These peanut butter and jelly bars are delicious, nostalgic and healthy! You’ll want to be sure to have a batch in your freezer at all times!
Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
I feel like I cannot start my first post without giving you a warm welcome to my blog! I have been running thechowdown on Instagram for almost seven years now, so this blog is a long time in the making. To be honest, I have been dragging my feet, as I wanted to make sure if I started a blog, I did it right. After a little motivation from my best friend, a lot of research and some newly found free time in self-quarantine, I decided its time to make the leap!
With that being said, for my inaugural post I am sharing the recipe for my most popular post to date on Instagram – Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.
I have been very much into peanut butter and jelly lately. I’ve been putting the classic combo on not so classic vehicles such as sweet potato toasts, rice cakes, oats and now – neatly nestled between a healthy shortbread and rich, delicious dark chocolate.
I love these peanut butter and jelly bars because:
- They are gluten free
- Vegan (if using dairy free chocolate)
- Made with 10 ingredients
- Easy to bake and assemble
- Kid friendly
- they are nostalgic and delicious!
- Coconut flour: base for the shortbread layer
- Coconut oil
- Maple syrup
- Nut butter: any nut or seed butter works in this recipe
- Frozen berries: Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or a medley.
- Sweetener of choice: liquid stevia, coconut sugar, monk fruit syrup or maple syrup are good options
- Chia seeds: to help thicken the homemade jelly.
- Dark Chocolate: dairy free, if needed
- Flaky sea salt: optional
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine coconut flour, melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla and mix just until combined.
Transfer to a parchment lined 8×8 square pan. Press down the dough into an even layer and then pop into the oven at 325 for 10-12 minutes. Allow shortbread to cool completely before adding the next layer.
Make the jelly while the shortbread is baking and cooling. This is the easiest jelly recipe ever. Just pour one 12 oz bag of frozen berries (whatever you like best, or a medley) into a saucepan and heat over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add 2 Tbsp chia seeds and 1 tsp of sweetener. Stir to combine and as the jelly cools, it will thicken.
Once your shortbread has cooled, add your nut butter layer. You can use whatever nut butter you like best. I used natural crunchy peanut butter, because I’ve been really digging the texture lately. I am not going to tell you how much nut butter to use, because this is a free country, and your nut butter layer should be as thick as you darn well please! Just make sure it’s spread nice and evenly.
Next, add the cooled jelly in an even layer. Go ahead and pop your pan into the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This will make spreading your chocolate layer much easier.
Empty the contents of your chocolate chip bag into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between intervals, until chocolate has melted.
Pour your melted chocolate over your jelly layer and spread evenly. Top with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. This step is optional, but trust me, you will not regret it. Pop your bars back into the freezer. My tips for cutting your bars are below. Once cut into squares, store in a container in your freezer. I remove a bar from my freezer about 10 minutes before I dig in!
Tips for cutting the PB&J Bars
Because the chocolate layer is so hard and the peanut butter and jelly layers can get gooey, it can be a bit tricky to cut the bars. Here are my tips for minimal oozing and mess:
- Remove your bars from the freezer and let thaw for 10 minutes.
- Use a *sharp* knife. Fill a tall glass with hot water and place your knife in the glass. Allow your knife to get warm. Carefully dry your knife before using.
- Use a gentle sawing motion, and allow your hot knife to melt through the chocolate layer. Once through the chocolate layer, press down on the top of your knife with your palm. You should easily cut through the rest of the layers.
- Submerge your knife in the hot water in between cuts.
More Dessert Recipes
- Healthy Homemade Snickers Bars
- Cookie Dough Caramel Candy Bars
- Salted Caramel Pretzel Cups
- Mixed Berry Crumble Bars
- No Bake Brookie Bars
Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- nut butter any works
- 1 16oz bag frozen berries single type or mixed
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp sweetener
- 1 bag dark chocolate chips
- flaky sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325. In a mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix until combined. Transfer to a parchment lined 8x8 baking pan. Press down into an even layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, add frozen berries to a small saucepan. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add chia seeds and sweetener and stir. Jelly will thicken as it cools.
- Once shortbread has cooled, add your nut butter, as much as you like, and spread into an even layer.
- Next add the jelly and spread evenly. Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between intervals, until melted. Pour chocolate on top of jelly layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle bars with flaky sea salt. Freeze.