Brown Rice Granola Bars

There are lots of foods out there that I would probably never get around to trying if it weren’t for the blog world. Ask my mom and she’ll tell you that I’ve never been world’s most adventurous eater…but I am getting better!

Last week, when I was offered the opportunity to try some products from Swanson Health Products, I jumped at the chance to try some of the things I’ve seen around the blog world for months but have yet to try!

*Disclaimer- I received these products for free. All opinions are my own*

After browsing their extensive website, here’s what I chose:

Organic Buckwheat Flour
Organic Brown Rice Syrup
Pomberry Coconut Water
Organic Medjool Dates
Organic Chia Seeds

Can you believe I’ve never had any of those things before?!

Let’s get the bad out of the way first. I’ve heard good things about coconut water and all of the electrolytes it contains so I decided to save mine and try it after a three mile run. To be honest, I hate coconut. I can’t stand the flavor and I don’t eat things with coconut in them. HOWEVER, I really wanted to give this water an honest try.

I chose the pomberry flavor in hopes that the other flavor would kinda hide the coconut. I came home from my run, poured it over ice, cleared my mind of any negative coconut thoughts and took a sip. No dice, my friends. It definitely tasted like coconut.  I will admit that you could taste a slight fruit flavor as well, but it wasn’t strong enough to block out the coconut. If you like coconut, give this stuff a try! But this is one product that’s not for me.

The good news is, I had much better luck with the next two products!

If you’ve been reading for any length of time now, you know that I’m a big granola fan. You probably also know that I’m constantly trying to reduce the amount of sugar in recipes and consequently, many of my granola bar attempts end up as granola because they never stick together!

This time though, different story. After much searching, I decided to try Jessica’s 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars. It gave me the opportunity to use my brown rice syrup and my chia seeds! I followed her recipe but used almonds instead of peanuts and added in sunflower seeds, cranberries and raisins.

Check out how awesome these products are!

(Click to enlarge!)

So back to the bars. The result? GREAT flavor! SUPER crunchy just like I like them! But they were crumbly. I got some to stick together in squares, but about half the pan ended up as chunky granola. I was fine with this because I was so impressed with how it tasted. I loved the brown rice syrup, and the only negative I can come up with for the chia seeds are that one seems to inevitably get stuck in the permanent retainer behind my lower teeth!

After more research, I came up Anne’s recipe which used brown rice cereal. I’ve seen this cereal in several recipes and I finally remembered to pick up a box!

I decided to give my granola bars one more try. I kinda combined Anne and Jessica’s recipes. Mine is below:

Brown Rice Granola Bars

by Lindsay L

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Keywords: bake snack healthy low-sodium vegetarian cranberry oats chia seeds nuts

Ingredients (12 bars)

  • 1 1/2 c oats
  • 1 1/2 c brown rice cereal
  • 1/2 c chopped almonds
  • 1/4 c unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 c natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 c brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 c Craisins
  • 1/2 c Raisins


In a medium-sized bowl, combine dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine peanut butter and brown rice syrup. Microwave until peanut butter is melted, pour over dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Add in any additional mix-ins (dried fruit, chocolate chips…)

Press into a greased 9×13 pan. (I had about an inch of empty pan at one end)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting into bars or squares.

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I was so excited about this batch that I forgot to stir in my cranberries and raisins before I pressed it into the pan!

The result? Perfection! These stuck together perfectly once I waited for them to cool. I got a little anxious and started to cut them early and some chunks fell off…but once they were totally cool, I had some pretty perfect granola bars!

Crispy, crunchy, delicious & nutritious!

I was impressed with Swanson’s website, their product choices, their prices and their fast shipping! I’d definitely recommend giving them a try.

**Bloggers- Are you interested in getting some free Swanson Health Products to review on your blog? Check out the Swanson Health Blog for all the details.


PS…I’ve got my sights set on buckwheat crepes and homemade lara bars so i’ll be back with those product review once I try them!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian and new mom from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. Those bars look awesome, can you please come make me some? LOL
    I hated coconut water the first 3 times i tried it now i love it!
    Plus i’m kind of obsessed with chia seeds :)

  2. These granola bars look AWESOME!!!!! I need some crispy brown rice now…

  3. love the sound of these brown rice bars.

  4. I agree with you on the coconut water, I was so bummed I didn’t like it!! Those bars look sooo yum! :)

  5. I haven’t tried coconut water either! But I do love coconut. The bars look fantastic- I am always looking for new bar recipes to try. The rice cereal is a fun add in!

  6. Very good! I actually toasted the oatmeal, nuts and seeds (I added a random mix of what I had left in the kitchen, flax, pecans, etc.) in the oven and then followed your guide. Much better than my last attempt of another recipe that resulted in messy crumbles. It might sound strange, but I also stirred a little left over whey protein powder (chocolate) into the melted peanut butter and that worked nicely.
    Mark recently posted..Dangerous Efficiency

  7. Just popped these in the oven. I so was excited to get them in the oven… I had them in there a few minutes before I realized I had forgotten to chop and add the almonds. Oh well. I am sure they will be delicious! I used maple syrup in place of the brown rice syrup. They are smelling amazing!


  1. […] Fridays, I can go for my run at 9:30am instead of 6:30am. And after my run, I can eat my brown rice granola bar and drink guzzle my water at the kitchen table, instead in the shower and while running around […]

  2. […] *Suggestion: Make your own granola or granola bars and crumble them into your granola for added nutrition…so easy, and way cheaper than buying them. Plus you can customize them to include all your favorite ingredients. Here’s my favorite granola bar recipe. […]

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