Yesterday I was all “Let’s Bake”! Today I am all “Let’s not, but act like we did!”.
Jeez, I am so up and down and all over the place these days. I think I just really like to keep things new and fresh around here.
Either that or those darn chickens are really starting to mess with my head. I’m sure you’ve all heard a story or two before about a crazy “cat lady”. Well, I am slightly concerned that I am turning into the crazy “chicken lady”.
I am actually really enjoying our little chickens. Taking care of them is kind of fun and I think it is so cool that we are going to get our own eggs from chickens raised right in our own backyard. It’s a good feeling for sure.
The other day I was so set on skipping a recipe post for just one day and telling you all about the chickens. For some reason I just really, really wanted to talk about them. Of course it was also an excuse to head outside (yeah!) and take an obnoxious amount of pictures. But then it started pouring and I “chickened” out and told myself, no one wants to hear about a bunch of chickens.
Thus, I presented to you these fajitas instead. Maybe one day, if it ever doesn’t rain in the afternoon, I will take some photos, but as of right now, Colorado seems to be calling for rain every afternoon. I am highly disliking it.
It’s such typical mountain weather. Sun in the morning and wicked storms in the afternoon. It actually got so dark the other day I couldn’t even finish taking photos because it went from day to-night in a matter of minutes. And then maybe thirty minutes later the clouds passed and it was sunny again.
Like full on sunshine – crazy, and a little annoying, oh well.
But it’s Friday and we have some cookie bars we need to talk about – and quick, because like I said, it’s Friday and I have a feeling our attention spans are shot from the week.
You may even be looking for a little booze to kick off your weekend, so lets just going already.
I am not sure if you remember, but last summer I posted this recipe for a healthier version of my mom’s oatmeal cookie bar recipe. It’s one of those recipes that I honestly make all the time, my mom makes all the time, and you guys tell me that you make all the time. It is just an awesome recipe.
I wanted to take those flavors and create and even easier, healthier, but just as delicious NO-BAKE oatmeal cookie bar. I wasn’t really sure I could do it. I mean, I’m certainly no “healthy baking” expert, but I used what I know and ingredients that I love and this is what I came up with.
Oh these bars. They taste so good. Just like my mom’s oatmeal cookie bars only a little chewier and a little less crumbly, but the flavor is spot on and the texture is awesome.
For sweetness I used dates. Just dates. Nothing else. Don’t be freaked. You’ll love these. Even if you don’t love dates. Promise.
I never knew what an amazing little ingredient dates were. For one they are incredibly healthy, full of fiber and super sweet. They work double time as the perfect binder and sweetener. The rest is pretty basic, roasted cashews are kind of my secret ingredient. They do have to be roasted though, so no swapping there. Their flavor is awesome and they grind up to a smooth paste perfectly.
Then of course there are oats… and quinoa for added health and texture, and plenty of dark chocolate. Plus sea salt because every cookie needs a little sea salt. It does. Really.
And the best part – these cookies require almost no time to make and they use simple ingredients that I really hope everyone has on hand.
Mega best part – these cookies taste like they should be a thousand and one calories, but they aren’t! They’re chuck full of good for you ingredients.
And they still taste like real oatmeal cookies!!!
Healthy No-Bake Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars.
- 1 1/2 cups roasted cashews
- 1 cup medjool dates pitted
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut or almond milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups old-fashion oats
- 1 cup cooked plain quinoa
- 2 tablespoons ground walnuts or almonds
- 6-8 ounces dark chocolate chopped into chunks (about 1 1/2 cups)
- sea salt for topping
Line a 9x13 in baking dish with parchment paper.
To the bowl of a food processor add the cashews and dates. Process until a thick paste forms, about 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut oil, coconut milk (or almond milk), vanilla and salt. Process until completely smooth and no chunks remain, scrapping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. I let my processor go a full 5 minutes to really allow the mixture to become a super smooth and thick paste.
Meanwhile, add the oats, quinoa and ground walnuts (or almonds) to a large mixing bowl.
Once the cashew mixture is ready (it should be pretty warm and gooey from the food processor running) scoop/pour it into the bowl with the oats. Mix until everything is evenly combined. It will seem thick at first, but just keep mixing and it will all come together. Allow the mixture to cool off a bit (maybe 5 minutes) and then stir in the chocolate chocolate chunks. Press the cookies into the prepared dish. Melt 2 ounces of dark chocolate in the microwave and drizzle it over the bars. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until cold. Cut in to bars and keep cold or leave at room temp. Personally, I think these are best kept in the fridge.
SO yes, I am so excited about these. Oatmeal Cookies + Chocolate Chunks and FRIDAY. What a great combo!