Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Crunchy Rice Bars Recipe (Vegan)

With Sam's food sensitivities, it is impossible for me to find a packaged cereal bar to purchase. The two main problems are oats and/or evaporated cane juice present in almost all of the bars I've seen. So I decided to make my own cereal bars for Sam. I wanted something crunchy like a granola bar, using crunchy rice cereal as the base. I also didn't want it too sweet. The recipe I came up with is exactly what I've been looking for all of these years. The best part is that Sam loves them!

Crunchy Rice Bars Recipe

1-1/2 cups of Enjoy Life Foods Perky's Crunchy Rice Cereal
2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Generously spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Heat the honey, sugar, water, oil, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan over Medium Low heat until the sugar melts and it starts to boil.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the rice cereal, and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet and use a spatula to spread it out into a rectangular shape. Use the spatula to press the cereal together so there aren't any gaps. The end result should be a thin rectangle without any gaps between the cereal. Bake it for 30 minutes.

When it is done, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and invert it onto a cutting board lined with wax paper. If the cereal bar doesn't come off in one piece, that's OK, just use your spatula to scrape off all of the cereal from the cookie sheet onto the wax paper, then repress the cereal into a rectangular shape before it cools off. While it is still warm, cut it into squares or small rectangles with a knife. As it cools it will become more and more crunchy, so you will not get perfect shapes (it will break apart like peanut brittle).

You can store the Crunchy Rice Bars in an airtight container, or you can freeze them (they freeze really well!). To freeze them, lay out the Crunchy Rice Bars in a single layer on a piece of wax paper that would fit in a large freezer bag (or tupperware container). If you have more than will fit on one sheet, put another piece of wax paper over it and start another layer. Cover the top layer with a piece of wax paper, then slide it in the freezer bag, seal it, and lay it in your freezer so that the pieces don't overlap. The Crunchy Rice Bars don't lose their crunch being frozen, and can be eaten right out of the freezer without thawing.

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