This copycat Kind bar recipe is for all of you out there who love the grain-free, gluten-free nut bars, but don’t love that they aren’t vegan (they use honey), aren’t environmentally friendly (they are individually wrapped in plastic) and aren’t wallet-friendly (they run about $1.50 a bar). For this reason we call this copycat recipe “Kinder Bars” (kinder to the bees, kinder to the environment, kinder to your wallet), but we want to make clear up front that “Kinder” (rhymes with ‘binder’) should not be confused with “kinder” (rhymes with ‘tinder’), as there is a line of chocolates, “Kinder Chocolates”, which is an Italian chocolate brand for children. Our Kinder Bars are for anybody!
The great thing about our Kinder Bars, besides how much kinder they are in so many ways, and that when you make things at home you can control what goes into them, is that they are so versatile! Using only clean, simple ingredients, you can use them as part of a breakfast, as a snack, as a dessert, or as something to take on the go or to pack in your purse, briefcase, or lunch! How’s that for versatility!
We have these listed in our Vegan Costco section because three of the 5 ingredients that we use we get from Costco: organic almonds*, organic pumpkin seeds, and organic maple syrup. We also have them listed in our Quarantine Recipes section because you can make them entirely from shelf-stable, non-perishable ingredients. (*The Kinder Bars in our pictures contain Costco organic almonds that have been blanched, and that we needed to use up – we don’t ordinarily blanch our almonds, but hey! It turns out that you can use either blanched or unblanched almonds equally well in this recipe. :~) )
The basic recipe for our Kinder bars involves a 2:1:1:1:1 ratio of five basic ingredients: 2 parts almonds, and 1 part each pumpkin seeds, walnut pieces, puffed millet cereal, and maple syrup. However, you can modify this basic recipe in so many ways, for example some Kind bar copycat recipes use crispy rice cereal (we use puffed millet cereal because it is much better for you). Or, you might want to use just 1 part almonds, and add 1 part cashews, or all cashews. The only thing that we would caution is that little tiny seeds, such as sesame seeds, are not a good choice as they are apt to break off of your bar and get all over the place.
Gluten-Free Grain-Free Vegan Kinder Nut Bars (Copycat Kind Bar Recipe)
2 cups almonds (can be either blanched or not blanched)
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup walnut pieces (not halves, smaller than that)
1 cup puffed millet cereal (if you can’t find it locally you can get it on Amazon here)
1 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, you want the parchment paper to cover not only the bottom, but to also come up the sides at least an inch.
In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients (so everything but the maple syrup) until everything is well mixed and evenly distributed. Then pour the maple syrup in and mix well again, so that everything is thoroughly and evenly coated.
Spoon the mixture into your parchment paper-lined pan, and smooth it down so that it is evenly distributed, including into all of the corners. Note: If you can possibly find something heavy and flat, use that to press and compress the mixture into the pan as much as possible. We actually use this repurposed bacon press, and it works really well (and we love the fact that we are using it for vegan purposes rather than its intended use 🙂 ).
Ready for the Oven!
Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the edges start to brown (if you are using pale nuts, you will see the top turning a pale golden brown, but if you are using darker nuts you won’t be able to see this, which is why you have to look at the edges). You want the edges to be a bit darker than the rest of the bars, because that’s how you know they will be sufficiently done in the center.
Ready to Come Out of the Oven
Once they are out of the oven place the pan on a rack and let it cool completely. This step is very important because the bars need to be completely cooled or you will not be able to slice them evenly (or at all).
Once the bars are completely cooled, remove them with the parchment paper and put them, including the parchment paper, on a cutting board.
Ready to be Cut into Bars!
Using a long sharp knife (ideally one long enough to reach all the way across the bars), cut into whatever size bars you want. You want to cut them by carefully pressing down evenly on both ends of the knife at the same time, pressing into the bars, not slice by sawing back and forth.
Now enjoy your incredibly healthful, delicious Kinder Bars!
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2 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Grain-Free Vegan Kinder Nut Bars (Copycat Kind Bar Recipe)”
After cooking and cooling, all of the maple syrup was at the bottom of the pan. I refrigerated them overnight thinking that might help, but they are just a gooey mess. I am not sure what I did wrong. Any suggestions?
Hi Ellen! Did you follow the recipe *exactly*, or did you make any changes? If you followed it exactly there should not be enough maple syrup to drip down to the bottom of the pan, it should be just enough to coat the nuts and cereal before it goes in the oven, and the hot oven should immediately start setting the syrup onto the nuts. The other thing I can think of is whether your oven was actually hot enough; the heat of the oven should cook the syrup enough that once it cools it will no longer be gooey or even very sticky. Also they should be allowed to cool at room temperature, not in the fridge because it needs to cool slowly (i.e. to continue to be warm as it slowly comes to room temperature) to allow the syrup to continue to firm up. Anyways, if you can let us know whether you followed the recipe exactly or what, if any, changes you made, then we may be able to offer further guidance. If you followed the recipe exactly then I would recommend checking your oven with a thermometer to be sure it’s actually reaching the temperature at which you are setting it, and be sure to go by the color (i.e. it is starting to get dark around the edges) rather than just by the amount of time that has passed (for example, if you took it out at 30 minutes, had the edges already started to darken? If not, then it needed more time.) Let us know!