No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

This is my way of duplicating my favorite Lara Bar.  I figured they’re so simple with just a couple ingredients that I could just make my own.  There’s no sugar in these either, well except for the chocolate chips.  I like to keep them in the freezer and eat them cold.   Warning: these are addictive!

Makes about 20 squares or tablespoon size ball

Ingredients

20 dried dates, soaked in hot water 15-20 minutes

1/2 cup natural peanut butter, divided (no other ingredients except peanuts and salt!)

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Method

After soaking your dates they should be soft and pliable.  Add them to a food processor with half the peanut butter, and the cocoa.  Process until it’s all combined and smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining peanut butter, chopped peanuts, and chocolate chips.

You can either scoop tablespoon size amount of the mixture and roll into balls or take the mixture and press into a 1/4 inch thick disc on parchment paper.  Lay another piece of parchment and press on top so it is flat. Try a large cast iron skillet or just use your hands.  Chill in the freezer an hour or so.

Remove from freezer, with a knife trim edges so they’re straight (optional) and then cut into squares.  With the extra you’ve trimmed, you can roll into balls or just eat right then!

Store in the freezer.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Smooth and creamy chocolate mousse made vegan by using silken tofu as the base.  I like to think that since the tofu has protein it makes this even a bit healthy!

For the ingredients I recommend almond or soy milk.  Skip some of the others like rice milk which is too watery.  If you’re doing this totally vegan, look for vegan chocolate chips.  Regular semi-sweet chocolate chips typically contain some milk.  Most importantly, the best tofu is Mori-Nu silken tofu in firm or extra-firm (also comes in Lite).  This is the shelf stable silken tofu found with the Asian foods.  If you can’t find this there is sometimes a refrigerated silken tofu with all the other kinds of tofu but the package is bigger so the other ingredients need to be adjusted accordingly.

Now for the super easy recipe…

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Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients

1 package Mori-Nu Firm or Extra-Firm Silken Tofu

3/4 cup Almond Milk

1 cup Chocolate Chips

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Directions

Place almond milk and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat about 1 minute depending on your microwave.  Stir together until chocolate chips are dissolving in milk, you should now have a rich chocolate milk.  If necessary, heat a bit a longer.  Let the mixutre cool for a few minutes.

Add chocolate mixture, tofu, and vanilla to a food processor or blender and process until pureed.  This is important: taste the mixture to make sure you don’t a have a tofu taste since all brands are different.  If it’s not chocolaty enough you can melt some more chocolate chips and add it but don’t add any more milk or it won’t set properly.

Pour into 4-5 ramekins or small dishes.  It will set better this way than if it’s in one big bowl.  Chill 2-3 hours and it’s ready to eat!