The Perfect “No Sugar Added” Cereal Bar?
This week we’re lucky to feature another great guest post from the one-and-only Snack Girl, Lisa Cain!
Packaged cereal bars are just so easy and fast. The concept, a delicious bar packed with nutrients to start your day, isn’t a bad one. The problem is that most cereal or granola bars on the market have a ton of added sugar and they taste kinda fake. Could you make one that would taste better and be better for you? How about making a bar with unprocessed ingredients and no added sugar, honey, or maple syrup? The problem is that we are so inundated with sugar, that at first a child (or adult) might dislike my homemade cereal bar because they aren’t sweet enough. Thankfully, my 6-year-old LOVED these and eagerly ate one for breakfast.
I like them because these are simply fruits and nuts stuck together by nut butter and mashed bananas. These are easy to make and store well in the fridge or freezer. And did I mention that they are gluten-free and vegan? Whoa! If you are gluten-free, please be sure to use gluten-free certified oats. Many oats are processed in the same plants as wheat. If you like grabbing a bar for breakfast, give these a try. Don’t have time to bake? Don’t worry, you can go out and buy some cereal bars that will be a bit lighter in sugar and still taste pretty good. Here are three of my favorites:
Barbara’s cereal bars are lower in calories, fat, and higher in fiber than most cereal bars. They also taste pretty good… though they do remind me of a cookie.
Cascadian Farm keeps the sugar lower than most brands and has no additives. You will have to eat at least two of them to start your day as they are only 80 calories each. Pair with an apple and a cheese stick when you are running out the door.
Special K can be found nationwide and has just come out with a granola bar with 4 g of protein and 4 grams of fiber. It is also relatively small at 110 calories and only has 7 grams of sugar. Eat it with a banana and a glass of milk to get to a REAL breakfast serving.
Snack Girl Cereal Bar Recipe
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup whole nuts (choose your favorite)
- 1 ½ cup total of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, raisins, coconut, etc.)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Pinch cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, coarsely chop nuts and dried fruits. Mix nut butter and bananas until a paste forms. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes. Can be stored in refrigerator for 5 days.
For one cereal bar (12 in recipe) = 190 calories, 8.4 g fat, 26.7 g carbohydrates, 5.4 g protein, 3.1 g fiber, 52 mg sodium