No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

Recipes for energy bars with costly ingredients are a pet peeve of mine, and I thought I could do better making my own. These delicious 5-ingredient bars are a less-expensive alternative, and they are higher in protein than many bars made with whole foods only. Each 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!

dsc_0393A Word About the Ingredients

To keep this recipe cost-effective, I use store-brands, with the exception of the maple syrup, whenever possible. Use whatever maple syrup you have on hand. Honey is a suitable substitution.

Any nut butter will do, but store-brand peanut butter is probably the least expensive by far.  The chunky kind provides extra crunch.  Add 1/3 cup chopped peanuts if you only have smooth peanut butter in the house and you want a crunchier bar.

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 cheaper, and they don’t contain added sugar.

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 to reduce added sugar)

1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

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.

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.

11 Comments

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