Cheerfully crunchy cereal bars (GF)

My friend Jen introduced my to this tasty recipe for crunchy cereal bars – they’re perfect for bringing in your lunch, they’re packed with peanut buttery goodness, and best of all, you can customise them to suit your taste, mood and dietary affectations. I replaced the wheat germ in the original recipe with ground almonds, so this recipe is 100% gluten-free. That said, the bars aren’t quite as firm as they might be, but they still pack a tasty punch!

What you’ll need

1/3 cup (100g) toasted sesame seeds (the toasting is optional if you’re short on time or energy)
1 1/2 cups (40g) crisp rice cereal (if you’re going gluten-free, makes sure your cereal is as well)
1 generous cup (340g) cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup (100g) sunflower seeds
3/4 cup (150g) chopped dates or currants
3/4 cup (110g) chocolate chips
3/4 cup (60g) ground almonds (or wheat germ)
1/3 cup (60g) finely chopped walnuts or pine nuts
1/3 cup (120g) honey

What to do

Begin by greasing the bottom and sides of a 9″x12″ pan or glass dish. Sprinkle half of your sesame seeds across the bottom of the bottom of the dish and set aside.

In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (excluding your remaining sesame seeds) and mix by hand.

I used raisins and chocolate chips in my bars (which I can confidently recommend, but I have the urge to experiment with dried cranberries, apricots and white chocolate. This is definitely the the time to make these bars your own, so go nuts (that is, if you’re into nuts…)!

Once you’re happy with your mixture, press it firmly into your greased dish, sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds on top, and press them into the mixture – I found the rounded side of a spoon to be remarkably effective for this purpose.

After this, pop your dish into the fridge, and once firm, slice your bars into individual pieces. Following this, I wrapped my bars in cling film and froze them, and they thawed with no trouble whatsoever. My only other tip (for those using ground almonds) is to keep your bars chilled for as long as possible to keep them firm.

Other than that, enjoy!

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