Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Tahini Bars

by Susan on June 7, 2017

It’s been almost 10 weeks since I broke my right foot, and all this time away from the grocery store has had an emotional toll on me. Yes, I’m serious. For example, I had absolutely no idea that Trader Joe’s sells tahini in 10 oz. jars as opposed to the massive 15 oz. tin I usually buy. That’s 5 oz. is HUGE, considering I always wind up with half a container leftover after I make homemade hummus or tahini salad dressing.

Once I’m fully back on the road, I am likely going to opt for the smaller container (one of my Facebook friends even turned me on to tahini in a squeezable bottle! How cool is that?). In the meantime, however, I wanted to find a use for a half-full tin of tahini and decided to take a stab at using it in a sweet treat.

I adapted this recipe from The Healthy Maven, who uses ground oats in lieu of flour to make the bars gluten-free. While she used maple syrup I opted for palm sugar, as I love the way the caramel-like flavor works in cookie recipes. Otherwise I made the recipe as written, and loved how they turned out. My husband is not a nut butter fan, and when he first tried them thought they were made with peanut butter. After he took a couple of bites, however, he fell in love. The tahini adds a certain nutty flavor that works really well with the sweetness and chocolate.

I don’t personally eat oats and grains often, so I’m debating trying this out with almond and/or coconut flour (I’d prefer to do the latter to keep the recipe nut-free). If you don’t have tahini or love nuts, these would definitely work with almond or peanut butter subbed in for the tahini. You could also use any natural sweetener and sub butter for the coconut oil if that’s more your speed.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Tahini Bars
adapted from The Healthy Maven

1 cup oat flour (rolled oats ground in a food processor or blender until fine)
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup palm sugar, pure maple syrup or other natural sweetener
1/2 cup unsweetened tahini (make sure oil is well mixed in)
2 tbs. coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan with coconut oil and line with parchment paper so that it overlaps on two ends (for easy removal). In a large bowl combine oat flour, baking powder and sea salt. Add in sweetener, tahini, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla.

Stir until well-combined. Add in chocolate chips.

Spread out into prepared baking pan and bake for 20-25 mins or until edges are browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Wait 20 mins before using the parchment to remove, and cut into 12 squares. These will keep best in the refrigerator to remain firm.

 

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