These healthy no bake cinnamon roll protein bars are a delicious, quick and easy protein packed snack using just four ingredients (A Beyond Cereal Bar copycat!)! A one bowl, fuss-free recipe which is completely vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free and low calorie!
For the first time in a LONG time, I took a stroll down the school snacks aisle in the supermarket.
I was interested to see if any of my childhood staples were there. Growing up, my typical lunchbox snacks were dunk-a-roos (unfortunately, not like the glorious American kind), fruit (ew), fruit snacks (a level up from ‘ew’ but still pretty ‘ew’), granola bars and cereal bars.
Oh, those cereal bars.
By the end of the school year, my sister and I would have a very impressive collection of them. They were in pristine condition, packaging still on and rock hard, thanks to being well past their ‘eat by’ date.
Well, impressive until we got chased with a wooden spoon for wasting food.
Random, but has anyone ever eaten an expired cereal bar? It’s a sure-fire way to get a dental checkup.
Here are the ingredients of the EXACT bar I had in my lunchbox-
Cereal (rice, whole grain, sugar, salt, malt flavoring, vitamin B12), soluble corn fiber, fructose, corn syrup, brown sugar, roasted peanuts (peanuts, peanut oil), sunflower oil, dextrose, sugar, honey, glycerin, natural and artificial flavor, salt, soy lecithin, milk, milk powder……and 12 other ingredients.
I couldn’t be bothered writing the rest out.
Besides the handful of ‘ingredients’ I’ve never heard of, I was kind of shocked at the number of times I saw ‘sugar’ and it’s alternatives.
Clearly, I had to give it a makeover!
I wanted to maintain the exact same texture, reduce the number of ingredients AND give it a punch of protein. At the same time, I was fortunate to have my friends at Quest shoot over a sampling of their newer Beyond Cereal Bars. They were protein-packed cereal bars which came in several flavors. I really enjoyed their cinnamon roll flavor, so added that to my version.
The original cereal bar was chewy, sweet, and with a hint of honey. They also could hold up really well, and not need any refrigeration.
My version? It’s chewy, sweet and can have a hint of honey (if you choose that sweetener). It also holds up really well and does NOT need any refrigeration. In the end, we are left with these healthy 4 Ingredient No Bake Cinnamon Roll Cereal Protein Bars!
These delicious no bake Cinnamon Roll Cereal Protein Bars are the perfect protein-packed snack or healthy treat to enjoy anytime and use just four ingredients! They also require no baking and are a one bowl, fuss free recipe ready in under 10 minutes!
As evidenced above, traditional cereal bars are packed with several kinds of sugar (granulated, processed and natural), ingredients you can’t even pronounce and aren’t suitable for those following a vegan or gluten-free lifestyle! The protein content is also pitiful, and as such, is pretty much comparable to gummy bears or a candy bar!
My version, however, is completely suitable for those following a vegan, gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free lifestyle. Instead of using multiple versions of cereal, we’ll stick to using my favorite gluten free O cereal. For those who tolerate gluten fine, cheerios would work great for this.
To form the bars, we’ll be using a combination of nut butter and either brown rice syrup or honey. For the nut butter, I love using drippy peanut butter or almond butter. For those with a nut allergy, this works great with sunflower seed butter or soy nut butter. As for the sticky sweetener, I prefer brown rice syrup, but honey works great, although the honey flavor is really evident. If you don’t have either of those, agave syrup and maple syrup can be used, but you’ll need to increase by two tablespoons, as they aren’t as sticky as the other two.
The icing on the cake bars (literally) is a protein-packed drizzle which looks fancy but is incredibly easy and healthy- Vanilla protein powder, cinnamon and a liquid of choice to thin out. I recommend using Growing Naturals Vanilla Blast, which really compliments the cereal base really well!
HACK! Want an even bigger hit of protein? I got you covered! Feel free to add an extra scoop of protein powder in the cereal mixture and then top with the extra icing! Double the protein, double the muscles.
Ha, I wish.
Make these healthy No Bake 4 Ingredient Cinnamon Roll Cereal Protein Bars and never buy a store bought cereal bar again…
…Unless it’s for the collector’s edition, and bring it ON.
- 2 cups 'O' cereal (I used gluten free O cereal, but Cheerios would work too)
- 1/3 cup + 1 T nut butter of choice (can use an alternative too)
- 1/3 cup + 1 T brown rice syrup or honey (can use maple syrup or agave)*
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder**
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Growing Naturals Vanilla Blast)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- liquid of choice, to thin out
- Line an 8 x 8 baking dish or tray with baking paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your dry cereal and optional protein powder and set aside.
- In the microwave or stovetop, melt your nut butter with syrup/honey until combined.
- Pour mixture into the lined baking tray and press firmly into place. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
- While bars are firming up, start making your cinnamon roll glaze by combining the protein powder and cinnamon and thinning out with liquid of choice. Drizzle over the cereal base and cut into bars.
- * If you use maple syrup or agave, add an extra 2 tablespoons
- ** Optional- Only add if you want extra protein
- Cereal bars are fine at room temperature, but best kept refrigerated. They are also freezer friendly.
Healthy snacks which taste like a cookie and cream dessert bar!
3 Ingredient paleo friendly bars without any additional fats or sugar!
This childhood classic gets a protein packed makeover, minus the butter and marshmallows!
This post is sponsored by Growing Naturals. Cheers, hugs, and handshakes for supporting companies and brands which allow me to do what I’m passionate about every day, and continuing to make The Big Man’s World possible.
Do they still make your lunchbox snacks?
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