Cereal bars sound like such a nice idea – a quick way to grab a healthy breakfast on the way out the door. But have you seen some of what’s being sold as cereal bars in stores? There’s quite a bit of non-food masquerading as actual breakfast food these days.
The good news is, it’s pretty darned easy to make your own cereal or granola bars, using whatever’s in your pantry. In fact, you can even think of it as a pantry-cleaning effort. It will help you use up those half-eaten boxes of crispy brown rice, rice puffs, granola, or whatever else you have on hand.
Added benefits: You can toss in whatever fruits or nuts you desire. You can cut them as big or as small as you like. Oh, and you can wrap them up, all pretty-like, if you want to share some with friends.
Crispy Honey-Almond Cereal Bars
Crispy Honey-Almond Cereal Bars
Delicious, crispy, and healthy cereal bars that the kids can help you make
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup puffed rice cereal (or other crispy cereal)
- 1 cup crispy brown rice cereal (or other crispy cereal)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (we used a mixture of cranberries and blueberries)
- 1 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tbsp real maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- kosher salt for garnish (optional)
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, cereals, and dried fruits. Set aside.
Put the slivered almonds into a food processor and process to a fine powder. Gradually add the oil until clumps begin to form and it takes on the consistency of almond butter. Add the honey, maple syrup, and vanilla, and process until smooth.
Pour the almond mixture into the bowl with the cereal mixture and stir to combine (it will be very sticky). (This is a great job for keeping a kid occupied for a while.)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 x 11-inch pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray or oil. Press the mixture (another good kid job) in the pan until flat and even. Sprinkle with a small amount of kosher salt if you like a salty/sweet bar.
Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes until slicing.
When you are ready to slice, use the parchment paper to remove the entire sheet of bars from the pan, and then cut then into clean pieces using a long, sharp knife. Store in a tightly sealed container to keep them crispy.
These bars also have another characteristic that we always look for in a good recipe. They’re extremely kid-friendly, in terms of kids helping in the kitchen. Stirring that sticky, sticky almond mixture is a job that takes some time and determination. If you have just the right kid helping you out, it’s the perfect fit.
At the time we made these, we also had some of our littlest buddies in the kitchen. Even the tiniest helpers can come in handy when you need someone to pat down this sticky mixture. (Just make sure to wash hands before – and after.)
Now you have an easy, healthy snack. And the kids are more likely to eat them because they have pride of workmanship. A perfect combination!
Like it? Pin it!
P.S. Looking for another tasty grab-and-go snack? Try this Hatch Chile Coriander Popcorn.