No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

Recipes for energy/granola bars with costly ingredients are a pet peeve of mine, and I thought I could do better making my own. These delicious five-ingredient bars are a less-expensive alternative to store bought, and they are higher in protein than many bars made with whole foods only. Each gluten-free portion provides 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and a serving of whole grains. Have a peanut butter cereal bar for a snack or as part of a balanced meal. See the serving suggestion at the end of this post. Enjoy!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

To keep this recipe cost-effective, I use store brand ingredients whenever possible.

Any nut butter will do, but store brand peanut butter is the least expensive by far, and I always have it on hand.  Chunky peanut butter provides extra crunch in this recipe. Add 1/3 cup chopped peanuts if you only have smooth peanut butter in the house and you want a crunchier bar.

Honey is often less expensive than pure maple syrup, but it’s not vegan. Honey works just as well as a sweetener and to hold the other ingredients together!

You can use sweetened cranberries or raisins or a combination of the two, or any other dried fruit. However, store-brand raisins are likely to be the least expensive dried fruit, and they don’t contain added sugar. (Learn how to cut back on sugar here.)

If you substitute a higher-fiber whole grain ready-to-eat cereal for what I use, the cost may go up, and it could increase the calorie count.

Need a chocolate fix? Toss 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips into the bar mixture. Using mini chips better distributes the chocolate flavor, so you use less and it costs less!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

Makes 12 servings.

1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter (use natural for less added sugar)

1/2 cup California raisins

1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

2 cups quick oats, uncooked

2 cups plain Cheerios or store-brand equivalent

Coat a 8″ x 8″ baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients.

Press the bar mixture evenly into the pan.

DSC_0701

Using parchment paper makes clean up a snap!

Refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut into 12 squares. Keep refrigerated.

Per serving:
302 calories; 17 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat); 0 cholesterol; 191 milligrams sodium; 31 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams fiber; 10 grams protein.

Serving suggestion: Pair with eight ounces of milk and a banana to include a serving of fruit, dairy, and whole grains, as well as 20 grams of protein, the minimum amount of protein you should have at every meal.

14 Comments

  1. Pingback: 40 Healthy Peanut Butter Recipes from Dietitians | Create Kids Club

  2. Pingback: By Special Request, a Recipe Roundup | Street Smart Nutrition

  3. Pingback: Whole Grains Burn Calories, Boost Metabolism | Better Is the New Perfect

  4. Pingback: 10 EASY to Assemble, Nutrition-Packed Recipe Ideas | Food 4 Success, LLC

  5. Pingback: 31 Low-Sugar Breakfast Recipes for Busy Mornings - Holley Grainger, RD

  6. Pingback: What to Do When You Fail at Meal Prep | Better Is the New Perfect

  7. Pingback: 31+ Low-Sugar Breakfast Recipes for Busy Mornings | Holley Grainger

  8. Pingback: 15 Super Healthy & Easy Snacks For Breastfeeeding Moms

  9. Pingback: 5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Peanut Butter (Even When You're Pregnant) » Eat Right Mama

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: