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Chocolate peanut butter treats: recipe modifications and fun in the kitchen with Kam Bezdek


As many of you may have experienced yourselves, I recently came across a few new challenges in my daily life. Mainly, these came in the form of dietary restrictions. No, I’m not embarking on a bread-free-sugar-free-everything-free diet in the name of becoming a health queen– I need to avoid foods for medical reasons for the time being. No longer am I able to enjoy ample amounts of gluten and dairy, and as a result, the holiday season approaches with the temptations of the many treats I can no longer enjoy (maybe every once in a while, but certainly not on a regular basis).

I’m on a quest to discover baked goods and try new foods that I can enjoy creating, eating, and sharing with my friends and family. I’ve been doing some recipe research and have made a list of potential treats I want to try, but since we are still in Fall, I thought I would stick to one of my all-time favorite combinations: chocolate and peanut butter. 

This combination, straight-up, can have some gluten and dairy implications depending on the brand of ingredients or the factory they were made in, so store-bought isn’t always a great solution. Luckily, my Google searches led me to High Carb Hannah’s website of recipes and vegan inspiration. 

Just as a note, she does promote weight-loss on her website which might be triggering to some, and she has counts for all the macronutrients on her page. I recognize how this can be problematic for some. I am not advocating for that aspect of the bars, but rather, I just liked the idea of making my own chocolate-peanut butter-coconut bars, so I ignored the weight-loss segments and downloaded her recipe. The correct title was “Caramel Coconut Bars,” but the ingredients included both chocolate and peanut butter, so I went for it anyways.

What I loved about this recipe is that, because I made it myself, I could absolutely customize the bars to whatever I wanted. My family doesn’t enjoy coconut like I do, so I got rid of those and added chocolate chips instead. I could also source all of my own ingredients, so I used gluten-free oats, a peanut butter brand I trust, and dairy-free chocolate from Lily’s. I also did not have puffed quinoa on hand, so I just added another half-cup of gluten-free oats. It all turned out good in the end, so these replacements didn’t matter too much. 

Now when I say this was fun, it was FUN. This recipe is not necessarily messy, but per usual, I made it that way–I loved getting my hands covered in peanut butter powder, pressing it into my pan, watching the dates mix into my food processor. It was really enjoyable to have an end product I made myself, especially one which I could then share with my family. The fog coming from my pan as I pulled it from the freezer was also just cool to look at– I felt as though I was pulling some sort of magic out, only missing the doves and an “abracadabra.”

The taste was also pretty good– the dates actually made a decent replacement for caramel, and although nothing could beat the original in my own opinion, I thought they were a creative way to include all sorts of dietary restrictions in one recipe. It is also super adjustable- if you hate coconut, don’t use it. If you want white chocolate, add that instead. Throw some peppermint or nuts on the top. You do you! Anything could probably be accommodated since you don’t actually heat them up.

So overall, I recommend trying this for yourself. You’d be able to really fill it with everything you love and can eat, and even make it for your family to share! Although admittedly, I was a little upset that I couldn’t save them all for myself.

Featured Image courtesy of Kam Bezdek

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Chocolate peanut butter treats: recipe modifications and fun in the kitchen with Kam Bezdek