Oat Bran Cereal & Fruit Bars – Absolutely Delicious, Vegan, and GF!

Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars
Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars

If you’re looking for a snack that is vegan, high in fiber, tasty, and portable, then you’re going to love my Oat Bran Cereal & Fruit Bars! BTW, I have been meaning to share these for years now. You can probably tell that from the style of photos taken during my early blogging days.

These Oat Bran Cereal & Fruit Bars are delicious. They’re sweet and a healthier version of rice cereal treats. The base is made with marshmallows and your choice of butter, including vegan butter. Add any high-in-fiber oat bran cereal (I use Nature’s Path Multigrain Oat Bran Flakes) and 2 cups of other mix-ins, including your choice of dried fruits, almonds, coconut flakes, and pumpkin seeds/pepitas.

Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars
Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars

I’ve made these bars with all kinds of bran cereal, including using combinations of bran buds and oat bran flakes. This recipe is a great way to use up the last bit of cereal in a box and the last of any dried fruits on hand. Think of these bars as a ‘clean out the closet’ dessert option.

Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars
Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars

In terms of the dried fruit, I’ve made these bars with combinations of dried apricots, dates, sour cherries, and dried pineapples. Figs would also be delicious as would dried mangos. I’ve used flaked coconut when I didn’t have coconut flakes on hand.

This Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit recipe is forgiving. Add vanilla, or don’t. Eyeball the marshmallows if you are using miniature ones or jumbo ones. Adjust the cereal amounts accordingly.

Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars
Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars

One trick I have is to use a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap to smooth down the cereal bars. Don’t use the spatula or spoon you used to mix the bars together — it’s just too sticky!

I hope you enjoy these. I have gained weight from eating too many of these, as have some of my visiting guests! Let me know if you try them and what variations you make.

Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars
Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars

Oat Bran Cereal & Fruit Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c butter, margarine, or vegan butter
  • 40 regular marshmallows (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 c Oat Bran Flakes
  • 1 c coarsely chopped dried fruit (think apricots, dates, pineapples, cherries, figs, and mangos)
  • 1/2 c coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1/3 c pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 1/2 c flaked coconut

Method

  • Melt the butter and marshmallows over low heat
  • Add vanilla to melted butter and marshmallows
  • Turn off the heat and add the cereal and mix-ins
  • Spread out and smooth in a greased 9 x 13 inch glass pan
  • Smooth down with a piece of wax paper
  • Cool and cut into bars
  • Store at room temperature in a covered container
Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars
Oat Bran Cereal & Dried Fruit Bars

Variations

  • To make these vegan, use vegan butter as well as marshmallows that don’t use animal gelatin ingredients, e.g. Kosher marshmallows
  • Use gluten-free flakes
  • Use flaked or shredded coconut

Enjoy!

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No-Bake Cheesecake – A Perfect Summer Dessert

No-Bake Cheesecake
No-Bake Cheesecake

No-bake cheesecakes are a perfect summer dessert: they use ingredients you regularly have at home, don’t require an oven, and are easy to decorate with in-season summer fruits!

This recipe has been around for a long time. I remember it from when I was a kid, and I see it all the time on the Internet. It’s got a graham cracker crust that is topped with a cream cheese, condensed milk, and lemon/lime juice and zest. That’s it. Place it in the freezer or fridge to set, and top with whatever berries you have on hand. You can also top with cherry pie filling.

I make this no-bake cheesecake in a 9 or 10 inch springform pan. It’s easier and more presentable if you use a springform pan, but you can use a regular pie plate or dish. You can even buy a ready-made crust from the store.

No-Bake Cheesecake
No-Bake Cheesecake

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Chocolate Almond Energy Bites – GF & Vegan

Chocolate Almond Energy Bites
Chocolate Almond Energy Bites

I always have energy balls or squares on hand because they’re the perfect snack right before a workout! Sometimes you don’t have time to eat something that takes a lot of prep time before you go for a run or before you head out the door. These chocolate almond bites are perfect as a grab-and-go healthy option.

BTW, you can also check out my recipe for Vegan Chocolate Fudge that I have shared in the past. The ‘fudge’ recipe is date-based whereas the recipe I’m sharing today is made with almond flour.

I’ve tried making energy balls with almond flour in the past and I love the texture and taste of almond flour, so I was very pleased when I came up with this recipe with the addition of cocoa powder.

Chocolate Almond Energy Bites
Chocolate Almond Energy Bites

What I like about making energy balls is the different ways you can ‘dress’ up these treats. Here, I’ve topped them with sea salt, peanuts, and slivered almonds. I highly recommend topping them with either peanuts or almonds  so everyone knows that these energy balls contain nuts! Plus, it’s a fun way to decorate these bites and to make them presentable for gifting.

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Easy Chocolate Bark!

Chocolate Bark
Chocolate Bark

There is nothing easier to make than chocolate bark, period. Chocolate bark is one of those desserts that you can make for any occasion: birthdays, holidays, graduations, confirmations, teacher gifts, office treats, hostess gifts, etc. All you need is baking chocolate and your choice of toppings. If you want to be extra fancy, you can use food coloring, different grades of chocolate, and unusual toppings.

With Passover and Easter this week, I thought I would post some fun recipes to make with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. This Easter white chocolate bark is made with Baker’s White Chocolate, Cadbury Mini Eggs, Sweetapolita Sprinkles, and fresh pistachios. It took about 15 minutes from start to finish. The hard part is waiting for it to firm up!

Chocolate Bark
Chocolate Bark

Here’s how I made this Easter-themed White Chocolate Bark.

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Vegan Chocolate Fudge – Made With Dates!!

Vegan Chocolate Fudge Made With Dates
Vegan Chocolate Fudge Made With Dates

My first taste of fudge was when I moved to North Carolina to attend boarding school, in my sophomore year of high school. It was then that I fell in love with this North American dessert, at first bite!

I have a major sweet tooth, and it’s satisfied by super sweet North American and Middle Eastern desserts like: Texas Pecan Fudge Pie a la mode (specifically from House of Pies in Houston), pralines, fudge, cookie dough, Hello Dollies, knafeh, baklava, nammoura, and super sweet meghli. The last four are Middle Eastern and I make most of them at home when I can. Look for the meghli recipe in the next few weeks.

But…I digress. These days, fudge comes in many forms and is used to describe many cooked as well as no-bake desserts. There are variations that include melting chocolate and adding a can of condensed milk. There are variations that include tahini and coconut oil, like this recipe that I have shared in the past. And, there are recipes that are made with dates as a base, like the one I’m sharing today. Continue reading

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Freezer Fudge

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Freezer Fudge
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Freezer Fudge

For the past few weeks, I’ve been making batches of this delicious peanut butter oatmeal freezer fudge and I wanted to share my recipe with you. These peanut butter oatmeal fudge pieces taste a bit like an Oh Henry or Baby Ruth candy bar! (BTW, check out this post for the recipe for Homemade Oh Henry Bars.)

I’m kind of addicted to freezer fudge these days, and for good reason: it’s easy and quick to make, there’s no cooking required, and it’s a satisfying treat. There’s something about having a cold snack/treat that makes it that much more tasty. I have a few other fudge recipes that I’ve also developed, and I will be sharing them with you over the next few months.

In the past, I’ve made tahini freezer fudge, and the recipe is on the blog, here. The main ingredient in freezer fudge is coconut oil, which helps the fudge set.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Freezer Fudge
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Freezer Fudge

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