Healthier Special-K Bars

stack of special k bars on plate with butterscotch chips and sea salt

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Healthier Special-K Bars made with dates instead of processed sugar, whole grain rice cereal and peanut butter. Just 8 ingredients and no baking required! Option to use brown rice syrup, see notes.


  • 16 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for 5 minutes*
  • 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil or butter
  • 35 TBSP milk of choice (dairy, coconut, cashew, etc.)
  • 56 cups brown rice flake cereal
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • sea salt for sprinkling


  1. Grease 9×13 pan with butter/oil or line with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Drain dates and place in bowl of food processor with S-blade; process dates until broken down into paste, add 1 tablespoon milk at a time until creamy paste forms. You may need 3-4 tablespoons here.
  3. Transfer date paste to large pot on stovetop. On medium heat combine date paste with peanut butter, stirring continuously. Add coconut oil and stir until melted/combined – add another 1 tablespoon of milk here if mixture is sticky.
  4. Add cereal to date & peanut butter mixture until cereal is broken down and fully combined. Transfer to prepared pan, pressing firmly down and evenly into all four corners.
  5. Sprinkle on butterscotch chips and dark chocolate chips. Here you can cover the pan with foil to help lock in heat and melt chips. OR you can place the covered pan back on the warm (turned off) stovetop, turning the pan every 2 minutes and removing after 4-5 minutes (to prevent from burning). Wait for the chips to melt before smoothing top with spatula.
  6. Allow pan to rest at room temperature for an hour or so until topping sets. You can also place pan in fridge for 30 minutes to speed up the process.
  7. Cut into bars and enjoy!


*You can also use 1 cup brown rice syrup – simple combine with peanut butter and coconut oil/butter on stovetop, then add cereal before adding into pan. No milk will be needed if using brown rice syrup.

If bars setting at room temperature, they will take about 1 hour.