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I love these things:
There’s some sort of fruity tangy flavor in them that I just can’t resist. But with sugar, corn syrup, and high maltose corn syrup all in the top ingredients list, I might as well be eating a candy bar.
I’ve been working out my own recipe inspired by this Nature Valley bar for months. This has been such a hard one to tackle! It all comes down to the “stick” factor. I was able to duplicate the taste easy enough, but getting them to stick together and maintain bar form has been the tricky part. With our big spring RV trip just around the corner, I was determined to get this recipe down. I MUST have these in the RV snack cabinet for the trip! So I’m happy to announce, finally, FINALLY I nailed it.
Since I wanted to keep the calories down, I’ve made brown rice crisps be the primary ingredient in this recipe. If you haven’t tried them, they’re just a healthed-up version of Rice Krispies. Homemade protein bars are usually pretty high in calories even though they’re made with wholesome ingredients, so the brown rice crisps significantly cut the calories and add volume.
- 6 cups apple juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup dried blueberries
Mixing Bowl Ingredients:
- 3 cups brown rice crisps
- ¾ cup ground flaxseed
- ¾ cup quick oats
- ½ cup crushed almonds
- ½ cup white chocolate
Boil the apple juice and lemon juice in a saucepan for around an hour,
or until it reduces itself to about 3/4 cup of liquid. You’ll notice it thickening and that’s great, that’s what you want. It can actually take anywhere from 40-90 minutes, depending on your stove, humidity, the juice you use, etc. Start keeping an eye on it at the 40 minute mark. It doesn’t need any stirring or attention, so feel free to check your phone, surf the Fit RV website, or do the RV Couch Workout while you wait.
Throw all the mixing bowl ingredients together and give them a stir.
Once you’ve got the apple juice reduced to about 3/4 cup of liquid, reduce the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir it until it starts a slow boil again. Once it boils, add the dried cranberries and blueberries. Boil one minute, and then remove from burner and cool for a minute or so.
Pour the sauce over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. It is going to melt the white chocolate and that’s okay! If you’d prefer the white chocolate to remain in chunks, don’t add it until after you’ve mixed in the sauce. Let the mixture cool a bit, and THEN put your white chocolate in. Your call, but I just mix it all at once because I’m lazy.
Press the mixture into a cake pan. Really take your time and pack these down hard.
The harder you pack, the more dense and bar-like they will be. Cool in the fridge for an hour or so before cutting into bars. You’ll get around 20 bars with this recipe. Store in fridge.
Here’s the finished product!
I have thought about dipping these in melted white chocolate, but have yet to try it. It would be a trade-off; less healthy but more yummy. I always tend to lean to the healthy side of things. But someday, I plan to get wild and give these a white chocolate dip!
I am SOOOO happy to add these to our RV snack bag! See you on the road, gang…and very soon!
Thanks I love your website! Thanks for all the informative info. We are planning to go full timing in a year or so I like to get all the info I can and I love all of your recipes and your park reviews are really helpful. I will let you know how the bars turn out.
I am so glad you found us, Virginia! Definitely keep us posted as you go full-time, we always love hearing how well people adapt to the huge transition to fulltimers. Let me know how the bars turn out! I actually was just thinking about making a batch of James’ favorite carrot cake nutrition bars (recipe here on website)… you’ll have to check that yummy bar recipe out, too!
Can I use fresh apple juice for this recipe?
I always use bottled, so I can’t say for sure, but I’d guess they’d be even tastier with fresh juice! I wonder if it would need less boiling time to get thicker, though, since I bet there’s more pectin in the fresh stuff. If you try it, definitely let me know how it goes!