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just better.® Recipe of the Week: Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat Squares

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Welcome to this week’s just better.® Recipe of the Week! Following our recent exploration into Mental Health Meal Planning: A Thoughtful Approach, we're excited to bring you a snack that's not only tasty but also brain-boosting. 

Our Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat Squares are the perfect blend of hearty and sweet, ready to satisfy those snack cravings while actively supporting your mental health. 

Why focus on smart snacking? Because the snacks we choose play a crucial role in our daily energy levels, mood stability, and overall brain health. By selecting ingredients that are both nutritious and delicious, we can turn a simple snack into a powerful tool for mental wellness. 

Let’s look closer at how just better.® Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat Squares can help support smart snacking choices! 

Three pictures: Pic 1: Bowl of dry oats. Pic 2: A small pile of walnuts, some in a shell, some partially in the shell, and one out of the shell. Pic 3: Dark chocolate chunks stacked together with some shavings in the foreground.


Rich in Beta-Glucans: Oats are not only an excellent source of soluble fiber but are particularly rich in beta-glucans. These special fibers have been shown to support a healthy immune system and contribute to a healthy gut microbiome, which is essential for the gut-brain connection. 

Fiber Benefits: Oats' high fiber content helps promote digestive health by maintaining a balanced gut environment. This balance is crucial for mental health, as a healthy gut can influence the production and function of neurotransmitters linked to mood and cognitive functions.

Blood Sugar Stability: Oats contain slow-releasing carbohydrates that help stabilize blood glucose levels. By preventing sudden spikes and dips in blood sugar, oats can help manage mood swings and maintain mental focus throughout the day. This steady energy supply is vital for brain function and emotional equilibrium.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Walnuts are an exceptional plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These essential fats are crucial for maintaining brain health, as they contribute to the structural integrity of neural membranes and support neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to adapt and form new connections.

Mood Enhancement: Regular consumption of walnuts has been associated with improved mood states. This is likely due to their omega-3 content, which can help regulate neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are essential for mood stabilization and emotional well-being. Additionally, walnuts' anti-inflammatory properties may also play a role in balancing mood disorders.

70% Dark Chocolate

Rich in Flavonoids: Dark chocolate, 70% or higher, is a powerful source of flavonoids, potent antioxidants that play a significant role in brain health. These compounds have been demonstrated to enhance cognitive function, memory, and the ability to learn. Additionally, flavonoids support cerebral blood flow, which can improve mood and protect against age-related mental decline.

Natural Stress Reliever: Dark chocolate is well-known for its mood-enhancing properties, largely because it can influence the body’s stress hormones, such as cortisol. A serving of dark chocolate releases endorphins, the body's natural "feel-good" chemicals, thereby promoting a sense of relaxation and well-being. This effect is compounded by the presence of magnesium in chocolate, which can further help to alleviate stress and anxiety. 🍫 🥰

A kitchen countertop with all the ingredients for the Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat Squares.

just better.® Prebiotic Fiber

Supports Digestive Wellness: just better.® Prebiotic Fiber plays a crucial role in nourishing and fostering the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. A healthy and diverse gut microbiota is not only essential for optimal digestive health but also has profound impacts on mental well-being. By enhancing the gut-brain axis, our prebiotic fiber helps ensure that your mental health benefits from your gut’s health.

Enhances Satiety and Mood Stability: Incorporating just better.® Fiber in your meal plan helps maintain a feeling of fullness for longer periods, which is beneficial for healthy weight management. This sustained satiety helps prevent rapid spikes and dips in blood sugar levels, which are often associated with mood fluctuations. Stable blood sugar levels contribute to more consistent energy levels and mood, helping you feel balanced throughout the day. 

A kitchen countertop with all the ingredients for the Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat Squares.

just better.® Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat Squares

Ingredient List

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup organic 70% dark chocolate chips (¼ cup reserved for drizzle)

¾ cup crushed walnuts

4 Tablespoons just better.® Prebiotic Fiber

1 medium ripe organic banana, mashed

½ cup unsweetened organic applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

Pinch of salt


Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, dark chocolate chips, crushed walnuts, and a pinch of salt.

Combine Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, blend the mashed banana, unsweetened applesauce, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add just better.® Prebiotic Fiber and blend well. 

Combine Mixtures: Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until everything is evenly moistened and sticks together when pressed.

Press and Chill: Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Transfer the mixture to the pan, pressing it firmly into place. 

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours until the squares are set. 

A kitchen countertop with the Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat Squares and the chocolate drizzle.

Dark Chocolate Drizzle 


Reserved dark chocolate chips (about ¼ cup)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Directions for Chocolate Drizzle:

Melt the Chocolate: Combine the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-30 second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and coconut oil together using a double boiler on the stove.

Prepare for Drizzling: Once melted and smooth, let the chocolate mixture cool slightly, just so it’s still liquid but not too hot. This will make the drizzling process easier and prevent the squares from softening too much when you apply the chocolate.

Drizzle Over Squares: Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate mixture over your chilled oat squares. You can create any pattern you like—zigzag lines or swirls—or simply pour it over with a light hand for a more rustic look.

Set the Chocolate: Return the squares to the refrigerator for a few minutes to allow the chocolate drizzle to set.

This chocolate drizzle will add a touch of elegance and a flavor boost to your oat squares, making them even more irresistible!

Slice and Serve: Using the parchment paper, remove the set mixture from the pan, place it on a cutting board, and cut it into squares. 


Our Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat Squares are more than a tasty treat; they’re a smart way to support your mental health with every delicious bite. 

Whether you’re looking for a midday pick-me-up or a nutritious snack option, these squares are sure to delight both your taste buds and your brain.

We’d love to see how you make your just better.® meals, drinks, and snacks! Share your recipes with us; we’d love to feature your dish in our Recipe of The Week section! Let’s get creative in the kitchen! Make everything fiber-rich! Live… just better.®

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