Looking for a gluten-free bar recipe that will satisfy the need for something sweet, but still deliver wholesome, nutritious ingredients? Look no further than these Chocolate Cherry Chia Oatmeal Bars!
These Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Chia Oatmeal Bars may look plain and rather boring, but they’re anything but! Yes, they’re oatmeal bars, but they’re chock full of dark chocolate chunks, sweet dried cherries, chia seeds and creamy peanut butter!
And with 4 grams of protein in one small square, you know these are more than just a sweet treat.
What’s better than peanut butter and chocolate? Peanut butter, chocolate and cherries in a healthy, wholesome gluten-free bar!
Even though these are made without oil, they have a soft tender texture. They still hold together beautifully. They are easy to cut into squares without crumbling, something that is often a fault of gluten-free baked goods.
These oatmeal squares are made with a generous amount of chia seeds, oat flour and sorghum flour. Honey adds a touch of sweetness. I added chunks of rich dark chocolate for texture and dried cherries to keep them interesting. And because chocolate and cherry go well with cardamom, I added a little of that, too.
You can change the mix-ins to whatever you happen to have in your pantry. With a reliable base like these bars have, you can be creative, switch the add-ins and still have a delicious result!
You can easily change the add-ins to these Chocolate Cherry Chia Oatmeal Bars.
- Substitute raisins, dried cranberries, or snipped dried apricots for the dried cherries.
- Use any type of chocolate chips or even white chocolate chunks. I chopped a bar of 85 % dark chocolate.
- Change the peanut butter to almond butter, if you prefer.
These gluten-free chia oatmeal bars are a healthy choice when you’re on the hunt for something sweet but don’t want empty calories. They’re great for morning coffee, afternoon tea, or to take care of that after dinner craving for something sweet. I froze them in an airtight container to save for hiking snacks and camping trips.
A note about oats.
Oats are naturally gluten-free. However, if they are processed in a facility that also processes wheat or other grains containing gluten, celiac sufferers are advised to choose certified gluten-free oats instead.
You don’t need to buy oat flour if you have a high-speed blender. Simply grind rolled oats into a fine flour!
Love that chocolate cherry combination?
Apparently I do, too. A quick search here on the blog turned up more!
- Gluten-Free Cherry Chocolate Skillet Cookie
- Chocolate Cherry Almond Energy Bites
- Chocolate Cherry Bliss Balls
- Last-Minute Cherry Almond Chocolate Bark
- Healthy Paleo Cashew Cherry Snack Bars
Chocolate Cherry Chia Oatmeal Bars
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup liquid honey
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup oat flour, certified gf, if necessary
- 1/4 cup sorghum flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats, certified gf, if necessary
- 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cardamom, optional
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate, or chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350°F. and grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Alternatively, line it with parchment paper. I find parchment paper works best when baking gluten-free products.
- Combine chia seeds and boiling water. Stir to ensure it is evenly mixed, as the seeds sometimes tend to clump together. Set aside. It will form a gel-like mass.
- In a medium bow, combine the peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, egg, water and chia seed mixture. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- In a large bowl, whisk the oat flour, sorghum flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom (if using). Add the cherries and chocolate and stir to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350°F. for 27 - 29 minutes. Do not overbake or bars will be dry. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. It should come out clean at the edges, but be slightly moist in the middle.
- Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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This recipe was adapted from Chocolate Chip and Raisin Oatmeal Squares found in Grain Power by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.