Back in the day (okay, back in 1999), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were what the picky kids ate for lunch. I was one of those picky kids. In fact, I was so picky and thus ate so many PB&J sandwiches that I got sick of them and eventually started throwing them away when my mom packed them in my lunch.
These days I wouldn’t be caught dead throwing away what is arguably the best sandwich combination in this universe. However, you can find me making these delicious, vegan, gluten free, semi-healthy PB&J Bars.
What is a PB&J bar, you ask? It starts with a rich, crumbly peanut butter cookie base. The middle of the bar consists of homemade strawberry preserves, which are made simply from fresh strawberries, water, and agave nectar. The bars are then topped with a sweet oat streusel. To put them over the top, I drizzle them with melted peanut butter after they have been baked.
But wait: they’re also made without refined sugars or flour. That means they make great snacks, lunch box treats, and desserts.
I hope you enjoy my updated version of this old classic!
- Strawberry Preserves:
- 2 Cups Sliced Fresh Strawberries
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
- Peanut Butter Cookie Dough:
- ¼ Cup Coconut Oil
- ½ Cup Coconut Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Flax Egg (1 T flax meal+2 T water)
- ½ Cup Almond Flour
- ¾ Cup Oat Flour
- ½ Cup Oats
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Tablespoon All Natural Peanut Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
- ½ Cup Oats
- ¼ Cup Oat Flour
- ¼ Cup Coconut Sugar
- Peanut Butter Drizzle:
- 2 Tablespoons All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease an 8x8 baking pan with coconut oil.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, combine strawberries, water, and agave.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and there is very little liquid left in the pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat coconut oil and sugar until they are creamed. Add vanilla and the flax egg and continue to beat the mixture.
- Add almond flour, oat flour, oats, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until everything is evenly combined.
- Add the peanut butter and mix into the dough.
- To make the streusel, combine coconut oil, oats, oat flour, and coconut sugar in a small bowl.
- Press the peanut butter cookie dough evenly into the greased baking pan.
- Pour the strawberry preserves on top of the dough.
- Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top of the preserves.
- Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes, or until the streusel on top is golden brown.
- Once the bars have cooled, melt 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the microwave. Drizzle the melted peanut butter over the bars.
- Cut into 12 bars and enjoy!