Homemade Gluten-Free Trail Mix Bars for About 30 Cents Each

Photo: Sonja Stewart

An on-the-go lifestyle means you don't have time to make everything from scratch.Y our gluten allergy can get very expensive if you're constantly buying "gluten-free" snacks when you're out and about. These bars broke down to about 30 cents a piece when I weighed in my final product. Make a batch a week and you'll be good to go. I adapted this recipe from Allergen-Free Sweet 'n' Salty Trail Mix Bar so that it had nuts and other things I liked...like butter.

Gluten-Free Trail Mix Bars

Makes 36 bars

1 cup honey (or corn syrup)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
A total of 12 cups mix, using 3 or more of the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups of puffed rice (NOT rice crispies)
  • 4 cups gluten-free cereal (like Chex)
  • raisins
  • dried cranberries
  • other dried berries
  • other dried fruit
  • sunflower seeds
  • peanuts
  • almonds
  • M&M's
  1. Line an 11" x 17" pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil surfaces with spray-oil, or coat with butter.
  2. In a large heat-proof bowl, combine the cereal, fruit, seeds and salt.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the honey (or corn syrup) and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to boil. Using a candy thermometer and making certain it isn't touching the bottom of the pan. If using corn syrup, cook without stirring until the thermometer reaches 238 degrees F. If using honey, cook without stirring until thermometer reaches 250 degrees F.
  4. Quickly remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and pour the hot mixture over the cereal mixture. With a wooden or heat-proof plastic spoon, mix and stir until the syrup mixture coats the cereal mixture. Immediately turn out onto the prepared, lined pan. With oiled hands (or just slip a plastic sandwich bag over your hand), press the mixture firmly down until it fills the pan.
  5. Set the pan aside to cool (approximately 15 to 45 minutes, depending on weather). This is the only really tricky part of this recipe: If the bars are too warm, they'll be too gooey to cut. If you wait too long, they'll have hardened and it will be very difficult to cut through. So, when the bars are mostly-cool, and somewhat firm, using an oiled knife or pizza cutter, cut into 36 rectangular bars.
  6. Store bars in one of those handy, snack sized, ziplock bags. You can wrap them in plastic wrap if you'd prefer, but it takes forever.

I bought most items from a local dollar discount store and then got the raisins, and cranberries from Costco. Keep an eye out for what's on sale and mix up the ingredients each week.

Stock these bars in the car, in your desk at work, and in your gym bag. They're packed with energy and very satisfying. Plus, you won't have digestion drama later.

Average: 4.5 (8 votes)
Your rating: None

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Guest's picture
Kevin Eldridge

Do you have a base calorie count of how much is in each bar based on the ingredients? I do not think it will be above my caloric intake to have one of these bars as an in between snack. However, I would like to know as a reference. The recipe sounds delicious.

Thank you

Sonja Stewart's picture

Hey, Kevin!
The recipe is super delicious! I figured out the calorie count using 1 cup each of raisins, cranberries, sunflower seeds and peanuts. It's 121 Calories per bar, 2.8 grams of fat, 1.8 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber and 24 grams of carbohydrates. Hope it helps! (This of course, is without the M&M's)

Guest's picture

While these sound basically good, they have quite a bit of sugar in them! Do you know how many of those grams of carbs are just sugar? I wonder how these would be with about half the sugar/honey (or agave, maple syrup)? There is plenty of naturally-occurring sugar in the dried fruit.

Sonja Stewart's picture

Hi, Sue! I'm not sure how they would work since the honey is being used as a glue to tie all the ingredients together. I'll tell you what I've done in the past when I want a good pick me up without all the sugars; I just throw all the dry stuff in a ziplock and eat it out of the bag. It's still delicious, even though it lacks it the adorable bar-shaped design.

Guest's picture

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