Saturday, March 24, 2012

rice puffed fridge bars

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i love quick and easy snack recipes. i am a true snacker - better yet you could call me a grazer.
i like to munch on healthy snacks throughout the day versus eating three big meals that always end up making me feel way to full.

awhile back i bought a huge bag of organic puffed cereal. for some unknown reason i had it in my head that i was buying the "healthy organic" version of golden crisp - a favorite cereal of mine from the 80's that has zero nutritional value (mom. what were you thinking buying us this!)

i rushed home with my puffed rice cereal, tore into the bag the minute i got home and shoveled a huge handful right into my mouth. boy, my taste buds were surprised to find zero sugar and packing peanut textured puffs that were stuck to the insides of my mouth. yeah, not quite golden crisp.

so the puffs sat in my cupboard for a bit until  this past weekend i had a craving then a brainstorm of an idea - gluten free puffed rice granola bars. ha - i was in business and the feeling of waste fullness was gone as i had found a new and useful purpose for those step sister like puffs.

puffed rice along with a variety of mix ins create a healthy granola fridge bar when mixed with brown rice syrup and agave.
flaked coconut, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chunks, cacao nibs and nuts are the ingredients in my bars. i basically raided my pantry and tossed in the "bottom of the bag bits" into the bowl - this is a perfect recipe to use all those leftover handfuls of nuts & dried fruits you  have hanging out in your kitchen.
the puffed rice and the other goodness are mixed with agave and brown rice syrup -
along with a bit of coconut oil.
then pressed in a parchment lined baking pan - make sure you press down really well to ensure everything compacts really well.
the bars are placed in the fridge to set , then cut after about 20 minutes of fridge time- it is important that you store the bars in the fridge. if kept at room temp they sort of just fall apart in your hands.
this has been my pre-breakfast snack all week long.
my morning consists of green juice
then green tea and a pre breakfast snack
around 10:30am i am ready for my english muffin with peanut butter and banana - my "real" breakfast with another cup of green tea


you could also store these in the freezer which creates a bit firmer bar and a nice cold treat
next time your kids are scavenging around for a treat, whip up  a batch of these with them and you'll bet set with treats for the week!
Rice Puffed Fridge Bars
makes 10 bars

you will need:
1/3 cup agave
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 cups puffed rice cereal
1/3 cup of the following (2 1/3 cup total mix ins):
flaked coconut
sunflower seeds
dried fruit mix
chocolate chunks
cacao nibs
in a small sauce pan heat agave, brown rice syrup & coconut just until melted
in a large bowl combine all other ingredients - puffs through nibs
pour the liquid mixture over the dry and mix until well coated
in a 8x8 baking dish lined with parchment paper, firmly press mixture into dish
let set in the freezer or fridge until firm
cut into 10 equal bars. store in fridge or freezer up to a week.



  1. ooh these are too simple not to put together with my fave add ins! i just finished my puffed rice supply.. time to hit the grocery store for more!
    Finished my tag post too finally.!

  2. Oh man, I love puffed rice cereal too! And I'm more of a solid three meals sort of person, but I used to be a grazer. With snacking you get to enjoy a wider variety of foods - yum!
    I think since I started running I switched to meals, because I started getting a stitch in my stomach from eating either too much or too soon to my running. I can't eat within 2-3 hours of it for some reason. Haha.

    Anyway, back to these bars! They sound absolutely delicious. And I'm pretty sure I have everything to make these in my kitchen. I love baking for everyone in my house, and I'm sure they will enjoy these. Can't wait!

    1. Thanks for sharing Isobelle! My cousin and I are starting a running program starting April, it will be interesting to see if I end up switching to a more standard 3 meals a day.

      Enjoy the Bars!

  3. ^5! your breakfast - english muffin with peanut butter and banana - is my pre-run snack. It always gives me just the right amount of energy to not die during my run lol

    - Amy

    1. Hi Amy! If I could, I would live off of Peanut Butter and Banana's, I am a tad addicted to chocolate peanut butter!

  4. This snack on the run is exactly what I need! Healthy delicious and absolutely perfect!
    I love your pictures and recipes - thank you so much :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. I guess we balance each other out huh - with all your decidely delicous and sinful posts with a few of my healthy ones thrown in!

  5. Oh, I love this! I have a bunch of stuff in my pantry that's left over (kasha, a tbsp of unsweet. coconut, etc.)!
    Now...I just need to find some puffed rice. The ones from Kashi are really like packing peanuts: they look like they can fly sometimes!

    1. Packing Peanuts - YES that is the perfect description....I am not sure how people eat them as plain cereal - I loved them in bar form though!

  6. Yummy! I made something similar but with peanut butter or almond butter when I realized the puffed wheat(and a few other puffed grains!) were sitting in my cupboard for way too long, haha. Love this idea with coconut oil :D

    1. Peanut Butter crossed my mind after the fact :) I love using up those "hmmm how long have you been hiding in there" pantry items, it definitely makes me feel less wasteful!

  7. i love puffed rice cereal! i used to eat a big bowl of it with nuts, banana, and soy milk. haven't had it in ages though.

    i love this healthy bar recipe. so often they are loaded with unnecessary ingredients. this covers all the basis without a super long ingredient list!

    1. Did you ever had the crazy golden crisps loaded with sugar? Technically I think they were puffed wheat not rice :)

      I could see how the Banana, nuts and soy milk would improve the taste versus taking a heaping handful and shoveling that into my mouth!

    2. no, i never had golden crisps. i would get a big bag of "puffed brown rice" at whole foods in the cereal isle. i'm pretty sure the only ingredients were brown rice and maybe sea salt.

  8. Haha - The Boyfriend just did basically the same thing. Found my bag of puffed rice and got all excited, thinking it would be sweet and crispy. Whoopsy!

    I love the mix-ins you chose! I have a bag of puffed rice in my cupboard specifically for making bars like these. I like to mix together nutbutter, maybe mash a banana (for sweeetness) and add some protein powder. Then I stir in either puffed rice, rolled oats, or both, and freeze. Love the dried fruit and chocolate, though!

    1. Haha glad I am not the only one that eats cereal straight from the box - sweet and crispy was totally what I was hoping for too!

      I love your idea of adding in protein powder and nut butters - I am going to have to give that a try- what kind of protein powder do you use Willow?

  9. These look so good - thanks for bringing these to my Potluck Party ;D
    I also must say your photography is perfect. I love the clear refreshing look. Great job! xo

    1. You are so sweet Ella - THANK YOU for the invite to the potluck; I am so happy to have found your blog - if you want to talk about perfect, i would say your blog is pretty perfect :)

  10. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

  11. Glad to know that I am not the only terminal grazer. Much to my mother's dislike, I will eat small amounts all day, hence why I am addicted to these sorts of recipes (and bread!).
    Only problem is that damn diet and PORTIONING..
    This recipe turned out simply DELIGHTFUL...
    Your recipes are simply divine. Definately going to 'stumble' on this page far more often! .


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