These Homemade KIND Bars are a healthier copycat KIND bar recipe! With fewer than 175 calories per bar, they are the perfect salty, sweet snack! They are crunchy, salty-sweet and drizzled with chocolate.
I love a tasty, healthy snack! These Homemade KIND Bars are perfect as a sweet afternoon snack or after dinner treat. These are less sweet than the store-bought versions, so you can nosh without the sugary guilt!
By now you know that I always have a few healthy snack options in my kitchen and a few more stashed in my freezer! I keep these KIND Bar Copycats in my refrigerator because my Husband likes to grab one pre-workout! Right next to them are apple pie bites or peanut butter banana energy bites. I gravitate towards the Pumpkin Spice Bran Muffins and Blueberry Banana Bran Muffins in the freezer for my mid-afternoon snack.
Table of Contents
Why make Homemade KIND Bars?
This homemade KIND bars copycat recipe has fewer calories and less added sugar than the store-bought version! As a bonus they are much less expensive to make at home than to buy them.
- Almonds: I use whole natural almonds in these homemade kind bars. Blanched almonds would also work but I don't mind the texture or additional fiber here!
- Dry Roasted Peanuts: I use salted dry roasted peanuts for a bit of salt and dry roasted just taste better in these bars. Use any peanuts you have on hand, just make sure they are roasted.
- Walnuts: Light chopped, untoasted walnuts add a subtler nut flavor to the mix. They add a little crunch and earthiness.
- Puffed Rice Cereal: Puffed Rice Cereal adds body and additional crunch to these bars.
- Flaxseed Meal: Flaxseed meal is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, and it an excellent binder for healthy snacks. The meal absorbs moisture while adding nutrients and a laundry list of health benefits!
- Molasses: Molasses is a delicious natural sweetener in healthy snacks. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness in addition to bringing its robust complex flavor to the party! It also thickens nicely and will make the bars not sticky.
- Honey: If you pick a local honey it will also help against allergies! Honey adds a little bit of extra sweetness.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Extract adds a beautiful flavor and complements the flavors around it.
- Kosher Salt: Kosher salt heightens the natural flavors of these bars and is less salty than table salt.
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate chips can sometimes be expensive, but you can also chop up a semi-sweet chocolate bar. That chocolate drizzle on top makes these bars irresistible!
Variations for Homemade KIND Bars
- Nut Mix Up: Don’t like walnuts? Allergic to peanuts? Swap ‘em out! Substitute any combination of nuts that you and your family enjoy. I like to use pistachios for the peanuts personally.
- Add Dried Fruit: Think of it like a granola KIND bar mash up. Substitute some of the nuts for your favorite dried fruit. This will also reduce the fat in the copycat kind bar recipe for a lighter version.
- Chocolate: Did I hear you say to put chocolate *in* the homemade kind bars?! Love it! We share a brain you and me. Toss the nuts with up to 1 tablespoon cocoa powder. You could also put it in the wet mixture.
How to Store KIND bar copycats
I store them in a plastic zip-top bag in the refrigerator because I enjoy the extra crunchy texture, but you could also store them at room temperature for up to a month. Depending on the actual temperature of your room, the chocolate might get a little soft. Store in the refrigerator for 3 months.
Pastry Chef Tip
Cooking the honey molasses mixture is essential to bars that aren’t sticky and are shelf-stable. Cook the mixture until thickened and the honey is beginning to caramelize.
This post was originally a guest post from Kayle at The Cooking Actress. She was so kind to help me out while I was moving to New York City for culinary school. She and I have met several times over the years both in NYC and in Cleveland! Kayle is an absolute beam of sunshine in addition to being a mom and blogger. I have since made and photographed her adaptation of the recipe by Kelly from Eat Yourself Skinny, so the photos you see here are my own.
Homemade KIND Bars Copycat Recipe
- ½ cup whole almonds (roasted)
- ½ cup dry roasted peanuts
- ½ cup walnuts (chopped)
- ⅓ cup puffed rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar)
- Line an 8x8 inch or 9x9 inch pan with criss-crossed parchment. Cut two strips the width of the sides but long enough so there is a little overhang. These will be your handles to pull out the bars with ease. Put a little nonstick cooking spray in the bottom, placing one piece of parchment across. Repeat going to opposite direction. You can always watch my video here to clarify.
- Spray a large mixing bowl with nonstick spray. This is to keep the cooling bar mixture from sticking to the bowl. In the bowl combine almonds, peanuts, walnuts, puffed rice cereal and flaxseed meal. Set aside.
- In a small pot combine molasses, honey, vanilla, and kosher salt. Stir to combine. Over medium low heat, cook this mixture until it thickens and smells a little caramelized. You are really trying to smell when the honey has begun to caramelize. This can be tricky through the strong molasses smell, but you can do it!
- Once the wet mixture has thickened and doesn’t immediately run back together on the bottom of the pot when stirred, pour over nut mixture. Working quickly, stir the nuts and wet ingredient together until all the nuts are coated. Scrap into prepared pan. Press the mixture down to flatten and fill the pan.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Remove the bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut 10 bars.
- Melt chocolate partially in the microwave or in a bowl over simmering water. Stir until the rest is melted. Transfer to piping bag or cornet and pipe over bars. Alternatively, you could just drizzle from a spoon! Allow to set. You might need to use the refrigerator to get them to set if the chocolate was no longer in temper. This generally happens if it is heated too hot.
- Enjoy! I really loved them cold, straight from the fridge.
Before You Go!
Check out all our delicious, pastry chef-created recipes for Breakfast!