Healthy Crunch Bars

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These Healthy Crunch Bars only require three ingredients and hardly any preparation time at all! We use dark chocolate which is known to be a powerful source of antioxidants. Bonus — no need to stop by a specialty health food store– you can find everything at your local supermarket!

A bowl of Healthy Crunch Bars

These Healthy Crunch Bars are a BONUS recipe as part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. This (obviously) isn’t a dinner recipe, but a fun back-to-school snack or treat. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

Healthy Crunch Bar Recipe

Remember this Rice Cake With Peanut Butter bonus recipe? Well, we’re back with rice cakes today and I can’t believe how good they are in this treat (snack? dessert?!).

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a more nutritious crunch candy bar (a favorite candy of mine). But, I haven’t ever been convinced enough to seek out and purchase the specialty rice crisp cereals that are typically required in these recipes. So when I saw rice cakes being crumbled up to achieve the same effect (as expensive and hard-to-find cereal), I couldn’t wait to try it out!

These Healthy Crunch Bars are such a practical treat to make during the business of the week since they literally take less than 15 minutes to prepare. And they’re nothing short of addicting — especially right out of the fridge — yum!

Homemade Crunch Bar Ingredients

  1. Rice cakes: We’re looking for plain (or lightly salted), full-sized rice cakes here. The only two ingredients in these cakes are whole grain brown rice and salt. (That makes them great to use if you are cooking for someone with allergies or intolerances!)
  2. Dark chocolate: I am hooked on Lindt® dark chocolate with sea salt bars — so good! And since there is salt added to this chocolate, there is no need to add any extra to the Healthy Crunch Bars. Use whatever chocolate bar you like best, adding a pinch of salt if needed. Keep in mind: the better the quality of chocolate, the better the flavor will be overall.
  3. Coconut oil: A little coconut or vegetable oil thins the chocolate and helps it to go on the crumbled rice cake smoother. Plus, the bars have a better mouthfeel with the oil added in.

Process shots: chop chocolate, combine with oil; melt; break up the rice cakes

How To Make Homemade Crunch Bars

  • Start with a parchment-paper-lined bread pan. This keeps the bars from sticking to the sides and not coming out nicely. Also, it keeps the mess to a minimum! Pretty much any size of bread pan works here.
  • Microwave the chopped chocolate bar in a sturdy, heat-safe bowl instead of using plastic or melamine. 
  • Melt the chocolate slowly and stir it often. To avoid burning the chocolate, don’t rush the melting process. Microwave the chocolate in bursts of time, remembering that the chocolate is still melting even after you take it out of the microwave. Make sure to give the chocolate plenty of time to melt outside of the microwave as you stir.
  • Use your hands to break apart the mixture (like you’d break apart peppermint bark). Not technically “bars” but the easiest way to be able to enjoy these even quicker! You can cut these into bars, but they crumble/break apart a bit (shown in video).

Process shots: pour chocolate over the rice cakes; mix well; press into the pan; let harden.

VARIATIONS

Healthy Crunch Bar Variations

  • If you love salty-sweet flavors and the chocolate you are using isn’t salted, add a small sprinkle of sea salt flakes to the chocolate coating before it hardens.
  • Try a different flavor of rice cake. Try chocolate rice cakes for a double chocolate crunch bar. And while I haven’t tried it, I imagine these caramel rice cakes would also be tasty.
  • Make peanut butter crunch bars, by adding a spoonful (or two) of peanut butter to the melted chocolate before adding it to the rice cakes.

Process shots: break apart the hardened pieces; enjoy.

STORAGE

Storage

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Place hardened bark pieces in single layers, separated by wax or parchment paper.

Can you freeze ’em? Yes! Place the Healthy Crunch Bars on a baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes. Once fairly frozen, transfer to an airtight container or bag and return to the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months. When thawed, the chocolate on top may look white/milky — they’re perfectly safe to eat, this is just the milk solids from the chocolate rising to the top.

A bowl of Healthy Crunch Bars

More Nutritious Snacks:

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Healthy Crunch Bars

5 from 1 vote
These Healthy Crunch Bars only require three ingredients and hardly any preparation time at all! We use dark chocolate which is known to be a powerful source of antioxidants. Bonus -- no need to stop by a specialty health food store; you can find everything at your local supermarket!
Print Recipe

Healthy Crunch Bars

5 from 1 vote
These Healthy Crunch Bars only require three ingredients and hardly any preparation time at all! We use dark chocolate which is known to be a powerful source of antioxidants. Bonus -- no need to stop by a specialty health food store; you can find everything at your local supermarket!
Course Dessert, Snack, treat
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword Healthy Crunch Bars, Healthy Crunch Bars recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 bars (depending on how large you cut them)
Calories 90kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $4.12

Ingredients

Instructions

  • PREP: Line a bread pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal.
  • BREAK RICE CAKES: In a medium-sized bowl, crumble rice cakes into small pieces with your hands.
  • MELT CHOCOLATE: In a microwave-safe bowl, add chopped chocolate bar and coconut oil. Microwave in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring in between each burst for 20 seconds until melted and smooth.
  • COMBINE: Use a spatula to scrape every bit of melted chocolate over the broken rice cakes. Now mix well until all of the broken rice cake pieces are well coated.
  • LET SET: Transfer the mixture to the bread pan and press into one even layer. Let set at room temperature or pop in the fridge until firm.
  • BREAK APART: Pull out the bark using the parchment paper overhang. Use your hands to break into pieces or a sharp knife to cut into bars. Enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

  1. Rice cakes: we're looking for plain (or lightly salted), full-sized rice cakes here. The only two ingredients in this are whole grain brown rice and salt (great to use if you have a lot of allergies or intolerances!).
  2. Dark chocolate: I am fully hooked on  Lindt dark chocolate bars with sea salt -- so good! And since there is salt added to this chocolate, there is no need to add any extra. Use whatever chocolate bar you like best, adding a pinch of salt if needed and keeping in mind the better the quality of chocolate, the better the flavor will be overall.
  3. Coconut oil: A little coconut or vegetable oil helps thin the chocolate helping it to go on the crumbled rice cakes smoother.
  4. Use a sharp, hot knife to cut the bars apart. I like to run a sharp knife under hot water, quickly dry it off, and then make a cut. Repeat for each cut.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 0.4mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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