A gluten-free bar recipe that will satisfy the need for something sweet, but still deliver wholesome, nutritious ingredients. These Chocolate Cherry Chia Oatmeal Bars are a healthy choice when you want something sweet but don't want empty calories. Great for morning coffee, tea, or an after-dinner treat. Freeze for lunch box snacks.
Heat oven to 350°F. and grease either an 8-inch square baking pan or a 9-inch square 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 bowl combine the peanut butter, honey, sugar, egg, and water. Add the softened chia seeds and stir thoroughly to combine. Check to make sure there are no lumps of chia seeds.
In a large bowl, whisk the oat flour, sorghum flour, baking powder, baking soda, rolled oats and cardamom (if using). Add the cherries and most of the chocolate and stir to combine. Save a few chocolate chips for sprinkling on top before baking.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350°F. A 9-inch square pan will take 27 - 29 minutes, and an 8-inch square pan may take a minute or two longer.Do not overbake or bars will be dry. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. The toothpick should come out clean at the edges of the bars, but be slightly moist in the middle of the pan.
Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
If desired, add a drizzle of melted chocolate and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to the bars. Melt ¼ cup chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of milk (any kind). Stir thoroughly to combine, then drizzle on cooled bars. Add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
You can easily make your own oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a high speed blender. If you don't have quick-cooking rolled oats on hand, pulse old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender a few times.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.