Greek Chicken Gyro Caesar Salad.
Growing up, I LOVED Quaker granola bars.
You know, the chewy ones with the mini chocolate chips. They kind of felt like a sweet treat, but they were a marketed as a healthy granola bar. So mom packed them in lunches and yummm, I always loved them! She also packed things like fruit snacks, baby carrots, cream cheese bagels, turkey sandwiches, occasionally a KUDOS bars (do any of you remember them, I guess they are actually still around), plus the other usual lunch items, like water and fruit.
Honestly, I never ate a big lunch at school, it was always just uncomfortable for me. I’d pretty much only eat half of my turkey sandwich on whole grain bread and call it a day. I was a really odd kid, and school was always something I struggled greatly with. It’s funny though, looking back, I really don’t understand why I hated school so much. I had friends, I got decent grades (although I REALLY had to work hard for them) and compared to some of the real life issues I am dealing with now (yeah, I am talking about you taxes, bills, health insurance, really all things pertaining to money), school doesn’t seem so bad. But for whatever reason I totally struggled with school.
I would like to say that those Quaker chewy chocolate chip granola bars saved me back then, but really, I just liked eating them once I got home and could relax. Those and bags of baby carrots, but again, I was SO weird.
Ahh, wait, I still am totally weird.
Anyway, the idea behind these bars, came from those chewy Quaker granola bars. Only I really wanted to incorporate some summer cherries. I also wanted to make them a bit healthier. Soo, I added dried cherries (that I made myself, but more on that later!) and instead of chocolate chips I used cacao nibs, which clearly I am just a little bit into right now. Plus, I really do not like the combo of cherries and chocolate (like I really don’t), so cherries and cacao nibs seemed like the right thing to do for my taste buds.
Cacao nibs are chocolate in their purest form, but it’s weird because to me, they really don’t taste like chocolate, chocolate. Does that make sense? They are not sweet in the least and really, I really just like the crunch they give. My favorite way to eat them is in granola with yogurt, I pretty much eat this combo daily. They have so many health benefits, they are one of the highest sources of antioxidants you can find and they are also great sources of flavonoids, fiber, magnesium and potassium.
BUT, if you’re not into the cacao nibs and you like cherries and chocolate, you can just sub mini chocolate chips for the cacao nibs.
Oh, and about those cherries. I dried them myself?!? Isn’t that cool??
Ok, maybe not, but my grocery store does not carry dried cherries and I knew added fresh cherries would not work for these no bake bars. SO I thought I would just dry them out in the oven myself. You guys, it worked so perfectly, and you know, they are addicting! Sweet, chewy and the perfect way to make those summer cherries last through the fall and winter months…
Meaning you should probably go buy all the cherries you possibly can now, dry them out, and store them. Then you’ll have cherries for snacking at all times. Yes!
I really wanted to use puffed brown rice cereal, but unfortunately, I cannot find it anywhere up here. I used to be able to buy it at Target, but sadly they seem to no longer to carry it. Therefore, I ended up using toasted buckwheat and it worked out great! The bars turned out a little crunchier than what I was going for, but I still liked the texture a lot. You can use whichever you prefer though.
And yeah, that’s kind of it. Simple, healthy and delicious!!
Thinking it’s snack time?!
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Yes. Totally snack time.
These are very delicious! Instead of buckwheat or brown rice, I used a mixture of puffed wild rice and puffed amaranth which I had in the cupboard, and it turned out great! The nibs are a great substitute for chocolate chips. They will be healthy dessert/snacks at lunch this week and an energy-boosting snack on bicycle rides. This recipe is a keeper.
Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have great week:) xTieghan
Hi, this recipe looks great! I’m just curious as to whether each bar is really 325 calories? Thanks!
Hi Melissa! Yes, this is correct. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ???
These are delicious. Any tips on getting them to stay together? I’ve made them twice and for whatever reason their crumbly. Thanks in advance.
Hey Melissa! I recommend freezing the bars and keeping them in the freeze until ready to eat. They thaw within minutes and hold much better this way! Please let me know if you have any other questions. so glad you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan
I made these and gave them to friends. They were highly successful – everyone loved them. It’s a good base recipe, you can add any fruit you want, etc. I did use flax meal and brown rice krispies but subbed a natural peanut butter for almond. It worked out well. Thank you.
so happy they are a hit! THANKS!
These look amazing, and I would definitely not change one thing about them-for my own family that is. However, I work for a family that has severe nut allergies, and was wondering if certain substitutions would change the taste too much. First, omitting the almonds and maybe using toasted flaxseed or hempseed (I read both have a nuttier flavor). My question for you is, how do you think it would tase to use sunbutter or a soybutter of somekind? Would it change the flavor so dramatically it wouldn’t taste good, or do you think it would be fine?
Hi Kristin! I think your subs will work out great. The taste will obviously be slightly different but still delicious! Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love these!
I don’t have buckwheat where i live and i don’t like puffed rice cereal, can i omit these from the recipe and still make it work? Maybe adding a little more oats? Thanks!
Hi Julia, I think if you just sub equal amounts of oats for the buckwheat that will work. Let me know how it goes and I hope you love these! 🙂
I made these this past weekend and they were fabulous! Not as pretty as yours, but very tasty. I’m always excited to see what kind of recipe you will post for the day…especially now that Fall is around the corner :).
YAY!! That is awesome! Thanks so much! 🙂
This looks like such a healthy and delicious treat! Thank you.
I make my own granola bars all the time and never buy store bought anymore! They are so easy and healthy to make on your own, and I am adding this one to my rotation! Just an FYI that your ingredient list calls for 1/4 cup of coconut oil but it’s left out of the instructions so you may want to update those for people who are not familiar with the granola bar process! ?
Thanks Tracy!! I will fix the recipe!!
Perfect timing w/ school being back in, always looking for healthy snacks to pack. It’s funny, once you dehydrate things, you see how easy it is and can dry them at their peak ripeness.
I’m having a hard time Not turning all my garden tomatoes into sundried tomatoes? One thing I never thought of drying~ hibiscus flowers, I thank you for that! I love to make that tea w/ hibiscus you posted
Thank you! Hope you are having a great weekend!
Hi Tieghan! I have loved staring at all the yummy food on your blog for a while, and I’m finally going to stop just staring and make these bars! Maybe I missed this, but does the coconut oil just go in with the peanut butter and honey? Thanks!
These look like the best ever! Love the cherries and cacao nibs – seriously yum!