And just like that, we’re into 2015. Bang.
Acting like the sensible person I pretend to be sometimes, I usually try to make January an “eat healthy” month, post healthy recipes, and in general act like I don’t crave chocolate chip cookies 24/7. Considering I have one – count ’em – ONE recipe ready to post that I’d actually put in the healthy category, I’m not sure how things are going to play out, but at least I’m starting out with good intentions, right? Right.
So chocolate + sesame seeds + tahini…. by now you may or may not be thinking that I have no idea what tahini is since I put it in granola and mix it with honey and chocolate, but I swear, it works. I actually made these on a whim with no idea whatsoever of how they’d turn out, but then I had people telling me how good they were and I realized my jumbled-up brain was actually onto something. The bars are nutty, sweet from honey, and super chocolatey, but they’re also gluten-free and healthy-ish and therefore right up my alley. All the flavors stand out on their own but also blend really well in that makes-sense-even-though-it-doesn’t-make-sense kind of way.
Here’s to starting the year off right with a healthy, uber-chocolatey recipe – AMEN.
These chocolate oat bars are loaded with texture and a complex blend of nutty and sweet flavors. They're also gluten-free and fairly healthy, which makes them perfect for on-the-go snacking!
- 7 1/8 ounces (2 1/2 cups) old-fashioned oats*, toasted**
- 1 3/4 ounces (1/2 cup) sliced almonds, toasted**
- 6 ounces (1 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips (chopped if on the larger side)
- 2 5/8 ounces (1/2 cup) sesame seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 ounces (1/2 cup) honey
- 6 3/8 ounces (3/4 cup) tahini (I used Soom Foods)
- Line an 8" square pan with foil and grease foil with nonstick spray.
- Combine oats and almonds in a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment and pulse to the consistency of quick-cooking oats.
- Transfer oat mixture to a large bowl and combine with chocolate, sesame seeds, and sea salt, whisking together well.
- In a small saucepan, cook the honey over medium heat, monitoring the temperature with a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer, until the temperature reaches 255ºF. Add to the dry ingredients along with the tahini and mix everything together until evenly combined (- be aware that the chocolate will melt).
- Press mixture into the prepared pan in a flat, compact layer; it helps to use a large, flat spatula greased lightly with nonstick spray.
- Cover bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours, or overnight. Slice into individual portions using a sharp, serrated knife. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.***
*Use gluten-free oats to make these bars gluten-free.
**To toast oats and almonds, preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out on baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Cool before using.
***For easy grab-and-go access, you can also wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap before refrigerating.
Disclosure: Soom Foods was gracious enough to provide me with tahini for this post. There are also affiliate links in this post, which are always for products I personally use and love.
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