One Bowl Recipe
It's amazing how much these homemade Nutty Bars taste like the real deal! Ultra LIGHT as air, super CRISP, melt in your mouth pb chocolate YUM. So so so good.
It totally takes me back to junior high when I ate these for lunch lol! Just Nutty Bars and no actual FOOD. Omg what was I thinking?
Anyway, now I found a way to replicate that DELICIOUS taste using healthier ingredients.
I love that there's only ONE bowl to mix all the ingredients for this recipe! Less mess, less to clean, more time to enjoy!!
I used a large (4 cup) glass measuring cup, but a large glass bowl would also work great. I recommend glass because you'll need to pop it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds or so.
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7 Simple Ingredients
These are made with common pantry staples you probably already have at home! Yay!
- crisp rice cereal
- natural peanut butter
- coconut oil
- cacao powder
- powdered sweetener
- pink salt
The original Nutty Bars have wafer cookies inside, layers of peanut butter cream plus a chocolate coating, but I found that rice crispy cereal recreates that texture perfectly when mixed with peanut butter & chocolate! SO good!!
Easy, No-Bake Method
To make these homemade Nutty Bars, you'll be happy to hear there's
- NO baking
- NO cooking
- NO complicated techniques
These are simple enough for kids to make, and delicious enough for kids and adults alike!
You'll need to melt together the oil and peanut butter either using a microwave or saucepan on a stovetop. That's the extent of the "cooking." But if it's summer and super hot outside, you could probably "cook" these on your patio, haha.
TIP #1: Don't skip lining your pan with paper! It will make it so much easier to remove them from the pan. You can just lift them right out. I like to use parchment paper, but wax paper may work fine here. Just leave a few inches of overhang so you can grab the sides and remove them to slice.
Tip #2: Packing the mixture firmly in the pan helps them hold together better.
Tip #3: Use a 7.5 x 5.5" (6 cup) glass dish. Any bigger, and your bars could be too thin and fall apart. Any smaller, and they could be too thick. It depends on *how* much bigger/smaller your dish is, but the 7.5 x 5.5" size makes these bars the perfect thickness to me! Just right.
Note on rice cereal: Something I learned not too long ago is that regular Rice Krispies cereal contains gluten in the form of malt.
So if you are gluten-free like me, look for one that is labeled as such.
- Aldi makes a store-brand that is GF,
- and there are several options at natural stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods that carry gluten-free varieties.
- Some are even made with brown rice and no additives at all, so there are some more natural alternatives out there.
- I found some options on Amazon, too!
What can I use besides rice cereal? aka How to make this KETO and/or Paleo
I figured since a chunk of my readers are Keto and low-carb, you may want to find an alternative to rice, since it is higher in carbs.
Rice is also a controversial ingredient in Paleo circles.. some say white rice is "approved." Others condemn all grains. I'm not here to debate. You do you.
One possibility is pork rinds. I haven't tried it myself, but since it has a light and crispy texture, that may work! Just blitz them in a food processor first to form flakes.
Something I did want to point out is that even though there are 2 cups of cereal in this recipe, it only amounts to about 2 ½ Tbs in each bar.
For my tolerance level, it works. I can't do a whole bowl of cereal or my stomach will rebel, but a little bit I can tolerate, and ENJOY it 🙂
What can I use besides coconut oil?
To lower the carbs significantly, I used monkfruit, my favorite sugar-free sweetener.
And to ensure it was not gritty, I blended it into a powder first to essentially make homemade powdered "sugar." Did you know you can turn any granulated sweetener into a powder by blending it in a blender? It's true! And it only takes 10 seconds.
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If you try these bars, please leave a rating or review below! Those are so very helpful to me and my readers. Thank you and I hope you enjoy! 🙂
Copycat Nutty Bars (Gluten/Dairy/Added Sugar-Free! Vegan + Paleo/Keto options)
- Line a 7.5 x 5.5" dish with parchment paper.
- In a large glass bowl or measuring cup, melt together peanut butter and coconut oil (I used a microwave - about 30 seconds, but a saucepan and stovetop work, too)
- Stir in cacao, sweetener, salt and vanilla and whisk well to combine.
- Fold in rice crispies.
- Pour mixture into parchment-lined pan and press firmly to pack together.
- Cover and chill or freeze bars until set.
- Slice into 12 bars. Enjoy!