I have been making these lovelies FOR YEARS. I started making them when my son was a baby. At that time in my life, I was cooking for another family- delivering their meals to them weekly- and began to give them these for their breakfasts. They were really busy and spent most of their time at work, so I wanted them to have something they could keep at their desk, or grab as they were walking out the door. These Cereal Bars quickly became their favorites… and then when I was pregnant with my daughter, we almost went in to business together selling them in supermarkets.
I did not make that up.
These are like grownup rice crispy treats, but can still make the kids happy.
The grownup part comes from the fact that they’re not made with just crispy rice cereal, but with whole grains and cinnamon…
The kid part comes from the fact that they still contain marshmallows.
It’s all about balance, y’all.
I make my own marshmallows using agave nectar which makes me feel better about all the sugars. But make these with whatever marshmallows you choose! (And yes, I also sometimes make these using the regular kind we all grew up on.) They also sell natural marshmallows in health food stores using more natural sweeteners, FYI (cane sugar and tapioca sugar usually). Just make sure that if they’re bagged marshmallows, that they are new and fresh. Old and stale-ish marshmallows do not melt, and they become rock hard if you try to make them.
Which is scary.
But even with the sugar in these, because of the added fiber, I don’t feel too bad. When you combine fiber with sugar, it’s easier on your system and blood sugar levels. Not that I’m telling you to go out and down a candy bar with a steel cut oats chaser, I’m only saying it’s better if you’ve got some fiber with that sugar. And even though I make a lot of my recipes low in sugar and don’t personally eat packaged sugary foods, my kids do get sugar on occasion. We don’t restrict it. Only limit it. With education as to why. I think all kids should know what it is. But the key is making sure they know it’s a ‘sometimes food’, and why that is. And I also just enjoy making my own ‘sweet treats’ instead of buying them if I can. Because then I get to control what the hell goes inside of ’em.
Which brings me to making my own whole grain cereal bars.
So, yeah… if you like a rice crispy treat, you’ll like these. You’ll just feel better afterwards.
WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL BARS
In a large microwave safe mixing bowl, combine the following…
- 2 TB unsalted butter
- 2 TB coconut oil
- 10 ounces marshmallows
Melt in the microwave in 1 minute increments, until fully melted. Stir with a greased spatula to make sure the oil and butter have melted into the marshmallow goop. (Note- melted, homemade agave marshmallows melt into liquid as opposed to a puffy, white mixture.)
Stir in the following (with the greased spatula)…
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups crispy brown rice cereal
- 1/2 cup flax meal
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- (optional- handful of raisins or chopped up, dried fruit and/or chopped, raw nuts)
(That’s the standard, ‘easy to find grain’ recipe up there. But I have often changed out the grains/cereals in this recipe when I want to play, and they’re always good… just be sure to keep the ratio the same (the crispy rice cereal is nice for texture), and the total amount needs to stay at 5 cups. And if you can get your hands on the whole grain called, kasha, USE IT! It’s hard to find, but is so good. It’s crunchy and really nutritious. You can get it HERE on Amazon.com for $8/18 oz.)
Once all the grains are mixed into the marshmallow mixture evenly, quickly transfer it all to a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Use a wet spatula, or wet hands, to press it down firmly and evenly.
Allow it to sit at room temperature and seize up- it should be ready within an hour.
Cut into desired sized squares.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for a week or so for optimal freshness and flavor.
And Happy Memorial Day weekend!
If you don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s some fun we had in the sun yesterday… Cuz maybe where you are today and tomorrow, it’ll be sunny for you to have the same yummy fun!
We were outside all day… some of it with my All-Fruit No-Sugar Frozen Margaritas… which happened to make my lounge chair lap a sherbet party…
If you haven’t made those yet, DO IT NOW. Those were Strawberry-Mango-Pineapple Margaritas, and I was licking the cup like a puppy after it was gone.
Hand-Cranked Prosciutto Strip Burgers… Grilled Vidalia Onions. And all the mustard. And no bun because I ate a loaf of bread that morning and was drinking beer in my bikini all day… Girl math.
No recipe post for that one, just a quick, yummy burger my husband threw together. He ground up Prosciutto and NY Strip trimmings we had in the freezer saved and ready to grind! We are OBSESSED with our KitchenAid meat grinder attachment. Makes all the difference in the world in a burger. I HIGHLY recommend you get one- I got mine from Amazon last Christmas. HERE is the link… under $30!!!
Thanks for reading, y’all! Enjoy the rest of your long weekend! XO