Super-Friendly Trail Mix Cereal Bars (Easy, Sweet, Crispy, Chewy!)

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Kind Bar meets Krispy Treat meets Granola Bar in these delicious trail mix cereal bars! And what makes them so friendly? They’re allergy-friendly (naturally free of top allergens), kid-friendly, adult-friendly, gluten-free-friendly, vegan-friendly, and just plain perfect for sharing with loved ones, schoolmates, fitness buddies, and co-workers. Anywhere you could use a sweet, nutrient-rich snack, these trail mix cereal bars have got you covered.

Super-Friendly Trail Mix Cereal Bars - Easy, Crispy, Chewy, Sweet, and Safe! Perfect for sharing as they're top allergen-free, gluten-free, loved by kids and adults, and vegan optional.

You might be wondering what makes these trail mix cereal bars so different from other recipes. Unlike Kind Bars, there are no nuts, and these aren’t quite as heavy, either. Krispy Treats are loaded with refined sugars and marshmallows to make them sticky, neither of which are required in these trail mix cereal bars. And finally, most chewy natural Granola Bar recipes simply fall apart or must be chilled to stay cohesive. Not these! They can be stored at room temperature and are totally packable into lunchboxes without crumbles!

Super-Friendly Trail Mix Cereal Bars - Easy, Crispy, Chewy, Sweet, and Safe! Perfect for sharing as they're top allergen-free, gluten-free, loved by kids and adults, and vegan optional.

What are my secrets? For the “friendly” nature, I use allergen-safe ingredients, including Enjoy Life’s Crunchy Cereal, Seed & Fruit Mix (aka nut-free trail mix!), and Chocolate Chips. All are naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and totally approved for school-safe policies! I also use sunflower seed butter rather than nut butter, but as noted, this recipe is so simple that it’s easy to modify with your favorite ingredients or whatever wholesome goodies you have on hand. I just recommend against adding a bunch of soft grains, like oats, or ground seeds, like flax or chia, as they will soak up all of the moisture very quickly!

Super-Friendly Trail Mix Cereal Bars - Easy, Crispy, Chewy, Sweet, and Safe! Perfect for sharing as they're top allergen-free, gluten-free, loved by kids and adults, and vegan optional.

And for the amazing cohesiveness you see above, the answer is simple: a candy thermometer (I use this one). These cheap little tools are found in most grocery stores and will pay for themselves in countless batches of wonderful granola bars. Most recipes tell you to simply heat the wet ingredients together, but this does nothing for helping to bind those bars. To make these trail mix cereal bars, I heat liquid sweetener to a temperature range (it’s easy and foolproof!) to create a chewy, gluey consistency that’s just like store-bought!

Super-Friendly Trail Mix Cereal Bars - Easy, Crispy, Chewy, Sweet, and Safe! Perfect for sharing as they're top allergen-free, gluten-free, loved by kids and adults, and vegan optional.This post is sponsored by Enjoy Life Foods, but I certainly won’t stop making these trail mix cereal bars or loving their products – I use their Enjoy Life goodies in my kitchen nearly every week! 

Special Diet Notes: Chewy Trail Mix Cereal Bars

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan / plant-based (choose the sweetener that works for you), vegetarian, and generally top food allergy-friendly.

Chewy Trail Mix Cereal Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 16
Ingredients
Trail Mix Cereal Bars
Optional Chocolate Drizzle
Instructions
To make the Trail Mix Cereal Bars
  1. Place the cereal in a large bowl and grease or line a 7x11-inch (or similar size) pan with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the honey into a very dry small saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a bubble, insert a candy thermometer, and let it bubble until it reaches about 250ºF (give or take 5 degrees) - this takes just a few minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the seed butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Immediately pour the mixture over the cereal and stir to combine. Stir in the seed and fruit mix until just combined - any chocolate chips may melt a little, but I'm okay with that if you are.
  4. Firmly press the mixture into your prepared pan and let it set (you can put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes).
  5. Remove the mixture to a cutting board, peeling off the parchment if used. Cut into quarters each way to create 16 bars.
For the Optional Chocolate Drizzle
  1. Melt the chocolate chips and oil / shortening together (I do this in the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds until JUST melted - do not overheat).
  2. Dip or drizzle the chocolate over the bars as desired.
Notes
*For a nut-free option, we like sunflower seed butter best in these trail mix cereal bars, but you can sub in any seed, nut, peanut, or soy butter depending on your dietary needs, tastes, and what you have on hand!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

21 Comments

  1. Pingback: Dairy-Free Lunch Box Ideas with Kid-Friendly Recipes

  2. Your cereal bars look almost professionally made! I am so impressed with your cutting skills. My bars usually look like sad trapezoids. I excited to hear about the Enjoy Life products. I am going to have to look for them.

  3. Thank you for this post! It’s so handy because it’s often difficult to find snacks that are nut-free and something my kids can bring safely to school. This is a delicious and healthy alternative that I am happy to give to my kiddos.

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