This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp
No matter how you feel about resolutions, eating better is a goal almost everyone can get behind. I recommitted to eating better this year. One practical step towards reaching my goal, is having wholesome snacks handy and ready to go.
Homemade granola bars are one snack I like to have around at any time. I can make them with a variety of better-for-you ingredients and they are so easy take along for a snack on the go. I also love that this is a no-bake recipe – so the bars come together in almost no time.
There are 3 parts to basically any homemade cereal bars – the base, the flavoring agents and the binder. I got all the ingredients to make this snack at Walmart.
Let’s start with the base. I used Quaker® Life cereal and oats. You could use (toasted) rolled oats, but I went for Quaker® Simply Granola Oats, Honey, And Almonds because I thought the honey and almonds would nicely underline the Almond Joy flavor. (Quaker® Oatmeal Squares cereal and Quaker® Real Medleys® granola would also work great to build the base of snack bars.)
Which brings us to the flavor add-ins. In this recipe they are sliced almonds, desiccated coconut and chocolate chips.
Since these are no-bake bars I needed a fairly sticky binder. Dates in combination with almond butter and honey do a great job of holding everything together.
After measuring/weighing out the dates, remove the pits and whirl them in a food processor until fairly smooth. Usually they first form a ball and then spread around the sides of the bowl. Scrape down as needed.
In the meantime, warm the almond butter and honey (microwave or stove top) and pulse them with the dates until just combined. Don’t skip the warming part and don’t overmix; otherwise the oil from the almond butter tends to separate out.
Add the binder (it should still be warm) to the remaining ingredients and work them together with a spatula.
The warm binder will make mixing a little easier and will also melt some of the chocolate chips, so they spread throughout the entire bars. The Quaker® Life cereal will break up in the process and give the bars a crisp and airy texture with every bite.
Spread the mixture in a lined dish and press down to flatten and spread out.
Give it at least 15 minutes in the freezer or half an hour in the fridge, before cutting into bars.
I like to store these Almond Joy Cereal Bars in a Ziploc in the freezer. So they are fresh when I take them out individually as needed.
- 1 cup dates, pitted (6 ounces weighed with pits)
- ½ cup almond butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup Quaker® Life cereal
- 1½ cups toasted oats or granola (I used Quaker® Simply Granola Oats, Honey, And Almonds)
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup desiccated, unsweetened coconut
- ¼ sliced almonds
- Blend pitted dates in a food processor until smooth. Scrape down sides.
- Warm almond butter and honey either on the stove top or in the microwave. Add to blended dates and pulse until combined.
- In a large bowl toss Quaker® Life cereal, toasted oats or granola, chocolate chips, coconut and almonds. Add date mixture and work into the dry ingredients with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- (The Quaker® Life cereal will break up into the mix).
- When everything is evenly combined, dump mixture in a lined 8x8-inch dish and press down to spread it out.
- Place dish into fridge (30 minutes) or freezer(15 minutes) to set up. Cut into bars. Store covered.
Note: Nutrition facts are for 1 out of 10 bars. I used rolled oats instead of granola for the calculations.
For more creative ideas with Quaker® cold cereals check out Quaker® Cereal Love!
Now that I shared one of my favorite snack ideas, I’d love to hear how your are snacking in the New Year. Let me know in the comments below!