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What’s  wrong with me? Healthy on Fat Tuesday? Of all days.

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

I could have done doughnuts, things laden with butter, sugar and milk chocolate galore. But I somehow managed to pull out a no-sugar added, vegan and gluten-free (if you use gluten-free cornflakes) treat out of no where.

Really, I do not even know how I did it and to be honest I am amazed they actually tasted good, but they are even brother approved. Even with the dark chocolate. Kai did say the chocolate tasted a little different. Then he realized it was dark chocolate and the smile on his face over the fact that I actually made k-bars morphed into a very disappointed-looking face. What he did next though I have to say I am pretty proud of.

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

He grabbed some milk chocolate, melted it (who knew he even knew how to do this) and slathered it right on top of the dark chocolate.

I mean, I gotta say, he knows what’s up.

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

These bars took two attempts. The first attempt I thought was going to be awesome and the flavor was all there, but the peanut butter mixture made the corn flakes super soggy and chewy. Still good, but just a weird texture.

So I tried again.

Second time was thankfully the winner. I say thankfully because I have had so many fails lately it is insane. Fails + lack of organized thoughts = no fun, so I was happy to only have to try twice. Especially since my Monday also consisted of cleaning the fridge from top to bottom after spilling hot chocolate all over the inside of the fridge. Again, not very fun.

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

I do realize that cornflakes are not technically the healthiest cereal out there, but it’s just what I had on hand and what I always use for K-bars. If you want something healthier, go for it. I think pretty much any unsweetened cereal will work here. You can even add some oats and nuts too if you wish, but I was really trying to replicate my mom’s K-Bars.

If you are unfamiliar with K-Bars they are bars made with Karo Syrup (corn syrup), sugar, peanut butter and chocolate. They are amazing, but all the sugar is something that has always bothered me. I have tried a lot of things to make these bars a little healthier, but nothing has ever worked this good. It just amazes me because the only sweetener in these bars is dates. AND no one even knew they were there.

Incredible if you ask me.

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

I feel I should mention that these bars only happened out of pure desperation. I had two other posts in mind for today, but both failed and since my ability to organize my thoughts and life lately has been miserable, I was out of a post for today.

Kai was on my case about making something simple, something he loves, K-bars. So I caved, but of course I only half caved. Why not try to make them secretly healthy? I mean, one of my favorite things is messing with Kai, so I kind of get a kick out the fact that Kai is eating dates and not corn syrup… and he likes it. Still blows my mind.

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

Plus, I have also been trying to come up with less sugary chocolate treats. Well I love all the over the top treats, they are not for everyday and over here we eat chocolate everyday… for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so less sugary chocolate treats needed to happen. Gotta say, though I really want to make doughnuts next.

And doughnuts of the fried variety.

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

Now that would be a true test. If I can figure out a way to make doughnuts healthier, especially fried doughnuts, then I would really be on to something.

I think I’ll just take it one day (or week) at a time. Anyway, for today at least, the whole simple, less sugar thing is going very well.

Oh, and since dessert is oh so healthy, that just means Fat Tuesday’s dinner can be, well – FAT.

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

 

Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 20 Bars
Calories Per Serving: 221 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add the dates and salt to the bowl of a food processor and process until they form a thick paste. Add the peanut butter and 2 tablespoons milk, process until smooth and creamy. Scoop the mixture out and into a microwave safe bowl, microwave 30 seconds, stir and microwave another 30 seconds. Continue until the mixture is warm and melty. This took me 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla. If the mixture seems too stiff add 1 more tablespoon milk, but no more. If you add too much milk the cereal will become soggy.
  • Add the cereal to a large bowl. Slowly mix in the peanut butter mixture until throughly combined. Press the cereal into the prepared baking dish in an even layer.
  • Microwave the chocolate on 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. This took me about 1 1/2 minutes. Spoon the melted chocolate over the bars in an even layer. Cover the pan and place them in the fridge for 1 1/2 -2 hours or until firm. You may also put them in the freezer for 30 minutes, but I find the fridge works best.
  • Remove the bars 10 minutes prior to serving, cut and store in the fridge.

Notes

*You can really use any airy crunch cereal you prefer. I think rice krispes, chex, cheerios or any puffed cereal will work great.
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Super Healthy Peanut Butter Date Special K-Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 1 star
    I attempted this recipe today because I loved the idea and simplicity of this dessert. However, I did not work out at all for me. The date/peanut butter mixture never reached a melty/smooth texture, it was a thick paste whatever I attempted (more milk, water, peanut butter). I used Kraft peanut butter because that is all I had on hand, not sure if that is what made a difference. I did not even attempted to mix it with the corn flakes and stopped at that point. Thankfully, I remembered the “5 Ingredient Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies” recipe also from HBH and used the paste I had to make a peanut butter version of that. Better than wasting dates!

    1. Hi Marie,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, so sorry to hear you had issues. I’m not sure what went wrong with your date/peanut butter mixture, it’s hard for me to say without seeing it! xx

  2. I finally tried this today, but in a vitamin because I don’t have a food processor. Can you describe the texture the dates and peanut butter are supposed to have? Should it be pour-able like melted marshmallow? Or creamy and thick? I had to mix by my fingers because it wasn’t liquid-like. They’re in the fridge cooling, but they didn’t look right. Maybe that was the mixer? Can you describe the texture before mixing in cereal? Thank you!

    1. Hey Jenny! The peanut butter should be thick and creamy, you might add water to help loosen it up if it is hard for you blender to mix. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. I have not, but I love using dates in place of sugar, so I do love the idea. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan!
    Followed your easy recipe, precisely, and love the results! Opted for low-sugar vanilla almond milk, and used Kashi whole-grain flakes. My husband took some into work today and I will probably mail a small container of these to my daughters at their university. Great knowing we can have a sweet, decadent treat without a lot of added, refined sugar. Already looking forward to Tea today but had to enjoy a smidge of your bars with breakfast coffee, first! Fantastic!

  4. I was skeptical that a healthy version of my favorite bars existed…but it does! Yummmm!! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Thank you for the revcipe. Can you warm ingredients over simmering water don’t have a microwave. so what can you use instead of peanut butter?

  6. These were a waste of super expensive ingredients. I followed the recipe to the t. The amount of cereal mixture barely covers an 8×8 pan let alone a 9×13. The pb never melts with the dates and I have a super powerful processor and normal microwave. The pics are nice but if recipe does not turn out remotely close to pics who cares about nice pics? Totally crumbly wet cereal mixture with solid chocolate on top. Don’t waste time or money!!!

    1. Hi Allison, I am really sorry that these did not turn out for you. If you have any questions about the recipe, please let me know. Tieghan

  7. I’m excited to try these out. Being completely honest- I’ve never had a date in my life! So we will see how it goes 🙂