no-bake cranberry macadamia nut cereal bars, vegan and gluten free

vegan gluten-free cranberry macadamia cereal bars

"You better bring that box of cereal home," my friend Annelies said, looking at me over the rim of her glasses. "That cereal isn't even available in California yet." Her company, Attune Foods, had just released a new gluten-free buckwheat and hemp cereal and generously donated hot-off-the-line boxes at the conference we'd both attended.

I sat cross-legged on the floor, looking defeatedly for any and all remaining spare compartments and air pockets in my suitcase. Over the previous couple of days we'd both amassed quite a mountain of samples, handouts, and freebies. I was determined bring it all home without having to check a bag (I _abhor_ checking bags!). 

I packed and repacked trying different tetris-style configurations until I thought I had one that I could cart through security.

And at the very top of my overstuffed carryon sat the buckwheat hemp cereal, the precious box gifted to me by my roomie. 

Hours later with my luggage in tow, I made my way to the lightrail station to head to the airport. I glanced down at my watch and realized how close I was cutting it: as soon as I got to the airport I'd have to make a run for it. Swaying from side to side with the motion of the lightrail car, I dug through my luggage and swapped my dress shoes for socks and running shoes. In doing so, my cereal box tumbled from my carryon onto the floor. 

"This box HAS to go," I thought glaring at it. 

But instead of tossing the box (and disappointing a friend), I tore the box open like a kid on Christmas and carefully stuffed the much-more-flexible plastic cereal bag back into my carryon. I ditched the cardboard wrapping paper giving it a triumphant "syonara" as it went. 

Twenty five agonizing minutes later, I found myself running to security, and then standing for an equal number of minutes in the security line. Another quick jog to the gate and I had made it onto the airplane. Too close for my comfort!  

Sitting there on the airplane, I wondered what I would make with the cereal. Sure I could go the obvious route and... you know... eat it as cereal. But I wanted to try something new with it. Especially considering all the trouble I'd gone through to get it home. But after the shortish two hour flight, I still hadn't a clue.

It wasn't until I was home, looking through the cupboards that I spotted the cranberry powder. Yep. That's right. Cranberry powder. My father bought it on a whim and I had been itching to use it. From there, the recipe began to take shape. A short while later I sat on my front step sampling my chewy-crunchy creation. 

Victoriously I thought, "Damn, these bars were worth the effort." 

vegan cranberry macadamia nut cereal bars

no-bake cranberry macadamia nut cereal bars, gluten-free & vegan
 
For this recipe I intensified the cranberry flavor using cranberry powder. But if you can't find it, the recipe will work perfectly fine without it. I loved the flavor of the macadamia nuts with the cranberries, but you can just as easily substitute your favorite nut in this recipe. These bars are best enjoyed on the day they are made but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. The longer they sit, the chewier they will be!
Makes approximately six 2-in. bars.
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 cups vegan marshmallows
  • 2 teaspoons cranberry powder
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 cups buckwheat hemp cereal
  • pinch of kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper with a bit of coconut oil and set aside. If solid, melt oil in a skillet over low heat. Add in Marshmallows. Continue to stir until melted. Add cranberry powder and whisk together.
  2. Remove from heat and add in cranberries, macadamia nuts, and buckwheat hemp cereal. Use a sturdy heat resistant spoon or spatula to stir until combined. Transfer into the baking dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. When cool, cut into squares.
 

 

Comments

I've never heard of cranberry powder! Where do you suggest buying it? :D

I would find a small quantity and purchase it online (maybe Amazon). The "small" bag that we got from Super Organic Foods contains _a lot_. ;)

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