No Bake Cereal Bars Without Marshmallows | Vegan & Whole Grain
Satisfy your sweet tooth with gluten free, 4-ingredient, NO BAKE cereal bars! I opted for Cheerios and Rice Krispies to keep these treats whole grain and low in sugar. But, you could also use whichever cereals you like!
Personally, I think adding plain Cheerios to the mix to makes these treats more filling Ann’s more satisfyingly crunchy. And, I switched things up from most traditional cereal bars recipes by using sticky brown rice syrup and almond butter to make these no bake cereal bars without marshmallows.
Plus, the simple swap makes these goodies a bit cleaner and totally vegan! If desired, you could use honey or agave as your sticky sweetener instead. But, brown rice syrup is stickiest, so I find that it works best to hold these no bake cereal bars together.
Perfectly sweet-and-savory, deliciously crispy, and a great on-the-go snack!
Packing More Fuel into Homemade Sweet Treats
Alright, it’s no secret that I LOVE snacking. More specifically, I am in love with cereal. Something about the simple, sweet crunch is so addictive! But, choosing healthy cereals is a more complicated task than it should be…
Yes, I do love plain old cereals, like the Cheerios and Rice Krispies in these no bake cereal bars. BUT, of course, my true favorites are the sugary, ultra-processed, artificially-colored cereals. And, of course, these are some of the WORST choices. (Ironically, considering they’re marketed as ‘breakfast’ cereals.)
So, if you want to enjoy cereal that offers some ACTUAL nutrition, you have to read nutrition labels. Ideally, we want to choose more wholesome options with fewer added sugars and more (or ALL) whole grains.
Since the first ingredient in Cheerios is oats and in Rice Krispies it’s rice, they’re 2 options that can keep your no bake cereal bars whole grain and more fuel-filled! And, both of these cereals are far lower in sugar than most, with just 1g in 1 cup of plain Cheerios and 4g in 1¼ cups Rice Krispies.
Food for Thought:
Yes, whether it’s for breakfast or for these no bake cereal bars, plain Cheerios and Rice Krispies ARE better, more wholesome options. But, keep in mind, they’re still not better choices than real, whole foods that don’t come packaged in a box.
And, despite their low sugar content, ‘sugar’ is still the 2nd or 3rd ingredient on these cereals. Plus, even though brown rice syrup is a less refined sweetener alternative to table sugar, it’s still sugar. The point here: these no bake cereal bars are cleaner and more fuel-filled, but they’re still a sweet treat.
So, enjoy them like you would a treat—in moderation! As always, I’m a big believer that real, whole foods with nutrients that our bodies appreciate should make up the bulk of our diets. More veggies and fruits, fewer packaged, processed foods.
But, when we are going to indulge, I’m also a believer in making cleaner homemade treats for ourselves. That way, WE control the ingredients. And that’s why these no bake cereal bars definitely contain more wholesome fuel and far less sugar than the traditional marshmallow-y treats!
No Bake Cereal Bars Without Marshmallows
- 1 cup plain Cheerios cereal
- 1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
- ½ cup almond butter, or peanut butter
- ½ cup brown rice syrup, or honey/agave syrup, but brown rice is the stickiest and will work the best
- To a large mixing bowl, add cereal and mix to combine.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt almond butter and brown rice syrup until integrated. Pour cereal into pan and mix well to coat completely.
- Transfer to a baking dish (I used 6×8-inch) lined with foil or parchment. Refrigerate 45 minutes-1 hour to firm.
- Slice into bars, serve, and enjoy!
- Yields 10 no bake cereal bars.
6 Comments on “No Bake Cereal Bars Without Marshmallows | Vegan & Whole Grain”
xxouls I use caemels with this instead the syrup
Hi Rose, I apologize that I’m not sure what you mean here! If you’d like to replace the syrup, you’ll need a suitable sticky alternative. Typically, cereal bars like this (like rice krispy treats) are made with melted marshmallows. Instead, we’ve used brown rice syrup, but agave should work as well, or honey. If you’re wondering about using melted caramels as a binding agent instead of syrup, that might work but I can’t be sure! I hope this helps somewhat 🙂
Thanks for your reply. I will be trying this recipe with light corn syrup as I saw elsewhere that that can hold it together too. Is light corn syrup the same as brown rice syrup? Have you tried these with honey? Do they actually hold?
Hi Ayesha, light corn syrup isn’t exactly the same as brown rice syrup (it’s made of corn, rather than brown rice). But, corny syrup does have a texture/consistency that’s similar in stickiness to brown rice syrup! It should work just fine in this recipe.
We have only made this specific recipe with brown rice syrup, but we’ve made other no bake breakfast bars using honey and they’ve turned out well! 🙂
I tried this recipe With peanut butter and maple syrup and the cereal did not stick together and it was very sweet. Why is that? Wonder how it can be fixed?
Hi Ayesha, thanks for trying out the recipe, though I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out as well as you expected! This is a sweet treat, similar to rice krispies but healthified, so some sweetness is to be expected. However, if you’re finding it to be too sweet AND not sticky enough, I’d wager the main issue is using maple syrup instead of brown rice syrup.
Brown rice syrup tends to be VERY sticky, much stickier than a traditional maple syrup, and it’s flavor is a bit different than maple syrup. That might explain the failures in texture and the hyper-sweetness? I apologize for maple syrup being listed as an alternative on the recipe and I will adjust that straight away, I think it may just not be as effective or sticky enough to hold this recipe together.
I do think brown rice syrup is the best bet for this kind of recipe, but I know many people don’t keep brown rice syrup on hand in their pantry! So I’d say, if you try this recipe again, honey or even agave syrup might be better choices than maple syrup for your sticky sweetener. I hope this can help some! Thanks so much for your feedback and for giving the recipe a try.