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Creative No Bake Chewy Granola Bars

What you need: 

1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal (I like Natures Path)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup nuts OR seeds
1/3 cup chilled mini chocolate chips OR carob chips OR dried fruit
1/2 cup liquid sweetener of choice (brown rice, agave, maple)
1/4 cup Sucanat OR brown sugar
1/2 cup nut OR seed butter
Pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract OR almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

What you do: 

1. Combine puffed rice, oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. Heat sweeteners in a small saucepan on medium low, stirring occasionally. Bring to a slow simmer, stir for 20 seconds. Add nut butter, salt and cinnamon, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
3. Pour liquid mixture over dry mixture, stir until evenly coated. Stir in chilled chocolate OR carob chips. They are chilled so that they don't melt.
4. Press firmly into a greased 11x7" OR 13x9" cake pan with wet fingers or a small piece of waxed paper. Let set on the counter for an hour, or in the fridge or freezer for less time. Once set, cut into granola sized bars. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature or store long term in the freezer.
This recipe is wheat free, soy free and can easily be made nut free so that it is school friendly. Some, (of many), Combo Options:Hemp Apple CinnamonCranberry HempCashew BlueberryPumpkin Seed ApricotMaple Walnut RaisinAlmond Hemp CranberryChocolate AlmondChocolate Peanut Butter
I also like to put the oats in the oven for about, at 300 degrees, just until they smell a bit toasty. Then I begin the recipe from #1. It works without this step, it just makes them toastier. :)
Source of recipe: I modified this recipe for my taste buds from this one: http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Low-Fat-Rice-Krispies-Peanut-Butter-Gra...

Preparation Time: 
5 to 10 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 
10 minutes
Servings: 
12-16
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

Just finished making a batch of these, and they're DELICIOUS!  I halved the recipe and made two different flavors:  carob-chip-peanut-butter-pretzel and carob-coconut-sunflower-raisin.  Mine don't have any problem holding together, and my omni boyfriend said "Hide these!" when he started eating them, which is always a good review.  I'm thinking I'll make my next batch with hemp protein powder for a delicious homemade protein bar. ;)b

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These taste good, but why won't mine stick together?  Maybe it needs more almond butter?  maybe a little ground flax as suggested above? 

The granola bars always stick together really well when I'm mindful of not rushing to heat the mixture. Try turning the heat down a bit more and letting it simmer for a bit longer, or it could be that you need to press it more firmly in to the pan. Try either or both of those things and it will likely turn out. Ground flax would be a lovely addition and would help hold it together.
Glad you all like the tastiness of the recipe. :)

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These taste good, but why won't mine stick together?  Maybe it needs more almond butter?  maybe a little ground flax as suggested above? 

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Thanks so much for this fantastic recipe! I've done peanut butter chocolate chip, chocolate and dried rasberry. and peanut butter pecan so far. Ah, and I add ground flax to every variety. ;)b

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Exactly the easy, adaptable recipe I was looking for!  I used agave, peanut butter, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries (I also used all regular oats).  Yum.  Can't wait to eat them all up and try a different combo. Thanks!

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Thanks, healthymomma, for this easy no-bake granola bar recipe. I used dates and cardamom and sunflower seed butter in my first try - wonderful flavor and texture! I didn't press it down hard enough in the pan so the bars crumbled around the edges, but I just ate the little bits with some soy milk for breakfast. I've made homemade granola for a long time but I hadn't found a no-bake recipe I liked until now. Great for the summer when I don't want to use the oven!

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I made these today in an 8x8 square cake pan. They were thicker than when in a large pan, so I just made thinner slices, (16 smallish bars).
Also, I subbed quinoa flakes instead of using quick oats.
Another thing I did was pressed the mixture down with my fingers on a spatula, it seemed hotter than usual and that protected my hands from the heat. This is a really yummy recipe I make for lunches.
Since it's so easy to change up, we don't get tired of the same old.
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do. :)

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