My family loves Quaker Chewy Bars. Every time I go grocery shopping I end up picking up two boxes, and it will last us about a week. In an attempt to switch to healthier snacks, I decided to try and make a chewy bar alternative. When trying to eat healthier/workout more I have found taking small baby steps works better for my family. Instead of completely getting rid of every bad food product in our diet it’s been easiest to slowly transition one food/product at a time. This homemade alternative to chewy bars is one small step you can take towards healthier/cleaner eating. (For my family I will continue to try and make this recipe healthier by using more natural ingredients as my family adapts to it.) The other great thing about this alternative is you can fit it to your dietary needs. (Gluten free, peanut free, honey free, dairy free, soy free, etc…) Below is the recipe I came up with that my family loves. While there are slightly more calories in my recipe then in chewy Bars, they are healthier and contain less ingredients. Here is my recipe:
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup Rice Krispies
1/2 Cup Mini Morsels
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Honey
Mix all of the ingredients together, and roll them into balls or bars. Makes between 20-22 little balls or makes between 10-12 bars. 1 ball is around 89 calories, and 1 bar is 178 calories.
(Here is what they will look like if you roll them into balls, and also the alternative bar on the left and a regular chewy bar on the right.)
Below are ways you can change up the recipe to fit your dietary needs.
Gluten Free – While whole grain rolled oats are technically gluten free sometimes they can come in contact with other products that are not. To help with this issue just make sure to check the label of the oats when you purchase to make sure they are gluten free. Rice Krispies are not gluten free, but you should be able to find a gluten free alternative in the natural food aisle in your grocery store. Also, make sure to check the label on your mini morsels to make sure they are also gluten free. (I used Nestle mini morsels and they are gluten free.) Peanut butter and honey are gluten free, but again it is always a good practice to check the product label.
Peanut Free – If you have someone in your family that has a peanut allergy or you would just like to use something else you can substitute Sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter.
Honey Free – My little one loves this chewy bar alternative, but if you would like to make them for a child younger than 1 years old then you will need a honey alternative. A good substitute for honey is agave nectar. It adds the sweetness just like honey.
Dairy Free – The only thing that contains dairy in the above recipe is the mini morsels. So to make the above recipe dairy free all you will need to do is substitute the mini morsels with a diary free chocolate alternative like Enjoy life mini chips.
Soy Free – The mini Morsels and peanut butter I used in the above recipe both contain soy. So, if you are in need of a soy free recipe all you will need to do is find a soy free chocolate, like Enjoy life’s mini chips, and an all-natural peanut butter that just contains peanuts and salt.
Other recipe substitutions – To further fit the recipe to your family’s needs or make it a little bit healthier you can always make some other substitutions. Examples: Use all natural sugar free peanut butter, all natural honey, a rice krispies alternative that does not have BHT, and all natural dark chocolate. All are great substitutions.
Trying to eat healthy in a world of processed/refined foods is hard! They taste so good, but are so bad for you. Don’t despair though. Start switching out the unhealthy foods in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer slowly. After a while you will start noticing a difference in what you purchase at the store, and how your family feels. 😊