Last spring, ESPN wrote an article called "The NBA's Secret Addiction" - and since my husband is an athlete and I'm nosey, I was instantly curious: WHAT IS THE NBA SECRETLY ADDICTED TO!? The answer was less salacious than I suspected: according to ESPN, the NBA is secretly addicted to Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches.
Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches! No joke - the article is right here if you want to see for yourself!
Anyway, since National PB&J Day was this week, I decided to make up some PB&J bars to keep around the house. I started with a basic almond and oat crust to emulate the bread that holds a true PB&J together; the middle part of these bars is an ooey-gooey mixture of PB&J and the top is a crusted, slightly crunchy and subtly-sweet oat mixture. Go ahead! Give 'em a try. These bars are DELICIOUS!
What You'll Need:
For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups GF rolled oats (regular, not the quick-cooking kind)
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 6 tbsp. melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. grade A maple syrup
For the PB & J Filling:
- 1 ½ cup raspberry jam or preserves
- 6 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
For the Topping:
- 2 cups oats
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil
- Optional: chopped almonds or peanuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Then, spray the parchment paper with coconut oil or your favorite nonstick.
2. Combine oats, almond flour, salt, and brown sugar to a food processor or blender and pulse until you create a fine powder.
3. Transfer the powder to a mixing bowl and pour melted coconut oil and maple syrup over the top. Stir with a spoon to incorporate until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Spread the mixture to the bottom of the prepared 8x8 baking dish and press into the corners to assure a tight layer covers the bottom of the dish.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
5. When the crust is out of the oven, spread jam and peanut butter over the top, making swirls if you’d like!
6. Combine Topping ingredients—oats, brown sugar, and coconut oil until it becomes “clumpy”. Spread it over the top of the PB&J mixture. Bake an additional 12-15 minutes (or until top is toasted).
7. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then enjoy! Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks!