homemade cliff bars

update: to see my cherry gluten free chewy granola clif bar recipe, click here.
i have been wanting to make homemade granola/health/cliff/protein bars for a couple weeks now.  well, ever since we read research about arsenic found in brown rice syrup.  hmmm, hello.  if you are gluten-free, take a look at your products.  brown rice syrup is everywhere!  then the husband realized that brown rice syrup was one of the top ingredients in his almost twice eaten daily cliff bars.
when you can’t trust food companies, make your own.  i made these for our outer banks trip this weekend.  planning ahead for snacks is the best tip when trying to watch calories during travel.  for example, i packed a bag full of these bars, other energy bars, dried fruit, trail mix, 100 calorie dark chocolate bars and fresh fruit.  when we arrived to our hotel friday night, we both opted to stay in and have a bar and fruit instead of eating out.  save money and calories.  major win.

the variations are unlimited.  i am already looking at ways to decrease the “sweeteners.”  for my first attempt, especially considering i had no idea what i was really doing, they were a huge hit.

i filled a large rectangle baking dish and cut out 16 bars.  it is easy to use gluten free ingredients.

here are the ingredients:

3 cups puffed rice or puffed wheat cereal
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
6 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 cup finely chopped dried fruit
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup honey
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
32 dark chocolate chips

here is the nutritional information per serving/ingredient:

1 1/4 cup rice cereal – 120 calories, 2 g protein, 310 mg sodium
1/2 cup oats – 150 calories, 5 g protein, 0 mg sodium
1/4 cup raisins – 130 calories, 1 g protein, 10 mg sodium
1/3 cup almonds – 160 calories, 6 g protein, 0 mg sodium
1/4 cup pecans – 210 calories, 3 g protein, 0 mg sodium
1 tbsp honey – 60 calories, 0 g protein, 0 mg sodium
1 teaspoon light brown sugar – 15 calories, 0 g protein, 0 mg sodium
2 tbsp almond butter – 190 calories, 6 g protein, 60 mg sodium
2 tbsp peanut butter – 180 calories, 8 g protein, 65 mg sodium
16 chocolate chips – 80 calories, 1 g protein, 0 mg sodium

total nutritional information per bar (i made 16 per batch):
199.25 calories
5g protein
67 mg sodium

instruction:
1. mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. pour honey and brown sugar in a small sauce pan and slowly melt the sugar.  be careful not to burn.  then add peanut and/or almond butter.  bring to a smooth consistency.
3. combine with dry ingredient bowl well.
4. spray baking pan with non-stick coating such as pam.  press firmly mixture into pan.
5. chill in refrigerator until firm to cut into bars.

i wrapped my bars in wax paper so we can just grab them when we are on the go.  i stored them in the refrigerator because i didn’t know how long they would last.  they didn’t last long, so i could have left them in our “snack” bowl.

round two of bars will have less honey.  these were super delicious, almost too good.  i wanted to keep eating them.  i think a little less sweetness will allow me to stop with just one.  and i may throw in some chocolate protein powder to up the protein.

i hope you enjoy!

update: to see my cherry gluten free chewy granola clif bar recipe, click here.

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