Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars

For months we prepared to move our family and for months I planned just what life would be like. Everything would go smoothly, our bags would arrive, our apartment would be ready to go. In a day or two I’d have a phone and internet.  I would go shopping daily in the market and prepare meals that I knew we enjoyed. I would easily slide into life, it really wouldn’t be that different than what we were used to.

But, then I found out I was wrong.

So the first week wasn’t what I envisioned at all.  I was depressed.  I wanted to be alone, to have my space and digest what I had just gotten myself into. I really didn’t eat much, nothing tasted good to me. Even if I wanted to make something I was out of luck. No pots, no pans, no spoons, or forks. While I’ll admit it wasn’t terrible having someone else cook, my diet has changed so much I found a lot of things I just couldn’t eat.

In the midst of my depression, because yes that’s what it was, I knew there had to be something that would help. Emotional eating is usually not a good thing but in this instance I felt it was warranted.
Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
So when there’s a hodge podge of cooking implements and a freezer what do you do? Well you make chocolate no bake bars of course! I knew I could get a little nutrient boost from oatmeal and even though it looks like there’s a lot of chocolate here, it really wasn’t that much. I really want to share the recipe with you but here’s the thing – I didn’t measure it but I estimated. I’ve made them twice now never measuring. They came out a little different but delicious no matter what.

I melted about 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a pan on medium heat, stirring until I’d made a thick syrup (caramel would be delicious too!). In another pan I melted 1/2 cup of butter, with about 4 ounces of milk chocolate, and 3/4 cup of peanut butter. Once it was completely melted a teaspoon of vanilla, and the syrup.

How much oats (gluten-free variety!) do you use? Enough to hold together all of the wet ingredients. Add some nuts or coconut if you like. Then pour into a greased 8×8 pan and spread flat. You might want to eat a spoonful just to check. Finally slide it into your freezer to firm up. Once the bars are frozen they can be cut and stored individually in the freezer or refrigerator.

So now when I’m feeling a little lonely and just a little homesick, I know what’s waiting for me in the freezer to make it just a little bit easier.


  1. Chris Carrieri says:

    Hi Amanda, I have been following your story for a while now… I have a man(zawjati) in Ouled Said, Morocco… waiting for his Visa… which is going on 2 and 1/2 years now, so Your story intrigues me. I feel your pain about being depressed… my last visit to see Khalid and his family was a long 3 and 1/2 weeks…. there is not much an American woman can do in a small village of Islam people. I was basiclly confined to the home and outdoor yard… no shower, no toilet, no american food or chance to get any.. Each time I visited, I had problems with the water and some of the spices in the food. It was not fun.. we ate the same foods over and over again. And I know you know how much bread they eat, and I can’t eat gluten, so needless to say I gained 10 lbs because everything they make is with flour…
    Seeing how they live makes me appreciate the US… and everything we have that the poor people in these small villages do not have.. that is why I am excited to see what you have to post… and enjoy reading yor stories… Not sure when or IF I am going back…. His first interview … the papers were sent back to USCIS and we have been waiting 18 months now to hear something postivie.. they will not give us anymore info but to wait…
    I wish you luck and i’m sure you will probably get use to the situation… Do you have a choice? do you plan on ever coming back to US??? wish you well!

  2. I’m not familiar with your backstory but I’m sorry to hear that life isn’t great for you at the moment. I hope things improve soon. These bars look fab and I bet they taste amazing, too.

    • Amanda Mouttaki says:

      Thanks for your kind words! Just adjustment issues – we recently moved from the US to Morocco. I’m making another pan of these today!

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