I really like those tasty, chewy individually packaged oat bars I find at Whole Foods Market. But I don’t like paying $2.00+ per bar!
So, I cracked open the pantry and came up with my own quick, no-bake version that as it turns out, I like a whole lot better!
This recipe is simple. One you can throw together with whatever nuts, seeds, cereals and dried fruits you just happen to have hanging around. You don’t have to toast the rolled oats or the nuts, but I like that roasty-brown taste. These bars are soft and sweet, without being overly so, with a deep caramel-like flavor from the brown rice syrup.
Homestyle Oat Bars
adapted from the recipe found at fannetasticfood.com
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup crispy brown rice cereal
Any combination of the following, measuring 1 cup:
Nuts, any kind, roughly chopped (almond slices, pecans, walnuts, cashews)
Seeds, any kind (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, flax, sesame)
Dried fruit, any kind (raisins, diced apples, chopped figs)
Shredded coconut (raw or toasted)
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla or maple extract
Himalayan pink sea salt (optional)
- If you like your oats and nuts toasted, preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. If not, skip ahead to step 2. Place oats on a dry baking sheet. Place nuts on a separate sheet. When the oven is ready, place the oats and nuts in the oven. Toast the nuts carefully watching the time. This should take 2-4 minutes. They burn easily. Pull them out and allow to cool. Stir the oats every 5 minutes and toast until they are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer the toasted oats to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Prepare a small-sized shallow, rimmed baking pan by lining with parchment paper and set aside.
- Measure brown rice syrup, peanut butter and flavoring into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-40 seconds, then stir until combined.
4. Stir the rice cereal, nuts, fruit and other dry ingredients into the bowl with the oats and then pour the wet mixture over, mixing all together with a spatula into a sticky, crunchy mass.
5. Immediately press mixture into prepared pan and flatten with your hands. Lightly dust surface of bars with sea salt, if using. Allow to set up in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (if you can wait that long).
6. Cut into squares and wrap individually to prevent sticking together. For best results, store in the refrigerator.