A Grab ‘N Go Breakfast With ZERO Added Sugar (and you will love it)

This is a guest post by Lisa Cain, PhD, a.k.a Snack-Girl

Anybody else sick of packaged cereal bars? But, they are just SO easy and fast.

The concept, a delicious bar packed with nutrients to start your day isn’t a bad one. The problem is that most cereal or granola bars on the market have a ton of added sugar and they taste kinda fake.

Snack Girl to the rescue!!!

So, I have looked a perhaps 100 different granola bar/energy bar recipes and the ones that I like the best feature ingredients that I already have in the house. But, many homemade recipes also have added sugar. In fact, the recipe I used to use (Energy Bar Recipe), has 3/4 cup brown sugar in it.

What if all the ingredients were unprocessed and there was no added sugar, honey, or maple syrup? Would you get something that tasted yummy?

The problem is that we are so inundated with sugar, that at first a child (or adult) might dislike these because they aren’t sweet enough. My 6 year old LOVED these “Cereal Bars” and eagerly ate one for breakfast.

I like them because (basically) this is just fruits and nuts stuck together by nut butter and mashed bananas. These are easy to make and store well in the fridge or freezer.

And did I mention that they are gluten free and vegan? Whoa!

If you like grabbing a bar for breakfast, give these a try.

Also, these could make a great snack, but I wouldn’t make them as large. I would divide up the batter into 24 muffin cups and cook them a shorter length of time. This way you get a snack closer to a hundred calories – which is a more reasonable amount.

Have you tried to make your own cereal bars?

Cereal Bar Recipe

(makes 12 or 24)
1/2 cup nut butter
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup whole nuts (choose your favorite)
1 ½ cup total of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, raisins, coconut, etc.)
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, coarsely chop nuts and dried fruits. Mix nut butter and bananas until a paste forms. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes. Can be stored in refrigerator for 5 days.

For one granola bite (12 in recipe) = 190 calories, 8.4 g fat, 26.7 g carbohydrates, 5.4 g protein, 3.1 g fiber, 52 mg sodium, 5 PointsPlus

Lisa Cain, Ph.D. writes about healthy snacks on Snack-Girl.com. She is a published author, mother of two, and avid snacker.

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  • FrugalArugula

    Hooray! Something I can do with my food processor.

    I can’t usually even eat oats (oatmeal) because of how they spike my sugar, even unsweetened, and no way with the dried “fruit”, but with the coconut suggestion, I’m so making these. All the nuts, coconut should be enough fat and fiber to slow down the carbs.

    Thank you Snack Girl!

  • Guest

    Sounds like a great recipe, but as far as I know, rolled oats aren’t gluten free.

    • Narsenau

      I buy certified gluten free rolled oats. Check at your local health food store.

      • JRobi

        You can buy them certified gluten free, as Narsenau mentioned. For someone with a gluten intolerance, that should be fine. For someone with something like Celiac, oats may or may not be tolerated. They are usually not recommended as part of a Celiacs initial diet.

        I am under the understanding that they may or may not be tolerated because they naturally contain trace amounts of gluten. Feel free to correct me on that point though : )

        • Noel

          they don’t naturally contain any gluten. The gluten in oats can come from many different sources. Mainly, shared farm harvesting equipment with other grains, shared processing facility, and to a lesser extent, cross pollination.

  • Swan

    you can use gluten-free oats if you want the recipe to be gluten-free.

  • http://twitter.com/maddiemudster Maddie Mudster

    Love it! As a gluten free vegan… REALLY love it. Can’t wait to make these!

    Rolled oats are in fact gluten free because they’re raw. You have to be careful when buying them though, so as you get them from a facility that doesn’t also process gluten.

    • JRobi

      The fact that they’re raw does not make them gluten free. But yes, you must make sure that you’re buying them from a gluten free facility.

  • Calantha

    Not to be a party pooper – but a lot of the time the dried fruit you buy at the grocery store has added sugar. If you are concerned about the sugar, then you’ll want to make sure that you’re not using dried fruit that almost always has added sugar (e.g. cranberries, apricots), but also that you read the ingredient list, or know whether sugar has been added if you’re buying unbranded bulk.

    • Farina

      This is a very good point. It is very hard to find dried fruit without added sugar.

  • Jim Cooper

    What sort of nut butter are you recommending?

  • http://dalailina.wordpress.com Dalai Lina

    I love the idea of cooking in muffin tins – brilliant!

  • http://www.theactorsdiet.com actorsdiet

    ah snack girl – she knows what’s up!

  • http://www.eatmovethrive.com Kathi

    These are amazing! Simple ingredients, easy to make and store — and even the kids love them! Great grab-and-go breakfast.

  • Margaret S

    Can you give an amount (in cups, say) for the total of the mashed bananas. The big bananas I buy at the market yield about twice as much as the smallest ones. I guess you made the recipes with medium ones? but it would be good to know.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely a must-try. The cereal bar looks good, healthy and delicious. But I think this would not be enough to replace a complete breakfast meal. Promoting healthy lifestyle is what you can always see nowadays. With healthy breakfast to start with, you are confident that you have enough strength for the whole day.
    expert on Breakfast Menus

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Misha-Sanders-Lentz/1044607688 Misha Sanders Lentz

    Wow!  Just made these and added a pinch of ground coffee.  SO good!  :)

  • Rburg86

    What is but butter! Peanut butter? Almond butter? Soy but butter?

  • Jenna4512

    I uses this recipe to make these granola bars for the first time and they turned out fantastic! I will use this recipe often. The only modification I made was making them in a pan and cutting them into bars. These granola bars are the perfect snack to have on the go!

  • Laltpete

    Is there a healthy bar that includes chocolate without increasing the calories?
    That would be fabulous for folks with a sweet tooth!! Me

  • leah

    How much sugar is in a serving?

  • Kim

    I just want to tell you that I love these. I make them a lot! I usually double the recipe and put it in a 9×13 pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. If I don’t have enough bananas I substitute unsweetened applesauce. I also add some almond milk if I think things are getting a little dry. I usually use almond butter and almonds (which I double to 1 cup or 2 if I am doubling the recipe). Thanks for this great recipe!

  • debra511

    I don’t understand why sugar gram amount is not listed? There are natural sugars to count.