Easy Healthier Homemade Crunch Bars (vegan + gluten-free)

VeganGluten-FreeSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyKid-FriendlyVegetarianEgg-FreeDairy Free

These Healthier Homemade Crunch Bars need just a couple ingredients and a few minutes to make. You’ll be in chocolate heaven before you know it! They’re full of crave-worthy chocolate and a satisfying crunch, but have no dairy or refined sugar. Make these as an allergen-friendly holiday treat or a fun dessert!

Healthier Homemade Crunch Bars

Growing up, my brother had life threatening food allergies to dairy, nuts, soy and more. At age three he went into anaphylactic shock after eating cookies that had peanuts in them but were not properly labeled. Back in the early 90s food allergies were not well understood by most people (and brands) b. Every Halloween my mom gave out allergy-friendly treats to the neighbors (and a heads up about what costume he would be in!) so that when he rang their doorbell were ready with an allergy-friendly treat. This way he didn’t feel different from the other trick or treaters. So sweet, right!? We would get back home, dump all our candy out, and he mostly had fruit roll ups and other non-chocolate candies. He would look at my pile of mostly chocolate candies and wonder a little but seemed mostly content with his stash. Andrew, this one’s for you!

Dairy-Free Crunch Bar Recipe

Making Vegan Treats

A lot of people assume that since I’m now vegan, allergic to dairy and soy, and don’t eat refined sugar, holidays like Halloween are a real bummer. The truth is, though, that I have sweet treats whenever I’m craving them! When I find myself dreaming of a traditional candy bar, I start Googling pictures of the inside to see what it’s made of and brainstorm how I can make my own version. It’s creative, scientific, and most importantly…delicious! The best part of the whole process is sharing it with my friends online who also get to make and enjoy these creations. I think you’ll love these Easy Healthier Homemade Crunch Bars! I was able to motivate my kiddos to clean their rooms to shining perfection with these treats, so they were a double win in my house!

Homemade Crunch Bar Ingredients

Ingredients in Homemade Healthier Crunch Bars

Would you believe these homemade Crunch bars only have six ingredients? And…two of them are vanilla and salt! This is a really easy recipe to make and you may have these ingredients on hand already.

  • Chocolate! – Use vegan, refined sugar-free chocolate to keep these as healthy as possible. I love Hu chocolate gems and use them in almost every chocolate recipe I make!
  • Brown rice crisp cereal – I love the brand One Degree Organics, which is refined sugar-free. Double check that your cereal is certified gluten-free if that’s important to you!
  • Almond Butter – Go for raw, creamy almond butter…the runnier, the better! I recently learned how to make my own almond butter and was shocked by how easy it was. You can use any nut or seed butter you like, though!
  • Maple sugar – I used just a couple tablespoons of pure maple sugar here. Maple sugar is made by cooking pure maple a bit longer, then beating it with a paddle until it forms little granules. Isn’t that cool?! It’s a natural sweetener that keeps many of my favorite recipes free of refined sugar! Coconut sugar also works here.
  • Vanilla extract and salt – Those classic little additions for a perfect balance of flavor!
Vegan Crunch Bar Recipe

How to Make Healthier Homemade Crunch Bars

This process is super quick and will feel just like making nostalgic Rice Crispy treats…but of course, filled with chocolate! It’s just four steps: melt, mix, transfer, and cut. If your kids like to help in the kitchen, they’ll love this recipe…especially if you let them lick the spatula once it’s all done!

  1. Melt the chocolate – You can do this in the microwave or over a double broiler on the stovetop. I just do the microwave since it’s fastest! I usually melt the chocolate about 3/4 of the way, then stir it until it’s totally smooth. This helps prevent overheating since chocolate is so delicate.
  2. Mix the ingredients – Add everything into a large mixing bowl and stir until it’s combined.
  3. Transfer – Pour your mixture into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper. Use a spatula to evenly spread it into a single layer, then freeze it for 10 minutes to help the chocolate solidify.
  4. Cut – Lift the block out of the pan, then use a sharp knife to cut it into 12 bars. Enjoy immediately, and store leftovers separated by pieces of parchment paper. Keep them in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw a bit before enjoying!
Easy Crunch Bar Recipe
Healthy Crunch Candy Bar

Candy Bars Made Vegan!

Here are some of the other traditional candy bars and Halloween candy I’ve made totally vegan (no dairy or eggs!) and free of refined sugar. I love pulling these recipes out during holidays like Halloween and surprising my kids!

Refined Sugar-Free Crunch Bars

These Homemade Crunch Bars are totally vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and you can make a nut-free version by swapping the almond butter for sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter. I love making allergen-friendly treats that everyone can enjoy! In fact, my cookbook Rock Your Blender is filled with smoothies that taste like treats…but are actually super healthy packed with good-for-you ingredients.

If you make these Crunch Bars, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your chocolatey happiness, and don’t forget to drop a review below!

Homemade Candy Bar Recipe
Gluten-Free Homemade Crunch Bars

More Sweet Treats (all vegan + gluten-free!)

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Healthier Homemade Crunch Bars

Easy Healthier Homemade Crunch Bars (vegan + gluten-free)


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These Healthier Homemade Crunch Bars need just a couple ingredients and a few minutes to make. You’ll be in chocolate heaven before you know it! They’re full of crave-worthy chocolate and a satisfying crunch, but have no dairy or refined sugar. Make these as an allergen-friendly holiday treat or a fun dessert!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1.5 cups vegan, refined sugar-free chocolate (such as Hu chocolate gems)
  • 1.5 cups brown rice crisp cereal
  • 1/2 cup raw creamy almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons maple sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of fine salt

Instructions

  1. Add chocolate to a microwave safe container and microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir well.  Chocolate should measure about 1 cup when melted.  You can also melt on the stovetop with a double boiler.  Do not overheat the chocolate.  I typically melt the chocolate about 3/4 of the way and then stir off the heat to melt the rest.
  2. Add melted chocolate to a large mixing bowl along with the brown rice crisp cereal, almond butter, maple sugar, vanilla and salt.  Stir well to combine.
  3. Transfer the mixture to an 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper in both directions.  Smooth with a mini spatula into one even layer.
  4. Freeze for 10 minutes.  Lift the parchment paper from the baking pan and use a sharp knife to cut into twelve bars (five cuts in one direction and one cut halfway through in the other direction).  Enjoy immediately.
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container separated by parchment paper.  Store in the freezer for up to 3 months (allow to thaw at room temperature before enjoying).  Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (allow to briefly thaw at room temperature before enjoying).
  • Category: Dessert/Candy
  • Method: Freezer

Keywords: vegan crunch bars

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4 Comments

  1. Steve

    These were really really terrific. We had an entire tupperware full of them and I ate way more than half of it. With no second thoughts. Over a few days, but not many. The consistency and the crunch were perfect. I wouldn’t have believed these were the popular candy bars only because they were so much better than the original.






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Steve! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed them so much (with no second thoughts!). Best, Elaine

      Reply
  2. Lucy

    These were delicious! Took me only a few minutes to make and we all enjoyed them!






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Lucy! I’m so happy you all enjoyed them and found them easy to make too! Best, Elaine

      Reply

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