Chocolate Peanut Butter Road Trip Energy Bars – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-Free

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Road Trip Energy Bars - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-Free

We leave bright and early tomorrow morning for our big road trip to Austin, Texas for SXSW and Flatstock 33, where we will be selling our (Hero Design Studio) handmade goods and wares for 4 days in the convention center. Since I do my very best to maintain my eating lifestyle no matter where I am, I have packed a ton of food for the trip, both for the road trip down and maybe for the first few days we are there, depending how much eating happens in the car, then I plan to hit Whole Foods once we get there to stock up for the trip back. I have some almond milk and honey packed up, since I know those will both come in handy along the way. I also packed a few bottles of my homemade kombucha and to snack on, I have some nut and dried-fruit trail mix, stove-top popped butter-free spicy popcorn, gluten-free vegan jerky from Primal Spirit Foods and I made these delicious road trip energy bars. It is absolutely imperative that I have some type of chocolate available to me when I am on a road trip. For whatever reason, I always crave chocolate on very long drives. Who knows!

These energy bars were super easy to make. To be completely honest, I quickly wrote up a rough idea for a recipe, headed to the kitchen and just winged it, I assumed I would just figure it out as I went along. What I love most about these bars are how easily you could tweak them to make them your own. If you don’t want chocolate, leave out the cocoa and chocolate chips, maybe adding in some raisins or dried cranberries and some cinnamon instead. You can add whatever your favorite nuts or seeds are. The possibilities are really endless. I have made a few notes below with additional suggestions.

These bars are almost a bit sinful, with that addicting combo of peanut butter and chocolate. How can you resist? The car is gonna smell amazing. With just one bite of these chewy snacks, you will fall in love. My hubby, Mark, absolutely LOVES coffee and although I rarely drink a cup anymore, I do love the flavor and the smell of good coffee beans. So, I thought that would be a fun addition to these bars. Feel free to leave it out or substitute caffeine-free coffee if you can’t handle caffeine. I think the smell alone that the espresso powder gave these bars is worth it. I really cannot wait to bust into one of these tomorrow, I am sure I will be indulging in one before we even hit the Pennsylvania border.

Although I will be away from tomorrow until March 21, I have a wonderful group of amazingly talented guest bloggers to hold down the fort while I am away. They have some lovely guest posts and tons of great recipes to share with all of you, so I do hope you check back often to see what they have up their sleeves. I hope you like it and I cannot wait to get home and start cooking again.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Road Trip Energy Bars - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-Free

[print_this]Chocolate Peanut Butter Road Trip Energy Bars – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-Free
Makes 8 bars (you can also cut them into smaller squares to 16 or more)

  • 1 ripe organic banana, mashed (try adding a second or third banana if you wish to make these sugar-free)
  • 2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour (or just process some gluten-free rolled oats into a fine powder)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, dairy free (I like Enjoy Life brand mini-chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (you could also use honey, coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, etc or skip and add extra bananas)
  • 1/2 cup organic natural peanut butter, chunky or creamy, (or any other nut or seed butter)
  • 2 tablespoons organic baking cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds, (you could also use flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, etc)
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers (or any other nut of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

* Note – Remember, you can easily make these energy bars your own, by adding, substituting and skipping ingredients as you’d like. To make these sugar-free replace the syrup with stevia or another banana. They could also easily be made nut-free by skipping the almonds and using sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. If you don’t like coffee, skip the espresso powder. Have fun with this recipe.

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ glass baking pan very well, or line it with foil, leaving some overhang on two of the sides so you can easily pull it out of the pan to make cutting even easier (this is what I did).

In a large mixing bowl, add all of your ingredients. Mix and mash up very well until it is all well combined. Get your hands in there if you really want to.

Press the mixture firmly and evenly into your pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Don’t worry if the bars seem a bit soft, they will firm up as they cool. After it has completely cooled, either lift the entire thing out of the pan and cut into bars or squares, or cut while it is in the pan.

These can be stored individually in the fridge or freezer. Since I made these two days ago, I stored them in the fridge and then wrapped each one individually in a little piece of parchment paper and a sandwich bag for easy eating in the car.


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37 Responses

  1. oh, I love everything that has coffee. I will try out these guys for sure;)Thanks

  2. […] week.Recipes:Appetizer,Snack &Side DishBurgundy Mushrooms from Cooking Gluten (&Dairy) Free.Chocolate Peanut Butter Road Trip Energy Bars (V) from Tasty Yummies.Corn Dog Mini-Muffins from The Gluten-Free Homemaker.Easy Crispy Kale Chips […]

  3. Cara says:

    I cannot wait to hear who your favorite bands were at SXSW! Have fun {and a little more for me} 🙂 I will be sitting here, eating these energy bars until you return…

    • tastyyummies says:

      Yeh, I wish we had more time to see bands when we are there, we are working the majority of the time, but it is a super great time, still! I’m just excited for sunshine and friends more than anything!

  4. lisa says:

    these turned out soooo well! I substituted 1/4 cup of shredded coconut for the 1/4 cup of nuts and they are so yummy! My kids love them too (left out the expresso powder)! Thanks for a great recipe!!!

  5. Bea says:

    Hi Beth, I just discovered your blog and I think it is amazing. Your recipes are easy to make and with easy to find ingredients. I have just been diagnosed with celiacs and your recipes have been a great help. I really want to make these energy bars, but I was told that I could not eat oats. I have looked for gluten free oats, but I live in Madrid, Spain and they are not available here! What could I substitute the oats for?? Thanks so much!

  6. […] home-made energy bars. On her Tasty Yummies blog, Beth says these Peanut Butter Road Trip Energy Bars are gluten-free with no refined […]

  7. Crystal says:

    I made this superb sweet treat and the whole family including the neighbors loved it!
    Really what a smart move to do your best to remove processed food from your diet, the key to sucess there is having a variety of foods on hand (including sweets like this) so when your hungry your awsome whole foods are as easily accessable as boxed or packaged food.
    This was enjoyed by my 4 year old and husband who loves almond joys!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Crystal – thanks so much, I am so glad to know all of your neighbors enjoyed the bars. I need to make some again this week, my hubby has been begging for them again!

  8. Bea says:

    Hi Beth, I just discovered your blog and I think it is amazing. Your recipes are easy to make and have easy to find ingredients. I have just been diagnosed with celiacs and your recipes have been a great help. I really want to make these energy bars, but I was told that I could not eat oats. I have looked for gluten free oats, but I live in Madrid, Spain and they are not available here! What could I substitute the oats for?? Thanks so much!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Bea, thank you so much! Hmm I would play around with other gluten-free grains and/or flours like some cooked quinoa or millet and/or flours like coconut flour or almond flour. I don’t think there will be an exact substitution per se, but I think with some playing around you could come up with something. I think if you can get it to hold together and press into the pan and not be too soft, you will be able to get it to work. Let me know if you make it work and thanks for checking out my blog.

      • Bea says:

        Thanks for suggestions! I have some quinoa flakes, maybe that will work. Like you say ill do some experimenting and let you know! Thanks again!

  9. catherine says:

    Can you recommend a sub for the banana? We are allergic to it (as well as latex because linked)…thx!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Catherine – you could maybe try using something like pureed pumpkin or sweet potato. You could also try applesauce or maybe something like shredded zucchini or carrots. Play around, it is a pretty forgiving recipe, I think. Doesn’t need exact measurements. Let me know if you play around with and what ends up working. Thanks.

  10. Portia says:

    These are in the oven right now and I’m standing here watching the timer do it’s countdown. My younger son and I were eating the “dough” and it was DELICIOUS! The smell is making my mouth water. It’s going to be a “treat before dinner” kind of night:-) One minute to go!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Portia – I am so glad to know I am not the only one that ate the “dough”. Just before I put them in the oven, I always wonder if I could just eat the dough and skip the baking so I could get the satisfaction sooner 🙂
      I hope you like them when they are baked just as much as you like the dough! I am hoping to post a new version of this recipe soon, with some spring time berries instead of the chocolate and peanut butter. Stay tuned!

  11. Daniella says:

    I just made these and they’re amazing! I used pumpkin seeds and dried cherries. I recommend heating the peanut butter and blending the banana and butter mixture before adding to the dry ingredients. They came out so good I think I’ll make another batch. Thank you for the recipe!

  12. Rebe says:

    Just made these for the first time – they’re awesome! Thanks for the recipe!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Rebe I am so so glad you liked them, I really need to make them again, I was just thinking about it this morning, too! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  13. […] Gluten Free Granola Bars (adapted from this […]

  14. emaliah82 says:

    Thank you for this absolutely delish recipe! I just made them an hour ago and me and my 10 month old are having a hard time staying out of them. LOL! 🙂

  15. […] These bars in some variation or another have become a road-trip staple around here. They are so quick to whip up and they are so sinfully delicious, it is hard to believe they are healthy. Here is the recipe. […]

  16. […] Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bars by Tasty Yummies […]

  17. Jen says:

    Just made these for second time. They are so good! They freeze really well too. I have a newborn and am always looking for healthy quick snacks! Thanks for the great recipe!

  18. Danielle says:

    I found this post on Pinterest, and made your recipe. It’s a keeper! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Laura says:

    These have become a staple in our house. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Joyce says:

    Wow! I have made these twice now… and they just keep getting better! Absolutely Love love love these! The combination is just perfect. Being that I don’t drink coffee, I used Pero, and they are FABULOUS! Thank you so so much!

  21. Patricia says:

    Maybe Chaz could use some soaked raisins or puréed prune?

  22. Patricia says:


  23. Heather says:

    Do you have a break down of the nutritional facts per serving?

  24. Joyce says:

    I have to keep coming back to repeat myself… I promise I won’t comment again… just have to say
    DANG THESE ARE SUPERB! It’s such a great recipe to tweak and change a bit too. I just made them with pumpkin seeds for the season. And… the hubby cannot go very long w/o asking me to make them again! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Beth @ Tasty Yummies says:

      haha I love how much you love this recipe Joyce!! Thank you so much!! That seriously makes me so so happy and I love the addition of the pumpkin seeds for the fall!! Perfect!

  25. Jack says:

    I had thought to make these, but I was wondering if it was possible to not bake them at all? Or maybe even cut way back on the baking? I’m hoping for bake-free, as fresh as possible kind of diet so these looked perfect.

  26. Rita says:

    Should the flax seed be ground or can I use whole seeds?

  27. Melissa says:

    would you have a recipe for healthy, delicious bars that do not require baking?
    thanks a million!

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