Cheerio Trail Mix Bars & $15 PayPal Cash Giveaway!

Today’s post is sponsored by General Mills and Publix. All content and opinions are my own! #GlutenFreeCereal #GlutenFreeCheerios #PublixGlutenFreeCereal

 

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m always on the lookout for easy, healthy grab-and-go snacks to keep me going through my busy days.  For the past month (let’s be serious, more like 4 months), I’ve had a kind of unhealthy obsession with granola. Particularly, this Toasted Coconut Peanut Butter Granola. I swear I made it almost weekly since I posted that recipe back in the beginning of May.

So you can figure it was about time for a bit of variety in the snack department. So of course, I started looking for a little inspiration…

 

Trail Mix Cheerio Bars {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

 

Back when I was in high school, my mom made this amazing snack bars that she, so brilliantly, called “Cheerio Treats”, which go figure, were made out of Cheerios and lots of other delicious (but not so healthy) ingredients.

Picture a rice crispy treat, Cheerio style. aka they were delicious.

So I got to thinking about these beloved Cheerio Treats and decided it was time to give them a total makeover. I absolutely love Cheerios because they’re made out of wholesome oats and are perfectly crunchy and nutty, and did I mention they’re entirely gluten-free?? (Side note: They’re also the only snack I’ll serve my students at school when they forget one. That’s what you get when you have a health-nut teacher!) I thought these little o’s would be a perfect start to a trail mix, so why not take all those trail mix ingredients and turn them into a wholesome, granola-style bar!

 

Trail Mix Cheerio Bars {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

Trail Mix Cheerio Bars {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

 

So that’s exactly what I did!

Nutty Cheerios, crunchy pepitas, pecans, and cashews, and tart craisins, all mixed together with coconut oil, honey, and peanut butter for the perfect protein-rich snack! Better yet, these babies are no-bake and can be whipped up in 10 minutes flat. Talk about the perfect on-the-go snack!

I like to bring these bars to school as a pick-me-up for end of a long day. They’re a great snack to eat right before I head to the gym or to keep my belly satisfied in that long break between lunch and dinner. One thing to note, these bars are best kept chilled, so they don’t turn into a goopy mess. And for taste purposes too, of course 😉

 

Trail Mix Cheerio Bars {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

 

General Mills has a huge variety of gluten-free cereals, including different flavors of Cheerios, Chex, and Lucky Charms that you could easily substitute in this recipe. Better yet, Publix is offering a $1 off coupon when you buy any 2 General Mills cereals, now through July 3, 2016. Definitely worth it JUST to make these addictive, healthy bars!

But wait, there’s more (I had to 😉 )! General Mills & Publix have been generous enough to GIVEAWAY a $15 PayPal Cash Gift to one lucky reader so they can purchase some gluten-free cereal to try for themselves. Enter below for your chance to win a $15 cash gift through PayPal!

Giveaway ends on Sunday, June 19th at 11:59 pm EST.

15 PayPal Cash Giveaway

 

Trail Mix Cheerio Bars {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

Cheerio Trail Mix Bars

Serves 8 bars or 16 squares
Prep time 3 hours, 10 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan
Meal type Snack

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Cheerios, plain
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews (whole or chopped)
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (if vegan), depending on how much sweetness you like
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter

Directions

Step 1
In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients: cheerios, cashews, pecans, pepitas, and craisins.
Step 2
Heat a small saucepan and whisk together coconut oil, honey or maple syrup, and peanut butter over medium heat until combined.
Step 3
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to coat. Pour into a parchment lined 9 x 13'' baking dish and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight). Slice and serve!
Step 4
Note: These bars are best served cold (and they taste amazing!). They tend to melt when left out at room temperature for long periods of time.

Trail Mix Cheerio Bars {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com

pumpkinandpb

Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!

37 Comments

  1. My favorite on the go snack right now is peanut butter oatmeal coconut choc chip energy bites. Quick & easy & the daughter & Hubs both like. I can’t wait to make these and see how they go over!

    • Ohh those sound delicious! Hope you like them 😉

    • For sure!! I love that you can control the sweetness and not add too much sugar!

  2. I have all these ingredients minus the Cheerios, which can easily be fixed. I love making bars for on the go snacks, this one sounds like a winner!! <3

    • Nice!! I just polished off my last bar tonight and I’m already excited to make another batch. They’re SO good!

    • They definitely are! One of my new favorite go-to’s 🙂

  3. These look amazing! I have a long road trip coming up and these would be PERFECT to bring along a healthy snack (and to prevent me from being tempted by all of the unhealthy gas station treats!). Becc

    • They would be PERFECT for that! I always love bringing a big cooler full of snacks on our big trips— eating makes it so much more fun 😉

  4. I love that you used pepitas in here! I cannot get enough of them right now! And huge yay for grab and go snacks!

    • They’re strangely addicting— I went through the whole tray in a few days. Thanks Alexa 🙂

  5. I love those Nature Valley sweet & Salty Almond bars.

  6. I like fruit or a granola bar for on the go.

  7. I love to take granola bars and cheddar cheese popcorn.

  8. My favorite on the go snack is apples! I love the sweetness!

  9. Oh we love granola bars. I have to try your trail mix bars! These would be so great for us on the go! So excited they are gluten free for me!

    • So glad you like them 🙂 You’ll have to let me know what you think!

  10. We like fruit bars, popcorn and yogurt-covered raisins!

  11. My favorite on the go snack is pretzels and almonds!

  12. My favorite on the go snacks are granola bars. Not those chalky protein, meal replacement bars, but good wholesome fruit, nut, and oats bars.

    • Totally agree— those are the best kinds of granola bars!

  13. My favorite on the go snack right now is straight up granola HAHA but these look delicious and will definitely be trying them!

    • Loveeeee granola! You’re going to love these— and they’re super easy to make too! Miss you 🙂

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