Peanut Butter Raisin Bars (raw, vegan, gluten-free)
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Peanut Butter Raisin Bars offer a hint of heaven in every bite. As the sweet flavors of chocolate and raisins meld together with the deep rich flavor of peanut butter, well shoot you have a winning combination from the get go! Not only do they taste amazing, they are full of healthy nutrients.
Did you know that peanuts are not true nuts but a member of a family of legumes related to peas, lentils, chickpeas and other beans? Peanuts start growing as a ground flower that due to its heavy weight bends towards the ground and eventually burrows underground where the peanut actually matures. They are a very good source of monounsaturated fats. In addition, peanuts are also good source of niacin, folate, copper, manganese, and protein.
If you are allergic to peanuts you could substitute almond butter. It will have a somewhat different flavor, but different doesn’t mean bad. It would still taste amazing, just a different profile for the good ole taste buds!
Ingredients: yields 18 bars
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats, soaked
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup sliced raw almonds
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup raw peanut butter
- 1/4 cup medjool dates (5 large)
- 1/4 cup raw coconut butter, softened
- 1/4 cup raw honey or raw coconut nectar for vegan
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- Once the soak process is complete, drain and rinse the oats really well until the water to runs clear.
- Combine the oats and remaining dry ingredients into a large bowl. Set aside.
- In the food processor, combine the wet ingredients and process until well incorporated.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients until the oat mixture is evenly coated. This is a thick batter so you may want to use your hands, I did!
- Spread the batter in the desired sized/style pan. I used a 9 x 9 square Springform pan that I lined with parchment paper.
- Press mixture in the pan, packing it nice and firm. I occasionally wet my hand as I am pressing the batter into place, to prevent it from sticking to me.
- Place in freezer for a minimum of 1 hour. This will help you when comes to cutting it into bars.
- Remove from the freezer and cut into desired shapes and sizes. Place on the mesh dehydrator sheets that come with your machine and dry at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) for 16-24 hrs.
- Store in airtight container on counter for 1 week, fridge 2 weeks, freezer 3-4 weeks.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- Raw honey isn’t vegan but I still use now and again. Read (here) why I like to.
- Learn about the wonderful characteristics of Raw Coconut Nectar (here).
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Are oats gluten-free? Yes, read more about that (here).
- Are oats raw? Yes, they can be found. Click (here) to learn more.
- Do I need to soak and dehydrate oats? Not required but recommended. Click (here) to see why.
- Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
- When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.
How to make your own raw peanut butter:
Recipe by: Incredible Smoothies
- 2 cups raw peanuts (or 1 and 1/2 cups raw peanuts and cup 1/2 raw almonds)
- 1 1/2 to 3 Tbsp peanut oil (Don’t use olive oil as it will affect the flavor. If you can’t find peanut oil, use sunflower or avocado oil.)
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional for flavor)
- 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
- Add all the ingredients to your food processor, juicer or high-speed blender. If you are using a food processor or blender, you’ll need make sure you don’t blend for too long. If the machine is getting warm, turn it off and wait for it to cool down.
- I highly recommend using a food processor with an “S” blade as this is the quickest and easiest way to make nut butters. We did manage to make ours in a blender, but blenders are not best suited for making nut butters, especially small batches.
- It will take several minutes for the peanut butter to become creamy. It will be faster if you use a food processor.
- Once your peanut butter is the consistency you want, remove it from the food processor or blender and enjoy!