Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a staple in my house growing up. Everyone in my family loved them. I’m pretty sure we were all 1/4th peanut butter and jelly at some point because we ate this classic so much.
And because I love this combo soooo much, I came up with these peanut butter and jelly bars. But, these bars are like the more sophisticated and fancy older sister of a pb & j sandwich. And studies show that 97% of people who like peanut butter and jelly also like being fancy.*
(*study not based on actual science or facts)
What IS a fact is how easy these peanut butter and jelly bars are to make! You will need your stove top, but there’s no baking. Also, they only take a handful of ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen. And if you don’t, they are really easy to customize! I love the flavor combo of peanut butter and raspberry jelly, but if you want almond butter and blueberries, DO IT!
I actually used a mixed berry combo of blueberries, cherries, and raspberries in mine because I am the epitome of indecisiveness. But whatever fruit you choose, the jelly filling could not be easier to make. Just add your fruit of choice, chia seeds, and water into a sauce pan and simmer over low heat. The mixture needs to be stirred occasionally and watched carefully, because as soon as the juices release and the mixture starts to thicken, you’re done!
You can also use fresh or frozen fruit. Just adjust the amount of added water. For fresh fruit you’ll need about 2+ tablespoons and for frozen you’ll need about 1+ tablespoon.
And if you’re indecisive about how many of these bars you’re going to want to eat (although the answer is obviously more than one!), you can easily double the recipe and make it in an 8″X8″ square pan instead of a loaf pan. You’ll end up with twice as many bars and a bit of a thicker crust, so…WIN-WIN!
I also used both peanut butter and powdered peanut butter because, like I said, I’m 1/4th peanut butter…and you can never have too much peanut butter. But, if you want to use a different nut butter because you have a peanut allergy/think sunflower butter is totally underrated and want to show it some love, you can totally omit the powdered pb. I’m just still waiting for a company to come out with other powdered nut butters….Any one else!? In the mean time, I’ll just sit here and eat a pb & j bar while I wait…
So, while we wait for some powdered almond butter to be invented, back to the bars at hand. Any way you slice ’em (literally and figuratively 😉 ) these bars make the perfect snack. They’re not overly sweet, in fact, they have no refined sugar! But you won’t miss it thanks to the natural sweetness of the fruit. The oats give you some great chewiness, and are also packed with fiber. Add in the nutrient powerhouses, chia seeds and flax seeds, and you just increased your daily intake of omega-3’s. All from eating a peanut butter and jelly bar! So, if you want a healthy and filling lunch tomorrow, you might want to skip the sandwich and hit up the bar instead! No…not THAT bar! The peanut butter and jelly bar.
What is your fav flavored nut butter and jelly combo?
Yields 8 bars
Gluten Free; Refined Sugar Free; Dairy Free; Egg Free; Vegan
35 minPrep Time
35 minTotal Time
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey (can sub for agave or maple syrup)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter - optional
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup fruit of choice (I used a combination of blueberries, cherries, and raspberries)
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 - 2 Tbsp water
- Grease and/or line a 9"X5" loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium sauce pan, add the peanut butter and honey (or sticky sweetener of choice). Turn the burner on to medium heat. Stir the mixture occasionally until smooth, creamy, and fully incorporated.
- While the peanut butter mixture is combining, in a separate bowl combine the oats, flaxseed meal, powdered peanut butter (optional), and salt.
- Once the peanut butter mixture is smooth, add the dry ingredients to the sauce pan with the heat still on and stir until fully combined.
- Remove from the heat and press 3/4th of the peanut butter mixture into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. Be sure to press firmly. Then, place the pan in the refrigerator to set.
- Transfer the remaining dough out of the sauce pan and reserve it for later.
- In that same sauce pan,with the burner on low heat, add in the fruit, chia seeds, and water (for fresh fruit: ~2 Tbsp, for frozen fruit: ~1 Tbsp). Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens. Be careful not to over stir the jelly mixture or it will break apart all the whole fruit pieces.
- Remove the loaf pan from the refrigerator and spread the jelly evenly on top of the dough. Then, crumble the remaining 1/4th of dough on top of the jelly.
- Return the bars to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until the bars set.
- Slice them up and reminisce about your childhood with these sweet and chewy goodies.
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