Gluten free, refined sugar free and bursting with the yummy goodness of puffed rice, nuts and seeds, dried fruit, honey and nut butter. These are the perfect bars to have as a pre or post-workout snack or just whenever!
Who remembers LCM’s?
Yes, those deliciously addictive, sweet and crunchy rice-based bars that almost every kid at school had. Except for me. Hah!
Back in the day I always longed to sink my lips (lips?! ….that doesn’t make any sense) teeth into one of those sweet, sweet bars just so I could see what they tasted like, but whenever I nagged my mum (which I think only occurred twice) to buy my sister and I some she would always reply with a persistent no.
Looking back now though, I understand why she said no…..those bars are certainly not the best snack a growing girl should be eating! Full of sugar and fat, plus heaps of other things I can’t pronounce. Just look at the ingredients list: Rice Bubbles® (41%)(whole white rice, sugar, salt, barley malt extract), glucose, fructose, hydrogenated soyabean oil (antioxidants [304, 307b]), sugar, glucose solids, invert sugar, humectant (glycerol), gelatin, flavour, salt, emulsifiers (472e, 472a), skim milk powder.
WOW. Thank you mum! Who cares anyway…..she made a pretty mean raspberry and chocolate muffin instead, which was so good I completely forgot about the stupid LCM bar for another day.
Anyway, the point of this nostalgic story is simply that these bars remind me so much of LCM’s. Although they’re about 10x healthier and probably much more tastier too. To be honest the only ingredient these two bars have in common is the puffed rice but I think I’ll keep it at that.
No-bake GF Muesli Bars
Makes roughly 30 small squares
- 2 ½ cups puffed rice
- ¼ cup almonds*
- ¼ cup peanuts
- ¼ cup pepita (pumpkin) seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- About 7 medjool dates, chopped (3/4 cup)*
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
- ½ cup nut butter**
- ½ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line a 28cm x 18cm baking pan with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients (except the nut butter and honey) and mix to combine.
- Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add the nut butter and honey. Stir the mixture until it is fully combined and melted. There should be no lumps. Add in the vanilla extract and stir until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture (puffed rice) and mix thoroughly until the dry mixture is completely covered in the wet mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the baking pan and spread evenly.
- Freeze pan for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and cut into pieces.
- Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Recipe adapted from The Worktop
- *You can swap and change with whatever kind of nuts and dried fruit you have but I really recommend using almonds and medjool dates.
- **You can use whatever kind of nut butter you like. I used peanut butter just because that was all I had in the pantry but the original recipe called for almond butter.
So lets talk about puffed rice. Never heard of it before? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago. That was until my mum and I came across this really cool health food grocer called The Angry Almond, which sells bulk health food products, dried fruit, beans and pulses, plus oats and heaps of other good stuff. And it’s actually a really reasonable price! Win!
So anyway, whilst we were perusing the aisles I came across some puffed rice. I had never seen nor heard of it before but I just knew I had to buy it. And so I did. Then after that, it kind of got left in the back of the pantry for a few weeks before I finally decided to get it out and do some research to find out what I could make with it. That’s when I saw Tina’s recipe for Healthy No-bake Puffed Cereal Bars and I just knew I had to give it a go.
And you can guess what happened from there…..
Bye for now, whilst I just chow down on half the batch.