Day 20 OF 31 DAYS OF HEALTH PROMOTING & STRESS BUSTING IDEAS AND GIFTS FOR LOVED ONES: Sugar-Free Shortbread Crusted Peanut butter Chocolate Bars

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If you are a peanut butter and chocolate lover like me, AND you love a great short bread cookie – well I married them together and Voila! You’ve got Delicious Shortbread Crusted Peanut Butter & Chocolate Bars!

I modified this recipe from Holistic Nutritionist, Richelle Ludwig’s Sugar-Free Chocolate Mint Bars. It was all because I didn’t have coconut butter so I got inventive and used peanut butter and went from there! 😀 Thanks Richelle! Check out her site for more delicious recipes!

 

 Crust Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour

1/3 cup xylitol

6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1/2 tsp vanilla

 

 Peanut Butter & Chocolate Filling:

1 cup natural peanut butter, melted (organic preferred) – you can also substitute any other preferred nut butter here

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 drops liquid/ powdered stevia or natural sweetener of your choice (honey, coconut palm sugar – however these options will not make the recipe sugar-free, but they are still healthy options!)

1/2 cup cocoa powder – preferably raw and organic, but not necessary

1/4 tsp sea salt

Optional: Add 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder of your choice to increase the protein content (for this recipe I left it out).

 

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8×8 or 9×9 glass baking dish with parchment paper.

2) Combine crust ingredients and press into pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges start to brown lightly.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

3) Meanwhile, make the PB & Chocolate filling by putting all the ingredients in a food processor and turn on high until combined OR you can also stir by hand (which is what I did).

4) Pour the filling onto the cooled crust and place into the fridge so that it sets (I did this overnight, but you could also put it in the freezer and let it set there for an hour).

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Mmmm! Check out that peanut butter swirl effect going on in the corner there! ;D

5) When ready to serve, take it out of the freezer/fridge and cut into 16 squares. Sprinkle cinnamon on it for additional health benefits and a beautiful presentation before serving!

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I suggest keeping this stored in the fridge as the filling tends to melt at room temperature after a while.

Here’s my Everest Bear enjoying our new creation for breakfast! One bar is SUPER filling as it is highly concentrated with amazing healthy and satiating fats!  Even Everest could only eat one! Both my hubby and I ate it for breakfast as well and it provided that “feel good high” in our brains and kept us satiated til lunch! Yowza!  So a little goes a long ways!

See below for health benefits of this recipe

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Health Benefits

Almond Flour: an excellent source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that serves to protect cells against damaging free radicals and support immune function.

Coconut Oil:  contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis. It also strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Peanut Butter: When it comes to peanut butter, organic and natural is best because non-organic PB is high in toxins. The poly- and monounsaturated fats in PB lower your risk of developing heart disease by reducing the amount of harmful cholesterol in your bloodstream, and also prevent type 2 diabetes. PB is also has potassium, which helps your nerves function properly and aids in heart function. Peanut butter offers a small quantity of protein too. In addition, PB contains a specific compound that fights the effects of stressbeta-sitosterol! Yay for PB!!  

Cocoa Powder: packed full of antioxidant-rich phytonutrients, which help to stops the fire of free radicals our bodies generate and are exposed to every day. Includes the mineral copper which supports the oxygenation of red blood cells and aiding in cellular energy production. Also is the highest food in magnesium, which is a mineral that’s crucial for cardiovascular health, optimal blood pressure, and protein synthesis.

Xylitol:  looks and tastes like sugar but offers the opposite effects of white sugar! Xylitol is a prebiotic as it encourages good gut flora (i.e., helpful microorganisms that live in your digestive tract). Xylitol prevents bacterial growth, tooth decay and also helps to remineralize teeth that already have begun to decay. You can find this at Bulk Barn.

Sea Salt – Offers many vitamins and minerals. This site here sums it all up nicely!

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