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Why pay almost $3 or $4 for an overpriced box of trail mix-style bars when you can make your own easily? A 6 ounce bag of puffed brown rice cereal goes for 80 cents at our local supermarket, and 6 ounces is a lot of puffed rice! You can use natural, low-sugar or low-fat peanut butters, use raisins instead of dried cherries or substitute chocolate or carob chips for the coconut (or include everything you can!). In addition to the sunflower seeds, I like to add sesame seeds for extra crunch as well.
- 1 cup peanut butter (or experiment with almond butter, too)
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄3 cup sunflower seeds
- 2⁄3 cup dried cherries or 2⁄3 cup dried cranberries or 2⁄3 cup raisins (or a combination)
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1⁄3 cup shredded coconut
- 3 cups puffed brown rice cereal
- butter, to grease pan
Other optional ingredients
- chocolate or carob chips (optional)
- sliced almonds (other nuts are a little too oily for this) (optional)
- Grease an 8x8 pan with a little butter.
- In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract until well-combined.
- Add the sunflower seeds, dried fruit, sesame seeds and coconut and combine thoroughly with the peanut butter mixture.
- Gradually add the puffed brown rice cereal to this.
- This is where a child comes in handy-- this step is gooey and messy and best mixed with your hands- and kids love stuff like that.
- Firmly press the mixture into the prepared 8x8 pan; you'll need to wet your hands slightly, otherwise the mixture just sticks to them.
- Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, then cut and serve.
- They're very rich!