I wanted to come up with an easy, homemade granola bar that would be safe for kids that are not only gluten-free, but also avoiding any of the top allergens. My kids have always loved Quaker chewy granola bars, so I wanted to make a chewy gluten-free granola bar, versus a crunchy one. (I’ll do a crunchy one another time!)
Through my ongoing partnership with Enjoy Life Foods, I asked them to send me some packages of their Mountain Mambo Seed & Fruit Mix to use in these granola bars, because I just knew they’d be a perfect mix-in! I was right!
The Mountain Mambo Seed & Fruit Mix is a favorite snack of mine. It has sunflower kernels, pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, dried apples and mini chocolate chips. It’s certified gluten-free, nut-free, and free of the top 8 most common allergens, which is hard to find in a snack mix! My family loved how these added some flavor and crunch to the granola bars.
I wanted this recipe to not only be gluten-free, but also top 8 allergen free and even free of regular white/brown sugar. I opted to use pure maple syrup and raw honey for the sweeteners in these bars, and they worked perfectly.
To add a little crunch, and remind me of the store-bought granola bars my kids have always loved, I included some crispy rice cereal in these. There are a number of gluten-free versions of rice cereal out there, as well as varieties that avoid other allergens as well. The crisp rice cereal I always use is this one.
I incorporated these chewy gluten-free granola bars into an allergy-friendly lunchbox. There are lots of options of foods you could include, but I opted for carrots, fresh cherry tomatoes from our garden, and slices of McIntosh apples that we just picked up from the apple orchard. So yummy! My oldest enjoyed this for lunch today and I’m going to make this for my lunch tomorrow!
Notes on ingredients for these allergy-friendly granola bars:
- You can buy the Mountain Mambo Seed & Fruit mix in a larger 6 oz. bag or in cute little Grab & Go snack size pouches. Two of my local stores sell these in their gluten-free section, so hopefully you can find them near you also. If you can’t find them locally, you can order the single serving bags online from Amazon, which gets you 24 little bags – plenty for making batches of granola bars and also for stocking up your snack bin! If using a larger bag of Mountain Mambo, use about 3 oz. of mix, which is half of the bag.
- Make sure to use a gluten-free crispy rice cereal. Kellogg’s no longer makes one, and most store brands are not gluten-free either, as they contain malt. There are several brands that do make a gluten-free crispy rice cereal, and some brands avoid many of the other allergens, so choose the one that fits with your allergies best. If you cannot locate one, you can simply use either more of the gluten-free oats, or another plain gluten-free cereal of equal amount. I use the Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal which I find at my local Natural Grocers store.
- Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats. Many brands are labeling their oats gluten-free now, but not all of them are certified! I used GF Harvest gluten-free rolled oats.
- If you have want to bump up the chocolate even more, feel free to mix in an additional 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life Foods mini chocolate chips!
- Pure maple syrup is REAL maple syrup, not the cheap pancake syrup. It’s the best! Costco carries a good one, and I like this Vermont maple syrup that I buy from Amazon.
If you’re looking for more recipes that are top 8 allergen free, I’ve got several to recommend. If you’re wanting something savory, check out my gluten-free pizza waffles that are free of the top 8 allergens too! On the sweet side, these easy top 8 allergen free cinnamon rolls look soooooo good and I love that they’re so easy! For a sweet snack, you can’t go wrong with these gluten-free apple nachos!
Gluten-free Granola Bars Recipe:
- 2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
- 1 cup gluten-free crispy rice cereal
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp oil (canola, corn, grapeseed, etc.)
- 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 packages (1.63 oz. each) Mountain Mambo Seed & Fruit Mix
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a jelly roll pan or baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Gently stir the gluten-free rolled oats and ground flaxseed together. Spread out in a layer on the baking pan/sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.
- Pour the oats/flaxseed mixture into a large mixing bowl. Gently stir in the gluten-free crispy rice cereal. Set aside.
- Line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, maple syrup, oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt.
- Pour the syrup mixture over the oat mixture and stir to coat evenly. Stir in the Mountain Mambo seed and fruit mix and stir to coat evenly.
- Use a spatula to scoop and spread the mixture into the lined 8"x8" pan.
- Cover mixture with either another piece of parchment, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap and press down on the granola bars to fill the corners and flatten. Keep pressing as hard as you can to compress the bars and even them out. This is what will help them stay together later instead of falling apart!
- Place pan in refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting.
- Cut into squares or strips. I cut in half one direction, then into six rows, for a total of 12 bars. You can store these at room temperature in a sealed container, or keep in the refrigerator. You can also wrap the bars individually with plastic wrap or parchment squares.
You don't bake the bars once assembled. The only baking here is of the oats and flaxseed to bake them before assembling into the bars.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This sponsored post was created through my partnership with Enjoy Life Foods. As always, all opinions are my own. Collaborating with brands I love allows me to keep bringing you new and varied recipes! Thanks for your support!