Puffed rice and peanut butter bars

I did wonder if these bars were just a little too simple to add to the blog, mainly because there is no cooking involved, apart from roasting the nuts. There is also little preparation come to that either. What they lack in technical ability required to make, they make up for in nutritional content and great taste. For those reasons, I decided they definitely have a place on here.

I have been making a version of these bars for around 30 years. I spotted my old recipe amongst my vast collection of recipes while trying to sort them and deciding what to include in the books. My boys loved them and often had one tucked into their packed lunch. They are quick to make when short of time and a great thing for children to help make too.

Years roll on, times change, we are now looking towards healthier food choices. Where once mine might have contained sugar, honey, and marshmallows, I wanted now to update them to a healthier, gluten-free and vegan version. Adding plenty of nuts, seeds, and fruit to bump up their nutritional value.

If you want to switch up the seeds and dried fruit then feel free to do so. If you do just keep to the same quantities.

I am a big fan of these types of bars and often I grab one while out, as a quick pick me up. It is only when I turn the packet over and read the nutritional label that I become horrified. Now, these are in no way a low-calorie bar, they are however packed with healthy ingredients such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit and nut butter.

There is always a plus side to knowing exactly what goes into what you are eating. I’m proud of these bars now, both crispy and gooey, they feel like you have eaten something good for your body.

Puffed rice and peanut butter bars

  • Preparation Time
  • Cooking & Freezing Time 25 Minutes
  • Makes 12 bars

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free


  • 150g rolled oats gluten-free if needed
  • 40g puffed rice cereal, gluten-free if needed
  • 30g mixed sunflower & pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 125 ml maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 60g pitted dates finely chopped
  • 70g good quality nut butter (no additives)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 30g dried cranberries or cherries
  • 60g roasted cashews or almonds, very finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a square cake tin/brownie tin with two pieces of baking parchment, one going each way. Making sure some hangs over the edge to enable you to remove it from the tin when ready.

2. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and cook for around 12 minutes or until golden in colour. Remove and leave to cool chopping or blitzing in a food processor.

3. In a large bowl place the oats and the puffed rice cereal, mix around. Then add the fruit, seeds and salt. Lastly, add the cooled finely chopped nuts.

In a saucepan place the nut butter plus the date syrup, on medium heat melt together. Once combined add the vanilla extract or seeds, stir well.

4. Quickly add this to the dry mixture and start to stir together making sure everything is combined and the dry ingredients are covered.

5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly, with damp hands press it down. The best way I have found to really press this down is to grab a tin of beans etc and roll over the surface and around the edges. Not technical, but I find this works really well.

Place the tin in the freezer for 15 minutes uncovered until firm.

Lift the square out of the tin using the baking parchment as handles, then place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife slice the square in half, then slice each half into 6 bars.

You can have them naked or top with some vegan dark chocolate. I usually do some of each.

Individually wrap each bar in clingfilm and store in a sealed tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. For me, I like to freeze mine, wrapped and stored in the freezer because they defrost so quickly. Can be stored in the freezer for about 6 weeks.

These can be a little delicate and crumbly when it comes to slicing them, even more so once you add the chocolate, here are a few tips.

  1. Score the chocolate with a sharp knife before cutting them.
  2. Use a very sharp knife to slice them.
  3. Make sure all your dried fruits or nuts are very finely chopped.
  4. You could also for a change make them into balls. To do this roll the mixture into small balls and either freeze them like that or either half the ball into chocolate.

If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments too.

5 thoughts on “Puffed rice and peanut butter bars

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  1. annecreates – I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.
    annecreates says:

    These look amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen says:

    Tasty I’m sure!

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