Chewy, crunchy, and nutty, these homemade cereal bars are full of flavor and texture. Naturally sweetened and full of fiber, these make great breakfast bars, quick snacks, or even a healthy dessert.
- 4 cups plain dry cereal (unflavored such as corn, rice or wheat chex, cheerios, kix, etc.)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup raw pepitas
- 3 tablespoons flax seeds, optional
- ⅔ cup creamy natural nut or seed butter, such as almond butter**
- ½ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Flaky sea salt, optional
Line a 9-inch square cake pan with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite sides.
In a large bowl, combine cereal, cranberries, pepitas and flax seeds.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine nut butter, honey, cinnamon and kosher salt; cook just until completely smooth (do not bring to a simmer), 1–2 minutes. Off heat, stir in vanilla. Pour nut butter mixture over cereal and gently, but thoroughly, mix until cereal is completely coated.
Transfer cereal mixture to prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer using flat bottom of a measuring cup, bowl or glass. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if using. Cover and chill at least one hour, or preferably 4 hours.
Lift bar out of pan using parchment overhang. Slice into 10 even cereal bars.
Store cereal bars between layers of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container (or individually wrapped in plastic wrap) in the refrigerator.
Bars will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
VARIATIONS: feel free to swap the pepitas and cranberries for any combination of nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts), seeds (flax seeds, sunflower seeds), dried fruit (raisins, cherries), and/or shredded coconut. If you choose to add nuts, make sure they are chopped.
NUT/SEED BUTTER: use natural creamy almond butter, peanut butter, tahini, or sunflower butter.
GLUTEN-FREE: use certified gluten-free cereals.
NUT-FREE: swap the nut butter for tahini or sunflower seed butter.
VEGAN: use soaked and puréed dates instead of honey.
CEREAL: any combination of Cheerios, rice and/or corn Chex, whole-wheat Chex, Kix, bran flakes, etc.
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