I’ve had so many requests for this recipe! These No Bake Peanut Butter Bars are definitely my new favourite snack. They’re seriously quick and easy to whip up, and pretty fun to make too! I’m so obsessed with the combination of the pumpkin seeds and cacao nibs with the sweet chocolate chips.
I’m loving no-bake goodies at the moment, and it seems you guys love them too! My most popular recipes are no bake treats, like these no bake peanut butter bars, and my No Bake Brownie Bites or my Double Chocolate Freezer Cookies.
These no bake peanut butter bars are totally vegan and gluten free, and so so delicious.
If you make this recipe, please make sure to comment below or tag me in your recreations over on Instagram using @ginabnutrition or #ginabnutrition – I absolutely love to see!
What Happens if I Eat Too Much Peanut Butter in a Day?
(There’s no such thing as too much peanut butter… so eat all of the no bake peanut butter bars you want! joking!).
Consuming peanut butter regularly can offer both positive and negative effects on your health; and it’s important to find that right balance (for you). On the positive side, peanut butter is rich in healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that promote heart health by lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. Additionally, it provides a substantial amount of protein, essential for muscle maintenance and various bodily functions. The nutrient profile of peanut butter includes key vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, contributing to its nutritional value.
However, excessive consumption of peanut butter can lead to several negative outcomes. Due to its calorie density from fats, overindulging can result in an intake of excess calories, potentially leading to weight gain if not compensated with physical activity. Portion control is crucial, as the rich and satisfying taste of peanut butter can make it easy to consume more than intended. This is particularly relevant for those mindful of their caloric intake when trying to lose weight.
Furthermore, individuals with peanut allergies must be cautious, as excessive consumption could trigger allergic reactions that range from mild discomfort to severe health risks. Another consideration is the balance of omega-6 fatty acids found in peanut butter. While these fats are essential, an imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like fish and flaxseeds, could potentially promote inflammation.
Does Peanut Butter Go Bad?
Yes, peanut butter can go bad, although its shelf life is generally quite long. The shelf life of peanut butter depends on various factors, including the type of peanut butter (natural vs. commercial), storage conditions, and whether it has been opened or not.
- Natural Peanut Butter: Natural peanut butter is made from just peanuts and possibly a touch of salt. Because it lacks the added preservatives and stabilizers found in commercial peanut butters, it has a shorter shelf life. Natural peanut butter should typically be consumed within a few months of opening and should be stored in the refrigerator to extend its freshness.
- Commercial Peanut Butter: Commercial peanut butter often contains added stabilizers, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives, which can extend its shelf life. Unopened jars of commercial peanut butter can usually last for a year or more, especially if stored in a cool, dark place. Once opened, it’s recommended to store commercial peanut butter in the refrigerator to prevent the oils from separating and to extend its shelf life. Even when refrigerated, it can remain safe to eat for several months.
Signs that peanut butter may have gone bad include:
- Off Odor: If the peanut butter smells rancid, sour, or off, it’s an indication that it might be spoiled.
- Mold: If you see any signs of mold growth on the surface of the peanut butter, it’s best to discard it.
- Texture Changes: If the peanut butter becomes excessively dry, hard, or develops an unusual texture, it could be an indication of spoilage.
- Off Taste: If the taste of the peanut butter has changed significantly, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not consume it.
To extend the shelf life of both natural and commercial peanut butter, keep the lid tightly closed when not in use, and store it in a cool, dry place. If you’re unsure about the safety of your peanut butter, it’s best to discard it to avoid the risk of consuming spoiled food. Always use your judgment and consider the signs of spoilage before consuming any food product.
My No Bake Peanut Butter Bars (How To Make Them)
If you’re making these no bake peanut butter bars, you’re going to need the following ingredients…
- Smooth Peanut Butter: Peanut butter serves as the main flavor and binding agent in these bars. It provides a rich, nutty taste and a creamy texture. The natural oils in peanut butter also help hold the bars together without requiring baking. It’s a good source of healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup adds sweetness to the bars and helps to bind the ingredients together. It’s a natural sweetener with a distinct flavor that complements the nuttiness of the peanut butter. Additionally, it provides some moisture and helps create a soft, chewy texture.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor profile of the bars by adding a warm and aromatic note. Even a small amount of vanilla extract can make the bars taste more appealing and balanced.
- Salt: A pinch of salt is often used in baking to enhance and balance flavors. In this recipe, it helps to amplify the taste of the other ingredients, especially the sweetness of the maple syrup and the richness of the peanut butter.
- Rolled Oats: Rolled oats contribute a hearty texture and a nutty flavor to the bars. They also provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, and a range of vitamins and minerals, making the bars more filling and nutritious.
- Dark/Vegan Chocolate Chips: Dark or vegan chocolate chips add a delightful burst of chocolate flavor to the bars. They provide a sweet contrast to the nutty and slightly salty base, and their melting texture creates a nice sensation when you bite into the bars.
- Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, add a subtle crunch and a nutty taste. They bring in extra texture and a source of plant-based protein, healthy fats, and minerals like zinc and magnesium.
- Cacao Nibs: Cacao nibs are small pieces of crushed cacao beans. They provide a deep, intense chocolate flavor with a slightly bitter edge. They add an extra layer of chocolatey goodness and texture to the bars. Cacao nibs also contain antioxidants and nutrients that are beneficial for your health.
No Bake Peanut Butter Oaty Bars (Vegan, Gluten & Soy Free)
- 1 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1/3 Cup Dark/Vegan Chocolate Chips
- 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 Handful Cacao Nibs
- Line a 9×9" (or similar size) square tin with baking paper
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla & salt
- Add in the oats, chocolate chips, cacao nibs and pumpkin seeds; mix until well combined
- Spoon this into your tin and press down until even (I place a piece of parchment paper over and press down to avoid getting my hands sticky)
- Place in the freezer for 30-40 mins until set, then take out and slice into 9 squares