Everyone is talking about back to school, but I'm still trying to squeak the last bit of summer out of the season. Since Scarlett is only three (I will cry-a lot-when Scarlett does go to school full-time), we're not at the stage of needing healthy school lunch options. Fast. However, many of you are, so the next two days I will have healthy snacks that will travel great in your child's lunch box. We made this nutrition-packed version of the dreaded rice crisp bar by Whole Foods at the cottage. During a heat wave. Thankfully, we only had to use the stove for a few minutes.
This recipe can be made with almond butter, but, in the interest of safety and the nut restrictions in schools, I used sunflower seed butter. Both butters taste great and are good sources of nutrition.
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
5 tablespoons of raw agave nectar
4 cups brown rice crisps cereal
1/3 cup of raisins
1/3 cup of dried blueberries
1 tablespoon of real vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Lightly spritz a 7 x 11 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Put aside.
Place cereal, raisins and dried blueberries in a large bowl. Heat sunflower seed butter and agave over medium-low heat until warm. Remove from heat when it resembles a smooth, thick syrup and add the cinnamon and vanilla extract. Stir.
Pour over cereal mix until completely coated. Pour into prepared baking dish. Using wet hands, evenly pat down mixture into pan. Place in refrigerator for an hour or two to chill. Cut into bars and serve. Keep chilled between servings.
Scarlett measured and poured the brown rice cereal from the package. I think more went on the floor then in the bowl. When I asked her if I was going to find rice crisps around the cottage for the rest of my life, she flatly replied, "Yes, you will." At least she's honest.
Scarlett screamed "Wait!' and ran into the other room when I told her it was time to make our snack for the blog. (Yes, she understands where this stuff goes. She even insists on picture approval. I worked at a magazine for years and some major celebrities were easier about their cover choice than Scarlett.) She came out with her stuffed rabbit ,s tripped a tea towel from my island and then stuffed the rabbit into the towel and wrapped it around her. It looked like a baby in a sling. She announced she had to cook with her baby. This is all getting a bit weird, don't you say?
The butter/agave mix should have a smooth, syrup-y consistency.
Be sure to use wet hands to pat down the rice batch into the pan. Scarlett and I did this together and got super sticky.
Here's what we did as we waited for the pan to chill: