Make your own healthy and delicious cereal bars
Cereal bars are a convenient choice for breakfast on the go, an afternoon snack or a post-workout pick-me-up. However, shop-bought bars can be quite expensive, and the sugar content in some is enough to send blood sugar rocketing. With a few good, basic ingredients and some tried-and-tested techniques, making DIY bars can be easy and fun. And, like with homemade muesli, you can try out all kinds of combinations with different ingredients.
There are several advantages to making your own cereal bars. As well as saving money, DIY snack bars are quick and easy to make, and they’re generally healthier too.
The basic mix
To make 10 bars, you’ll need 250g of cereal flakes, 50g of whole cane sugar, 50g of honey, 100g of butter and 100g of the dried fruit of your choice. Try to pick good-quality organic products. Retailers selling whole foods by weight usually have a great selection of dried fruit, nuts, cereal flakes (rice, Khorasan wheat, buckwheat, millet, soy, etc.), sugars, chocolate chips, coconut, etc. Honey or agave syrup is good for binding the bars together. To mix up flavours and textures, try a blend of five cereals, with organic flakes such as oats, bran, wheat, barley, rice or rye. Dates, raisins and goji berries are great energy boosters, while seeds like linseed, pumpkin and sesame add extra crunch.
Melt the butter with the sugar and honey (or banana or agave syrup) then add the cereal and fruit and mix thoroughly.
Into the oven
To get the bars nice and crunchy, make sure the oven is preheated to 180°C. Divide the mix into mini cake moulds, press down firmly, then bake for 20 minutes. Alternatively, to get bar shapes, pour the mixture onto a baking tray covered with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Press the mixture down firmly with the back of a spoon then cut into bar shapes when it comes out of the oven.
To keep everything held together, put the bars into the fridge or give them 10 minutes in the freezer. Once they’ve set hard, they can be removed from their moulds.
Store in a cool, dark place
There’s no point creating extra waste and cost by using individual wrapping. To keep homemade cereal bars at their best, store in a cool, dark place in an air-tight box or tin. In these conditions, they should keep for a good week or so. To keep them crunchy, a sheet of paper towel in the tin can help absorb moisture.