My kids have always loved cereal bars. I never got it…they were too sweet for me.
When we had to go gluten free, the options out there for this breakfast staple were pretty dismal.
Not only were they atrociously expensive, they left more than a little to be desired nutrition AND taste wise.
My kids couldn’t even go through one box. First, I couldn’t blame them! Secondly….they were not even kind of healthy at all!
Can gluten free cereal bars be made healthy?
They can!! Many commercial varieties have some major issues:
- expensive (at least the allergy friendly ones)
- loaded with sugar! A high sugar breakfast is not in the best interest of anyone, including our kids! Sugar is a short lived energy burst followed by an inevitable sugar crash. A balanced meal of slow burn high fiber carbs with some protein and healthy fats is a much better way to go.
- problematic ingredients: when conventional corn and wheat products are used, there is a high likelihood of their being GMO’s inside. For us, this a is a big problem as glyphosate residue in GMO crops in the US are often bed mates. I don’t think anyone could argue the damage that Roundup, in any amount ,can cause our guts!! My son is super sensitive to it.
But now I have something better to give them, and YOU do too! Meet the quintessential fruit filled cereal bar with no weird ingredients.
Wholesome nutrients and allergy free goodness are first and foremost here! Healthy fats, fiber, and some protein!!
Think Nutrigrain Bars…but healthier and tastier! Seems to me, that is a mom win!
These cereal bars took a lot tries to get right, therefore, I hope you think they’re worth it! Woot woot!!
Gluten free breakfast bar ingredient notes:
- Make your own oat flour by whirring rolled oats in a coffee grinder or blender, it’s easy and works great! A blender also works well! just note that the end texture will have more texture than professionally milled gluten free oat flour.
- When it comes to the jam filling, we have many options to choose from! Trader Joe’s make some great lower sugar jams that we love. St Dalfours brand has no added sugars and is sweetened with fruit juice only.
What if I have some extra dough leftover?
I use this same dough to make my gluten free emapanadas!! They are simple, wholesome, and totally delicious!
Want some more kid-friendly breakfast ideas with wholesome ingredients?
- These Oatmeal Muffins use whole rolled oats for a lovely, chewy texture.
- Totally grain free and nutrient dense: Paleo Maple Nut Porridge
- My creation of a childhood favorite: Cream of Not Wheat Cereal
- These egg muffins are a great way to make a protein rich breakfast…each family member getting their favorite add ins!
How to make gluten free cereal bars
Making these bars is not as fussy as you think!
I have learned a few tricks over the years to make rolling dough out much easier, check out my step by step pictures to get an idea of what my process looks like!
Tips detailed in the recipe card below.
Homemade Gluten Free Cereal Bars Recipe:
If you try these these homemade cereal bars, be sure to come back and leave a comment!
Healthy Fruit Cereal Bars - Gluten Free
An allergy friendly and wholesome gluten free cereal bar made at home!
- 1 cup gluten free oat flour could whir rolled oats in blender to make your own: will have more texture.
- 1 cup teff flour or more oat or brown rice flour If you can do gluten, I imagine spelt, and whole wheat pastry flour would work great!
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup palm sugar or other granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons chia meal or flax meal
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or more if needed
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or other oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla optional
- 2/3-1 cup favorite jelly I linked to brands I buy above in post. More or less ok!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease an 8 x 8 pan or line with parchment paper.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the wet ingredients. Pour into the dry mix and blend until a soft dough is formed. You may add a couple tablespoons milk or more applesauce if it is necessary. I use my hands to mix thoroughly and add more applesauce if the dough in a bit dry, you want it slightly sticky. Divide the dough in half.
Place half the dough on a piece of parchment, place another piece of parchment over the top, and roll it out into a rough 8 x 8 square (the dough should be too wet to roll without the parchment on top). I have used plastic wrap, waxed paper, and a Silpat for this job too with success, just be sure you don't try and bake the plastic wrap or waxed paper!
Invert the rolled dough into the pan (be sure to grease it if you are not using parchment paper), pressing and smooshing until the bottom crust is dispersed if needed. Gently remove the parchment.
Spread your filling evenly over the bottom crust. The amount you use it totally up to your taste preference.
Roll out the top crust in the same manner, and flip over onto the top of the filling. Press and smoosh with the parchment in place and then remove when you are happy! I have also just moved pieces of the dough and overlapped pieces as a top crust...works great too!
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the center is just set.
Alternative Fruit Filling Directions
Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium low heat and simmer for multiple minutes.
Once cooked through and thick, puree with an immersion blender for texture-averse kiddos! If you used chia seeds version, add after the fruit is cooked and let rest to thicken (suggest making this version ahead of time).
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