsp of water at a time if you feel the mixture is too dry.
Next, transfer the mixture to the lined dish, spreading it out evenly. You can lay a piece of grease proof paper on top and use your hands to press down firmly to get it nice and smooth.
Finally, its time for the chocolate layer. To melt the chocolate, combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl and place it over some boiling water. Stir continuously until shiny and smooth. Alternatively, you can use a microwave at 50% power for 30-second increments stirring between each increment until melted.
Once beautifully shiny, pour the melted chocolate layer onto your oaty mixture and sprinkle over your nuts if you are using. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
Then using a sharp knife, cut into 12 bars and enjoy!
Recipe variations and Tips
Nut Butter – If you’re not a fan of peanut butter or have an allergy, then why not try another nut or seed butter. Almond, Sunflower and Pumpkin all work really well in this recipe.
Syrup – I use a refined sugar-free syrup in this recipe to reduce the overall carb count, but this comes down to personal taste and preference. You could also use maple syrup, honey or agave but this will increase the overall carb count so make sure to include it in your carb counting requirements.
Chocolate – Not a fan of dark chocolate or just prefer something sweeter? Then why not swap out the dark chocolate for milk or white. Just remember to adjust your carb counting as this will increase the overall carb count.
Storing your Chocolate Oat Bars
These Oat bars are best stored in the fridge in my opinion but you can store them at room temperature as well. Your chocolate may just be a little softer!
Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Then you can enjoy them cold or at room temperature if you can wait that long!
Other Oaty Recipes to try:
If you’re an oat lover like we are then why not try these other delicious oat based recipes:
Oats are a real superfood in my eyes, full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. They are fantastic as a slow-release carb snack that potentially can reduce blood sugar spikes.
The dark chocolate gives these oat bars an extra delicious layer of loveliness and again can be a healthier option for managing blood sugars.
The overall carb count for one easy no-bake chocolate oat bar based on the ingredients we would count for is:
- Oats = 250g – 151g of carbs
- Cocoa Nibs = 30g – 4.5g of carbs
- Sukrin Gold = 30g – 4g of carbs
- Dark Chocolate (Lindt 85%) = 250g – 55g of carbs
Now add all the carbs together – 151+4.5+4+55= 214.5g of carbs
Finally divide this by the serving size, 12 – 214.5/12 = 18g of carb per portion
Please note this carb count amount per portion is based on the standard ingredients listed above and may differ depending on what you use and how much you choose to eat.
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