These little bites of heaven are gluten free and refined sugar free. They’re no bake and come together in minutes, giving you the classic peanut butter and jelly flavor with a delicious streusel topping. YUM!
My youngest son is obsessed with peanut butter and jelly. And when I say obsessed I mean he asks for one for breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers, you name it. I can even remember the first time he had one, how his eyes lit up and his life was forever changed. Seriously, the obsession is REAL. So naturally, these healthy no-bake peanut butter and jelly bars were easily inspired by him.
My oldest son, couldn’t care less about peanut butter and jelly. Until now.
We’re still on lock down over here for the coronavirus pandemic and my mind is constantly spinning with activities and recipes to keep these boys occupied. These bars were so incredibly easy to throw together, and my boys loved helping. Honestly, the hardest part is waiting for them to set in the freezer! Well….. that and trying to contain yourself from eating the entire pan as one serving.
These peanut butter and jelly bars are made up of three layers:
First (Top) Layer - the peanut butter layer. This scrumptious base is made up of peanut butter (duh), ground oats, grass-fed butter, coconut flour, vanilla and slightly sweetened with pure maple syrup. So good, right?!
Second Layer - this layer is way too simple but arguably the most important. The jelly layer is made up simply of jelly, how easy is that?
Third (Top) Layer - The gluten free and refined sugar free streusel topping: ground oats, grass fed butter, coconut flour, pure maple syrup, and vanilla. And TRY not to eat it by the spoonful before it makes it onto these bars.
As you can see, these babies are made up of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry right now!
Gluten Free Oats
Peanut Butter - I prefer to use peanut butter with the only ingredient being peanuts, this is no place for additives or sugar snuck in! In addition, I used creamy but feel free to use crunchy if that’s more your jam (see what I did there?).
Jelly - Again I prefer to use organic brands that don’t include any additives for extra sugars. Go for your favorite flavor here! We used strawberry but, raspberry or grape would be delicious as well!
Pure Maple Syrup
These Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars honestly couldn’t be easier to make. As I said, my kids loved helping out! I started out by lining a 9x9in pan with parchment paper to make for easier removal and cutting.
Pro tip: crumple up the parchment paper into a ball prior to placing and it makes it easier to fit into all the nooks and crannies of the pan.
To start, you’ll want to place all of the oats in a food processor and pulse until ground. It doesn’t have to be super fine, this is more of a personal preference.
Next, add 2 cups of the ground oats to a medium sized bowl, along with 1 c peanut butter, ½ c melted butter, ½ c maple syrup, 2 tbsp coconut flour, and 1 tsp vanilla. You can definitely have the kids go at it stirring this with a rubber spatula, OR you can quickly use a handheld mixer to mix until well combined and THEN give your kids the beaters to eat every last bit off of. This should also distract them for about ten minutes!
After your peanut butter mixture is well combined, spread it evenly in your parchment paper prepared pan. Place the pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up.
Take the pan out of the freezer and using an offset spatula or spoon, evenly top your peanut butter layer with 1 cup of jelly. Then, back into the freezer while you make the streusel.
Did I mention this is a one bowl recipe?
Because I hate creating a delicious recipe and then having a sink full of dishes to do, I always try to use as few as possible! For this, I used the same bowl I made the peanut butter base in (pre-rinsing or washing!). Add the remainder of the oats (1 ½ c), 3 tbsp melted butter, ¼ c maple syrup, ⅓ cup coconut flour, 2 tsp vanilla. Using a fork, mix everything together allowing for the amazing streusel crumbles to form.
Again, remove your pan from the freezer, and using your hands evenly distribute the streusel over the top of the jelly, breaking it up between your fingers and thumb as needed. Gently press the streusel into the jelly.
Then, back into the freezer for about 20 more minutes before removing the parchment paper and slicing into 12-16 bars!
These store fine in the fridge but I have found that they store BEST in an airtight container in the freezer, My kids ate them directly from the freezer as the fat content won’t allow them to freeze solid, but you can leave out for 5-10 minutes to slightly soften before serving, if desired.
Yes, you read that right! You can easily create a paleo version of these bars paleo with a few simple swaps.
Oats for Almond Flour - Same amount and you can omit the step of processing the oats!
Peanut butter for Almond Butter - Still incredibly yummy!
Grass Fed Butter for Coconut Oil - this swap is only necessary if you can’t tolerate any dairy. Small amounts of high quality grass fed butter is a great addition to a paleo diet, if your body can tolerate dairy.
That’s it friends! Good luck keeping these from disappearing in minutes!
Be sure to tag me on instagram @cateandcokitchen if you make these healthy no-bake peanut butter and jelly bars!
P.S. If you're looking for more delicious bars to make, try out these paleo magic cookie bars!
[lt_recipe name="Healthy No-bake Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars" servings="12-16 Bars" prep_time="20M" cook_time="0M" total_time="20M-40M WITH CHILL TIME" difficulty="Easy" summary="Delicious and healthy no-bake bars that are gluten-free and refined-sugar free. The perfect quick breakfast or healthy snack!" print="yes" image="https://cateandcokitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/PB-J-2-236x300.jpg" ingredients="Peanut Butter Base Layer;2 c ground gluten free oats;1 c peanut butter, creamy or crunchy;½ c pure maple syrup;½ c grass-fed butter, melted;2 tbsp coconut flour;1 tsp vanilla;Jelly Layer;1 c Jelly, your favorite flavor;Streusel Topping;1 ½ c ground gluten free oats;3 tbsp grass-fed butter, melted;¼ c pure maple syrup;⅓ c coconut flour;2 tsp vanilla" ]Add all 3 ½ cups gluten free oats to a food processor and pulse until ground, either course or finely ground is fine.;Prepare a 9x9in pan by lining with parchment paper.;In a medium sized bowl add oats, peanut butter, maple syrup, butter, coconut flour and vanilla for the peanut butter layer and combine well with a hand mixer or spoon.;Spread peanut butter mixture evenly in pan and place in the freezer for approx 10 minutes.;Remove from freezer and spread jelly evenly on top of peanut butter layer.;Return the pan to freezer.;In the same medium sized bowl, add all ingredients for the streusel topping.;Use a fork to mix until crumbles form.;Remove pan from freezer and evenly distribute the streusel topping over the jelly, breaking up the crumbles with your fingers as needed and then gently press into the jelly.;Allow the bars to chill in the freezer for 10-20 more minutes before removing and slicing into 12-16 bars.;These bars are best stored in an airtight container in the freezer.;Enjoy! [/lt_recipe]