No Bake Savory Sweet Snack Bars with Chia Seeds, Almonds, and Rice
March 26, 2013

no bake savory sweet bars vegan

No one wants to rely on snack bars when there is a world of delicious, fresh, and homemade food out there, but sometimes life gets busy, and snack bars can be a godsend for eating on the go. I go through a lot of snack bars when I’m studying and traveling. I appreciate their convenience and ease, though I do tend to get bored of them easily. I also have a penchant for savory snacks (kale chips, hummus and veggies, etc.) but find that they’re not always as easy to pack up and carry around as a simple bar. With this in mind, I recently decided if I could try my hand at a snack bar that would be portable, easy to make, and would combine both savory and sweet. I’m pretty excited about what resulted.

These bars feature three spices: turmeric, curry, and chili powder (as well as some sea salt). They also feature puffed brown rice, which is inexpensive and easy to find either online (I like the Erewhon and Arrowhead Mills brands, both available on Amazon) or in health food stores. Aside from that, I used chia and flax for binding (and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids!) as well as sunflower seeds and almonds for texture and crunch. I used my dehydrator to firm them up quickly, so that I could snap photos (and eat them), but if you simply allow them to sit for a few hours, they’ll firm up nicely on their own. I’ll give you both options below.

No Bake Savory Sweet Snack Bars with Chia Seeds, Almonds, and Rice

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups puffed brown rice
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Mix the rice, chia, sunflower seeds, almonds and flax in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat the maple syrup and coconut oil gently in a small saucepan (to facilitate mixing). Whisk in the almond butter, coconut oil, sea salt, and spices. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix thoroughly.
  • Press the ingredients into a small baking dish (11 x 7 or 8 x 8) firmly and evenly. Cover with a layer of saran or tin foil. Let sit for four hours or more, and then cut into bar shapes prior to serving. Alternately, you can dehydrate the bars in the baking dish, uncovered, for an hour or so to firm them up. Enjoy!

PicMonkey Collage4

I love the texture in these bars, not to mention the irresistable marriage of sweetness and spice. They actually remind me of the spicy cashews from One Lucky Duck—and that is a high compliment.

PicMonkey Collage3

Hope you have a chance to enjoy them soon!

I’m actually home in New York right now, resting a bit after an intense stretch of school and getting a chance to catch up with my near and dear. With any luck, I’ll have some fun dining recaps for you this week!

xo

Categories: Snacks

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    58 Comments
  1. Finally made these for snacking at work. Love them! Especially the maple syrup/nut butter mix – I’m tempted to make that for a noodle dish someday…this isn’t the first recipe I’ve made, but being a natural lurker this is my first comment.

    Thanks for all you do on this blog. 🙂

  2. I love your site and have successfully made a ridiculous number of your recipes (and have loved them all), but this one just did not set up properly enough for me to truly enjoy them to their fullest. In spite of the fact that I let them sit out for half a day (I do not own a dehydrator and am unsure of which one would be the best for me to purchase), when I attempted to cut into them, they just crumbled and fell apart. They did, however, taste delicious in all of their crumbly goodness! Any suggestions?

    • I am so very sorry to hear that, Sarah! I was a little afraid of this; they did set up for me when I tested them both ways, and I’ve had some other successful reviews, but it can be touch and go with bars that use puffed rice. I may try a baked version to see if that’s more stable, but for now, try a little extra maple and/or almond butter. I really really am sorry that you didn’t have great results 🙁

  3. Made these last night, Gena, and they are absolutely delicious! Had to use some self-discipline to prevent myself from eating the whole batch. Will be great to snack on for fuel whilst studying for the MCAT!

  4. These sound absolutely delicious! Chia seeds are one of my latest discoveries – and my Indian heritage means that I’m always drawn by a hint of curry!

  5. These are ah-maz-ing! I just made a batch for snacks this week. After I put them aside to set, I instantly decided that I needed to make another batch to take to my family’s Easter gathering tomorrow. Thank you for posting!

  6. These look really nice, savories for the Friday night snacks accompanied with a nice glass of home made cider, going to ask my other half if she can give them a go.

  7. Gena, so excited to try these out. I really like the flavor, but they didn’t set up? I didn’t put in the dehydrator… ;( ate it with my fingers today. Suggestions?

    • Oh, I’m so sorry, Debbie! I was a little worried that they’d be crumbly for some folks. Try adding a little more maple syrup and/or almond butter. You could also reduce the rice by a touch — it definitely makes them a little less firm, because of the puffy texture. Let me know. You could also try toasting them for 10 minutes at 350 — though I know it would defeat the no bake concept!

      • Thanks Gena! I actually added a little rice syrup and put them in the dehydrator for a couple hours. It worked great! These little guys still make some mess just because of the chia seeds, but I really like the flavor!

  8. I am so happy you’re taking a break in NYC! Have fun and experience a little life outside the library carrel!

  9. Yum! I like snack bars on the savory side with a little sweetness just like these. Sweet curry flavor is always a winner for me!

  10. I followed this recipe to a ‘tee’ and they did not form bars at all. Each time I tried to cut them out of the pan, they fell apart into a granola texture. The flavor of the mixture was great. The mixture just wouldn’t adhere to form bars or a ball. Any suggestions?

    • I had that problem, too. I will say that I made them a week ago and the two that are left are finally hardening into bars. I don’t have a dehydrator, but was thinking I may bake them next time around.

  11. Hi Gena,

    Love your recipe. It will be an excellent replacement for my Uncle Tobys. 🙂 I have always wanted to make my own snack bars but I don’t know where to start until I read your post.

    Ed

    • Tanja,

      As I say in the post, they are store bought. I have no idea how to make them at home, but if you have a way, by all means!

      G

  12. FAB! Seriously in need of a savory snack bar… crudites and hummus will only get you so far. This is perfect, Gena! Will try and report back asap.

  13. Wow, now I don’t have to refrain from eating snack bars any more. This is definitely a recipe I am going to try out this week. Wish me luck 🙂

  14. This is a great idea! I love the marriage of spicy/savory and sweet, but I’ve never thought to put it in a snack bar. I really like puffed millet and don’t have any puffed brown rice, so I am going to try it with the millet. Thanks, Gena, for the creative recipe!

  15. These look fabulous, Gena. You mention sea salt in your narrative, but I don’t see it in your ingredient list/directions. Did you omit after all?

  16. These look amazing. I have two questions though: I don’t use/cook with oils. Do you think these would work without the coconut oil? Second, how durable are these (i.e. how well do they hold together)? I’d like to take them backpacking, but don’t want to put them in a hard-sided container (too heavy).

    Thanks, in advance, for your response!

    • Hi there,

      The amount of oil is very small, so yes, I think the recipe would work without it. They are NOT, alas, very durable — they will definitely break apart easily. Sorry! I have other snack bars that are more durable (like these ones).

      G

      • Thanks for your response. This recipe really fits the bill better than the other one you suggested because it also does not have refined sugars in it. I’ll keep hunting!

  17. Hello,

    Could you please suggest a spice mixture alternative as my children will not like the curry and turmeric flavor. Or should I just avoid them altogether?

    Thank you.

  18. Wow, I cannot wait to try these! You have made me a lover of all things sweet and savory 🙂 Have a nice respite in at home–you deserve it!

  19. Perfect! Now if you could just package them up and send them on over to me, I’ll stick the check in the mail. Enjoy NYC!