Homemade Healthy Crunch Bars

April 8, 2022

If Crunch Bars were your favorite candy as a kid, then you are going to love my modernized, healthy take on the crispy chocolate bars that you know and loved. My Homemade Healthy Crunch Bars use only seven simple ingredients, and are dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan friendly! If you’re someone who just can’t live without their daily (or weekly) candy bar, then you’ll love this recipe as a healthier alternative day-to-day!

A batch of the homemade healthy crunch bars, laid out on a sheet of parchment paper.

Friends, I don’t know about you, but as my boys have gotten older, I’ve become more nostalgic for the things that I loved as a kid. Maybe it’s the act of watching them grow and subsequently remembering my own childhood, but lately I’ve found myself missing my favorite childhood candy. So, I knew I needed to create a healthier option!

My Homemade Healthy Crunch Bars were born from this desire, and I truly could not be more obsessed. They’re everything that I loved about traditional crunch bars- the rich, chocolatey taste, the crispy puffed texture, and that signature crunchy bite. But, of course, this recipe is made with better-for-you ingredients, so it supports your body while satisfying your taste buds!

And if you’re looking for other, nostalgic sweet treats, I highly recommend trying out my Grain-Free Death by Chocolate Brownies (Cosmic Brownies, anyone?!), my Paleo Salted Caramel Cups (my take on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!) or my Best Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls for the ultimate, healthy Cinnamon dupe!

A close up image of one of the homemade healthy crunch bars, with the crunchy cereal inside very visible

What You Need to Make These Delicious, Healthy Chocolate Bars

As mentioned above, this recipe uses only seven different ingredients, making it such a quick and easy recipe to throw together, any time!

  • Crunchy Cereal: While traditional crunch bars use puffed rice, to make this recipe simple and easy, we’re using crunchy cereal to create the crunchy texture! In this recipe, I’m using my favorite Lovebird Grain-Free Honey Cereal, but some other great options include Magic Spoon, Catalina Crunch, or even Cheerios!
  • Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips: To keep this recipe dairy-free, I’m using dairy-free chocolate chips. My favorite chocolate chips are, hands-down, by Hu Chocolate. They’re truly the best!
  • Maple Syrup: A touch of maple syrup adds natural sweetness and a delicious flavor. Don’t sleep on it!
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Extract is essential to any good dessert recipe, so don’t skip this!
  • Creamy Peanut Butter: Creamy peanut butter adds an unexpected yet delicious flavor to these crunch bars. Just make sure to use creamy peanut butter, not crunchy, as we already have enough “crunch” going on with the cereal!
  • Coconut Oil: A little bit of coconut oil will help the chocolate melt and come together!
  • Sea Salt Flakes: Some sea salt flakes help to break up the sweetness in the most perfect way!

How to Make These Crunchy Chocolate Bars

Making these crunch bars is so simple and easy! To get started, simply line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper, making sure to spray the inside of the pan with oil so that the paper sticks to it!

Next, place your cereal of choice into a large bowl and set it aside. Then, add all of your remaining crunch bar ingredients to a medium sauce pan over the stove and heat over medium-low heat, until all of the ingredients are fully melted.

Once they are melted, turn the heat off and remove the pot from the stove. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the cereal, and toss it all to coat well. Then, transfer the mixture to a baking dish.

Use a spatula to press the bars firmly into the dish, until they’re evenly spread out across the pan. Then, prepare the chocolate topping by adding the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a small dish. Melt the chocolate by microwaving it in 2, 30-second increments in the microwave, until it’s fully melted. You can also melt it on the stove, if you prefer, using the double-broiler method.

Once the chocolate topping is melted, drizzle it on top of the mixture in the baking sheet. Sprinkle some course sea salt on top, and freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for two. Once they’ve hardened, slice them into bars, and enjoy! This recipe stays good in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so that I can repost them! xx

A batch of the homemade healthy crunch bars, laid out on a sheet of parchment paper.
Dairy Free/gluten-free/Grain Free/Paleo/Refined Sugar Free/snacks/Vegan

Healthy Homemade Crunch Bars

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
SERVES 16 Bars
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If Crunch Bars were your favorite candy as a kid, then you are going to love my modernized, healthy take on the crispy chocolate bars that you know and loved. My Homemade Healthy Crunch Bars use only seven simple ingredients, and are dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan friendly! If you're someone who just can't live without their daily (or weekly) candy bar, then you'll love this recipe as a healthier alternative day-to-day!

Equipment

Ingredients

For the Crunch Bars

  • 2 3/4 Cups Crunchy Cereal I use my favorite Lovebird Cereal to keep this recipe grain-free!
  • 1 1/2 Cups Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

For the Topping

  • 1/3 Cup Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 Small Handful Sea Salt Flakes for garnishing

Instructions

  • Start by lining an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. You may want to spray the dish first with a little oil, so that the parchment paper sticks to it.
  • Next, add your cereal to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan on the stove, add in all of the remaining crunch bar ingredients and heat them on medium-low heat until they're fully melted. Then, turn the heat off and remove the pot for the stove.
  • Pour the melted crunch bar mixture over the cereal and mix to combine.
  • Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and use a spatula to smooth the mixture out, so it fully coats the dish.
  • Next, prepare the chocolate topping.
  • Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a small bowl and microwave for 2, 30-second increments until it's fully melted.
  • Drizzle the chocolate evenly on top of the baking dish and then sprinkle with a hint of sea salt.
  • Freeze for one hour or refrigerate for two hours, or until the bars are solid.
  • Once they're hard, slice into bars (16 regular sized, or 12 jumbo) and enjoy! These bars stay good in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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