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No-Bake Chocolatey Trail Mix Cereal Bars via www.sahmplus.com

No-Bake Chocolatey Trail Mix Cereal Bars (Gluten and Dairy Free)

I was inspired by a recent batch of trail mix cookies and some cheerios bars recipes I'd come across.  When I searched for bars or bites, I noticed most recipes included honey as the sticky sweetener.  But, with a toddler who refuses to be left out of the treat share, I knew I needed to find a treat that he could eat too.  So, I got to work and came up with this chocolately trail mix cereal bar that is free of gluten, dairy, and honey, yet perfectly delicious for the whole family!

Course Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1.5 C O's cereal of choice I use Nature's Path Gluten Free Whole O's
  • 1/4 C dried cranberries
  • 1/4 C Sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips I use Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips mini-morsels
  • 1/3 C Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 C Nut butter of choice I prefer peanut butter for the extra flavor, but any will do
  • coconut flakes Optional. Dried, unsweetened was my choice

Instructions

  1. Dump the first 4 ingredients in a bowl

  2. Heat maple syrup and nut butter over high heat and stir until it begins to bubble

  3. Turn to low (or off if you want to use residual heat) and stir until well blended and nice and hot

  4. Immediately pour this into your bowl of dry ingredients and stir.  It will melt the chocolate morsels.

  5. Cut parchment paper at the corners to fit into an 8x8 baking pan

  6. Pour the mixture into the parchment-lined pan.

  7. Press the mixture with some pressure to completely cover the bottom of the pan.  I use a spoon, but you could use your hands if you don't mind getting them messy.

  8. Sprinkle the top with coconut flakes if desired.

  9. Place baking dish into freezer for at least 30 minutes (I usually leave it about an hour)

  10. Once chilled, I pull out the pan, removing the parchment paper and cereal bars, then cut into individual squares or rectangles.  I do about 1/2 inch to 1 inch squares.  The smaller the better for tiny tots.

  11. Place the food on the parchment paper back into the pan.  Keep in the refrigerator for storage.