Thursday, October 24, 2013

Copycat KIND Bars (GF)

October has been full of unexpected things.  A badly sprained ankle. A government shutdown (i.e. a disrupted paycheck schedule).  A knee injury that happened in September, but is taking a long time to heal. Other unexpected medical tests. An ant infestation in the car ?!? (insert Archer jokes, if you like)

We’re kind of in survival mode at this point, wondering why Murphy’s law seems to follow us around so closely these days. And trying to anticipate what unexpected thing will pop up next.

I intended to make these homemade KIND Bars for us to eat on the way to Waco, TX, where my husband was to participate in another Tough Mudder Challenge. I figured they’d be a good training treat as well as a tasty on the road snack.

But his knee injury is taking a lot longer to heal than we thought it would. After a visit to the doctor and an MRI, he has been advised not to participate & that this knee injury may take up to 6 months to fully heal! Sad.

Even though we won’t be heading to Waco for the race like we planned, I still wanted to make these homemade KIND Bars. I do love eating the store bought version--they're such a great gluten free on-the-go snack option. However, they can get to be rather expensive....

Making them at home was really easy and so much more cost effective. Though I made the “Nut Delight” version this time, I can see myself using the same concept & substituting different nuts and mix-ins, depending on what I have in the pantry.

I almost made a second copycat batch, this time of the “Almond & Coconut” variety, but the first “Nut Delight” recipe was so tasty! Perhaps it would be better for my self control (or lack thereof) to wait to make that batch until a future date :)

Nut Delight Copycat KIND Bar (gluten free) 
adapted from The Yummy Life
yields 20 bars

7.5 oz / 1 1/2 c Whole Almonds, raw & unsalted
3 oz / 3/4 c Walnuts, raw & unsalted
2.3 oz, 1/2 c Brazil Nuts, raw & unsalted {approx 15 total}
3.75 oz / 3/4 c Peanuts, lightly salted 
0.25 oz / 1/2 c Puffed Millet (or other puffed whole grain cereal/crispy brown rice cereal)
6.33 g / 1 Tbl Flaxseed Meal
6 oz / 1/2 cup Honey
4 oz / 1/3 c Brown Rice Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla 
1/4 tsp Sea Salt (optional, if any of the nuts are salted) 
nonstick spray 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Spread the almonds, walnuts, and brazil nuts onto a large baking sheet & bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, approximately 10 minutes. 
  2. While the nuts are toasting, liberally spray a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray (I used a quarter sheet pan). Line with parchment paper & spray the parchment paper. Set aside. Also, spray a large bowl & a heat tempered spatula with nonstick spray.  
  3. Once the nuts are toasted & slightly cooled, mix with the peanuts, then coarsely chop. Add the nuts to the large bowl, plus the puffed cereal & flax meal.  Stir & set aside. 
  4. Add the honey, brown rice syrup, and salt to a 2qt sauce pan.  Clip on a candy thermometer. Heat over medium high heat until the mixture reaches 260 F. Remove from the heat & stir in the vanilla--be careful, the mixture may bubble & splatter!   
  5. Pour over the nut mixture and quickly stir until everything is combined.  
  6. Quickly transfer to the greased pan, spreading the mixture evenly in the pan.  Press & compact the mixture using well greased hands and/or the greased bottom of a metal measuring cup or drinking glass. 
  7. Let cool 20 minutes (pan will still be warm). Invert the pan on a cutting board & tap until mixture falls out in one piece. Remove the parchment paper. Cut into 20 bars. If the bars become too cool & are too hard/brittle to cut, put the pan into a warm oven for a couple minutes to help soften and then try cutting. 
  8. Allow the bars to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Use parchment paper between the layers.  Or individually wrap the individual bars in parchment paper for easy transport. Store at room temperature for up to 1 week, or refrigerate to extend shelf life. 
Alternate Ingredient Substitutions
  • Need a vegan version? Use all brown rice syrup & omit honey
  • Can't find puffed millet? Use another puffed whole grain cereal.  I almost used GF Rice Krispies before I finally was able to find puffed millet at Central Market


  1. What a great recipe! I love KIND bars, especially the dark chocolate cherry cashew ones, so you know what kind of modifications I'll be making :D This is definitely going on the todo list.

  2. Ooo! I love the dark chocolate cherry cashew ones too! Excellent choice :)

  3. What would you sub for honey if you had to? Trying to do the low FODMAP thing with the hubs. :)

    1. Perhaps try all brown rice syrup (though I'm not sure if that's on the low FODMAP list or not) or real maple syrup? The real maple syrup will make them a bit more sticky though & you may want to add a tish more puffed millet/rice cereal

  4. Hi Laura !
    My blog will be shut. Please take yourself out of my Google Follower.
    Thank you !
    Kind regards, Christine