Chocolate Pecan BarsThese rich, chewy no-bake bars are perfect for a chocolate fix. They’re full of healthy fats and anti-oxidants, and easy enough for kids to make. Chipotle powder and smoked salt give them an unexpected depth.

When my health-care practitioner recommended that I get off processed sugar in 2006, this recipe saved me. (Yes, technically honey and agave syrups are sugar, but in small amounts I don’t get inflammation symptoms from them.) I make a pan of these, cut into small pieces, freeze them, and then pull one out when I need a hit of chocolate. They’re so rich and satisfying that one or two really does the trick. The recipe is very adaptable, see the notes below.

Suitable for:
vegan, gluten-free, low-sodium, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:
migraine diets

Chocolate Pecan Bars

Chocolate Pecan Bars

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 28 bars

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup maple, brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter nut butter (125 g)
  • 4 ounces baking chocolate unsweetened
  • 2 cups puffed cereal rice, millet (60 g)
  • 1 cup pecans chopped, pistachios, walnuts (250 g)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp smoked salt (omit for low-sodium diet)

Instructions
 

  • Chop the nuts and set aside. Measure out the cereal and set aside. Using butter, margarine, or coconut oil/butter, grease a rectangular baking pan. About 8 X 12 inches works well.
  • To create a double-boiler, simply put a couple of inches of water in a saucepan and bring to nearly boiling, then turn down to a simmer. Put a metal bowl or pan on top, so that it fits in reasonably securely. You'll get better results from your chocolate this way. Here's a link for more on working with chocolate.
  • Melt the nut butter, honey and syrup in the double boiler.
  • Stir until completely smooth and add in the chipotle powder if using.
  • Add the chocolate, stirring until it is completely melted. Take off the heat immediately, stir in the nuts and cereal, and press into the prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with smoked salt or sea salt (if using).
  • Put the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then cut the bars into squares. They are much easier to cut if not fully set. I cut them 4 across by 7, yielding 28 pieces at about 100 calories per square. Refrigerate another 30 minutes, then you can serve, wrap, or freeze. These are best stored in the refrigerator, as they get melty fairly quickly.

Notes

Per bar:
  • 132 calories
  • 10 g fat
  • 3 g saturated fat
  • 3 g monounsaturated fat
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 95 mg sodium (17 mg sodium with salt omitted)
  • 39 mg potassium
  • 12 g carbohydrate
  • 2 g fiber
  • 8 g sugars
  • 3 g protein
  • 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus
You can use any type of nuts. My favorite is pecans. You can use any kind of nut butter. I often use cashew butter, but sunflower seed butter works well too. If you don't eat honey, you can make this recipe with only syrup, but know that it will not firm up as much. I have tried a variety of gluten-free puffed cereals, but I like it best with naturally-sweetened crispy rice.
Required FTC disclosure: I used Old Hickory Smoked Salt, which was sent as a gift from the Spice Islands company for testing. It added an amazing, dare-I-say-it?, gourmet flavor to these already decadent treats.