Chocolate Cherry Oat Bars {Gluten Free & Vegan}

Chocolate Cherry Oat Bars are the perfect holiday dessert to indulge in without feeling guilty. The bars are gluten free, dairy free, nut free and free from refined sugar, so enjoy!

Thanks to SunButter for sponsoring this post. All opinions are always my own.

Enjoy these chocolate cherry oat bars at your next party. Indulge in this dessert that is free from the top 8 allergens. It's gluten free, vegan and free from refined sugar. | TastingPage

Who's ready for the holidays? I'm not exactly there yet. There's still gifts to buy and there was some decorating that was supposed to happen at one point, but hasn't. Last weekend, I did make it to a holiday party with some of my fellow food bloggers. It's an annual cookie and cookbook swap where we bring old cookbooks to exchange, along with a sweet treat. My dessert contribution were these chocolate cherry oat bars.

Chocolate Cherry Oat Bars.jpg

This event is a sea of chocolatey, pepperminty desserts, of which, I usually only eat a small percentage due to the gluten and sugar content. Being such a clean eater now, my body really reacts to even the smallest amount of processed ingredients. I get headaches, queasiness and basically a big ol' hangover. Luckily there are ways to indulge the sweet tooth, without having to move into a food coma after.

This chocolate cherry oat bar recipe is free from the top 8 allergens - milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. I know you breathed a sigh of relief that there's no shrimp in these bars :-)

I used gluten free oats as the base, dates and coconut for some natural sweetness, and the magic binder is my favorite sunflower seed butter, SunButter. I've written about how SunButter is one of my pantry staples and I used it on my tahini cucumber roll-ups and nut free Thai chicken salad. I also just love it straight up with some celery for a snack.

Those with nut allergies or those who simply want to switch up their peanut butter rut, should check out SunButter. There's also the mold factor with peanuts storage in warm silos that I like to avoid, so sunflower seed butter is my choice.

These oat bars are super easy to make and full of different options. Remove the top chocolate layer and eat them for breakfast. Or don't remove it, and still eat them for breakfast. Cacao is after all an antioxidant powerhouse, with great iron, magnesium and calcium. Cherries not your jam? Use raisins or chocolate chips. Make it work for you so you can have a happy and healthy holiday!

Chocolate Cherry Oat Bars (Gluten Free & Vegan)

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups gluten free oats
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup SunButter (I used organic)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3 ounces dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces vegan dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Place the dates, oats, coconut, SunButter, vanilla, salt and oil in a food processor fitted with the S blade and pulse until combined. You may need to stop a few times and scrape down the sides until it's fully mixed. Stir in the cherries.
  2. Line an 8 x 8 glass pyrex dish with enough parchment that it extends a few inches on each side. Take the oat mixture and push it flat into the dish. You can fold in the parchment to give it a good, even push down.
  3. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a double boiler and heat until melted. Pour the melted chocolate on top of the oats. Use a spatula to create a thin even layer on top. Put the dish in the refrigerator and allow to set, about an hour. Once the chocolate is firm, pull the parchment up and use a sharp knife to create 16 squares. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week, or freeze for up to one month.

Thanks to SunButter for sponsoring this post. All opinions are always my own.

Want Other Healthy Dessert Options?