Lunchbox Treat: The Cereal Bar

Help keep our resources for families with special needs free! Project Autism is an Amazon Affiliate; any items and/or products featured are only those that we trust with our own families. If you should purchase them via the links listed, we will receive a portion of the purchase, however, it is not costing you an extra thing! Furthermore, you can complete your Amazon shopping via the Amazon Smile program, with Project Autism selected as your charity of choice, allowing us to receive a donation from the Amazon Smile program for every purchase you make. This recipe comes together in just a few minutes and there is no baking involved, just a little chill time. You can customize the mix-ins to your family’s taste, as I have here. It’s the perfect way to start out the New Year in a healthy and delicious way! Tools: 9x13 pan parchment large bowl sauce pan spatulas measuring cups and spoons *Adapted from The Homemade Pantry: 101 foods you can stop buying and start making (a great book with tons of ways to make your family’s favorite foods at home, saving money and adding nutritional benefits: http://www.amazon.com/The-Homemade-Pantry-Buying-Making/dp/030788726X/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=wwwprojectaut-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=TT7PPNMKI2XUWAPU&creativeASIN=030788726X

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup canola oil, plus more for greasing the pan or parchment (I used cooking spray for that part)
  • 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups puffed millet or puffed rice cereal (I used rice krispies)
  • 1 ½ cups loosely packed chopped dried fruit (I used golden raisins, blueberries, and apricots)
  • 1 ½ cups toasted sliced almonds (Since my son’s school is nut-free, I used a mixture of roasted and salted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup (available at whole foods)
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

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Step 1

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish or line the dish with parchment and grease the parchment. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, puffed rice, dried fruit, almonds, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips.

Step 2

Stir it all together really well.

Step 3

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown rice syrup, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla. Stir frequently over medium-high heat until 1 minute past boiling. This happens pretty quickly.

Step 4

Pour the syrup over the mixture in the bowl

Step 5

Stir to coat thoroughly.

Step 6

Spread the mixture into the pan, press down with a spatula, and refrigerate for one hour. Don’t forget to lick the spatula.

Step 7

Cut into bars and pack into lunches! Bon Appetit!