Ward Off Halloween Candy with These No-Bake, Vegan Almond Butter Bars
It's that time of year. Everywhere I turn there's candy. Snickers, Butterfinger, Kit Kat! I love them all. But I've learned that I can't quite eat as much Halloween candy as I used to without suffering some kind of negative repercussion. Usually in the form of a muffin top.
Being that it isn't even October yet, I can't imagine what would happen if I (we) started indulging in all of these treats already. There is a time and place for that. That time and place is about four weeks away! Meanwhile, you can stare that candy in the face and pretty much gorge on these almond butter bars without feeling like crap. And yes, almond butter is high in fat, as are all nut butters, but I don't trip on that.
PS - These taste almost like a Kit Kat. Almost.
If you go out of your way, these can easily be gluten-free (yay!), which is what drew my attention in the first place when I saw them pinned (as peanut butter bars) on Pinterest. While I had every intention of going for the peanut butter flavor, I recently noticed peanut butter being (voluntarily) recalled by my favorite grocery store for salmonella. Yikes! So I decided to substitute with almond butter and almonds instead. (Note: Some almond butter has also been recalled; check with your store before using any nut butters.)
The above pin led me to the recipe on Whole Living. The following recipe is what I used for almond butter bars, but feel free to substitute peanuts and peanut butter instead.
Oil, for pan
1 1/2 cups gluten-free crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 Tbsp agave nectar
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp raw, unsalted almond butter
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Oil an 8-inch-square pan and set aside. Place cereal, coconut, and peanuts in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add agave nectar and 3/4 cup almond butter, pulsing until well combined. Using damp hands, firmly press the mixture into the prepared pan. Transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes, then remove.
Melt together chocolate chips and remaining 1 Tbsp almond butter. Stir until mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour melted chocolate mixture over cereal mixture, using a spoon to spread chocolate until evenly distributed. Freeze for 30 minutes or until chocolate is set, then slice. Store in refrigerator or a cool, dry place.