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Lower-Calorie Variation Ideas:

Lower-Fat Option: Decrease the nut butter amount by two tablespoons.

Lower-Sugar Option: You can decrease the sweetener by 1 or 2 tablespoons, but be aware that the bars won’t stay together quite as well.

Below are some other lower-calorie options I brainstormed, but haven’t tried. Anyone want to try one of these variations out and let me know how the squares (or balls) taste??

  • Use puffed cereal in place of crispies
  • Instead of the peanut butter, use Banana Butter
  • Sub mashed banana for some of the pb (or applesauce or pumpkin)
  • Omit pb entirely, and use 1/4 cup vegan butter instead
  • Blend the crispies with the other ingredients, instead of simply stirring them together (This last one isn’t actually a lower-calorie option… but it’s something I thought up, and I’m curious to know how/if it works!)
  • Some commenters meantioned a spread called “Better n Peanut Butter.” If you like that, perhaps you can try it in this recipe?
Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Maybe if someone was omitting a couple tablespoons each of the nut butter and agave, they could pulse the mixture in a food processor to combine it instead of trying to do it by hand? Just an idea!

    PS – When I made my raw sunny cashew-apricot energy cookies the other day, I ALMOST rolled them into little snackable balls, a la YOU! 😛 I think I’ll have to do that next time!

    1. I really want to try blending it all together! But then again, I just like blending things… I’ve even thought about blending a pb&j sandwich before. I bet it’d be good! 🙂

      1. Jillian says:

        Oh my gosh – I discovered a really heavenly PB&J fix that sounds a smidge like your blended sandwich idea! I mixed in a tbsp of peanut butter and a tbsp of low sugar strawberry jam into one container of plain nonfat Fage 0% Greek yogurt, and that alone was AMAZING! But adding small, centimeter-pieces of bread to it? Wow. It was like bread pudding or something!!

      2. Jillian says:

        Oh my gosh – I discovered a really heavenly PB&J fix that sounds a smidge like your blended sandwich idea! I mixed in a tbsp of peanut butter and a tbsp of low sugar strawberry jam into one container of plain nonfat Fage 0% Greek yogurt, and that alone was AMAZING! But adding small, centimeter-pieces of bread to it? Wow. It was like bread pudding or something!!

    2. I really want to try blending it all together! But then again, I just like blending things… I’ve even thought about blending a pb&j sandwich before. I bet it’d be good! 🙂

  2. Maybe if someone was omitting a couple tablespoons each of the nut butter and agave, they could pulse the mixture in a food processor to combine it instead of trying to do it by hand? Just an idea!

    PS – When I made my raw sunny cashew-apricot energy cookies the other day, I ALMOST rolled them into little snackable balls, a la YOU! 😛 I think I’ll have to do that next time!

  3. Li says:

    Since I’m not vegetarian, I have tried gelatin/water mixture in place of sugar entirely (I think the sweetness in cereal is enough) and it had worked. Maybe try it with agar?

    1. Sounds like another fun variation experiment!

    2. Sounds like another fun variation experiment!

    3. Sarah says:

      Hey thanks for the tip, sweeten with stevia, way to make it sugar free AND stick together

    4. Sarah says:

      Hey thanks for the tip, sweeten with stevia, way to make it sugar free AND stick together

    5. Kate says:

      How do you use the gelatin/water mixture exactly? I’d be interested in trying that out. Thanks!

    6. Kate says:

      How do you use the gelatin/water mixture exactly? I’d be interested in trying that out. Thanks!

    7. Mel says:

      Yes please, i use gelatin too. I would love to know the recipe. Thanks!

    8. Mel says:

      Yes please, i use gelatin too. I would love to know the recipe. Thanks!

    9. Dawn says:

      2 envelopes gelatin + 6 tablespoon water => wait until it all dissolves (5 mins) => microwave 30 seconds

      It’ll the roughly the consistency of syrup and can be easily poured into the pot. I think just adding the gelatin and water in the pot should be fine, but this way you make sure all the gelatin is dissolved.

      1. Carolita says:

        Maybe a vegan option to replace the gelatin could be flax seed gel (you boil flax seeds in water until they start to get gooey, then strain in a fine sieve if you don’t want the flax seeds in).

      2. Carolita says:

        Maybe a vegan option to replace the gelatin could be flax seed gel (you boil flax seeds in water until they start to get gooey, then strain in a fine sieve if you don’t want the flax seeds in).

    10. Dawn says:

      2 envelopes gelatin + 6 tablespoon water => wait until it all dissolves (5 mins) => microwave 30 seconds

      It’ll the roughly the consistency of syrup and can be easily poured into the pot. I think just adding the gelatin and water in the pot should be fine, but this way you make sure all the gelatin is dissolved.

  4. Li says:

    Since I’m not vegetarian, I have tried gelatin/water mixture in place of sugar entirely (I think the sweetness in cereal is enough) and it had worked. Maybe try it with agar?

  5. Hawai'i Leah says:

    What about subbing the PB with ABU from “Heather Eats Almond Butter” site?

    1. I’ve never actually tried that stuff, but I love HEAB, so I’m sure it’s good!

    2. I’ve never actually tried that stuff, but I love HEAB, so I’m sure it’s good!

  6. Hawai'i Leah says:

    What about subbing the PB with ABU from “Heather Eats Almond Butter” site?

  7. Thanks for the lower cal ideas. Gotta keep those 60 pounds at bay 😉

    Everything on your site looks soooo yummy! I seriously want to make everything. And eat it everything!

  8. Thanks for the lower cal ideas. Gotta keep those 60 pounds at bay 😉

    Everything on your site looks soooo yummy! I seriously want to make everything. And eat it everything!

  9. Mmm peanut butter banana rice crispies? That sounds like a little piece of heaven 🙂

  10. Mmm peanut butter banana rice crispies? That sounds like a little piece of heaven 🙂

  11. Lisa says:

    You could use pb2 for a lower calorie count. pb2 is a natural peanut butter comes in chocolate too and is 45 calories for 2 tbsp. check out their website at pb2.com and they explain the process ect.

  12. Lisa says:

    You could use pb2 for a lower calorie count. pb2 is a natural peanut butter comes in chocolate too and is 45 calories for 2 tbsp. check out their website at pb2.com and they explain the process ect.

  13. ferncrest says:

    This looks good enough but what is the nutritional value? Calories, sugar, fat, carbs, protein etc. Won’t make anything I don’t know the nutritional. Just a regular health nut :-)))

    1. mel says:

      You could just chuck the ingredient list through my fitness pal or some other counter type program and divide by the number of serves .. Easy 😉

    2. mel says:

      You could just chuck the ingredient list through my fitness pal or some other counter type program and divide by the number of serves .. Easy 😉

  14. ferncrest says:

    This looks good enough but what is the nutritional value? Calories, sugar, fat, carbs, protein etc. Won’t make anything I don’t know the nutritional. Just a regular health nut :-)))

  15. RC says:

    I know this is an older post, but I wanted to add another substitution for peanut butter….. Peanut Flour! I order 5lbs of the 12% Light Roast from Byrdmill.com every month and use it in place of flour in baking, blended into smoothies, stirred into plain yogurt, and other areas actual peanut butter is used. You could simply add a little water and mix well until you have reconstituted peanut butter with a lower fat (therefore calorie) count but still a lot of protein and flavor.

    I highly recommend this, it ships pretty fast and is very addicting!!

  16. RC says:

    I know this is an older post, but I wanted to add another substitution for peanut butter….. Peanut Flour! I order 5lbs of the 12% Light Roast from Byrdmill.com every month and use it in place of flour in baking, blended into smoothies, stirred into plain yogurt, and other areas actual peanut butter is used. You could simply add a little water and mix well until you have reconstituted peanut butter with a lower fat (therefore calorie) count but still a lot of protein and flavor.

    I highly recommend this, it ships pretty fast and is very addicting!!

  17. julie says:

    I made some similar using Better n Peanut Butter…it isn’t microwave friendly so you would have to mix it into hot ingredients. Mine didn’t stick together very well. I used maple syrup but probably a different ratio…

  18. julie says:

    I made some similar using Better n Peanut Butter…it isn’t microwave friendly so you would have to mix it into hot ingredients. Mine didn’t stick together very well. I used maple syrup but probably a different ratio…

  19. Marlowe says:

    I have been making these pretty regularly for the past couple of months since I discovered this website. I usually just take the kids into the pantry and let the kids decide what to put in them. We always do a double batch (a single batch wouldn’t even last until my husband gets off work) so we use 6 cups of whatever dry ingredients we want. Usually we have puffed rice, so that goes in and then we add Cheerios, nuts, raisins, granola, graham crackers, crushed up pretzels, sunflower seeds, coconut…whatever we feel like in whatever quantity fits my whim equalling up to the 6 cups. We love them!

  20. Marlowe says:

    I have been making these pretty regularly for the past couple of months since I discovered this website. I usually just take the kids into the pantry and let the kids decide what to put in them. We always do a double batch (a single batch wouldn’t even last until my husband gets off work) so we use 6 cups of whatever dry ingredients we want. Usually we have puffed rice, so that goes in and then we add Cheerios, nuts, raisins, granola, graham crackers, crushed up pretzels, sunflower seeds, coconut…whatever we feel like in whatever quantity fits my whim equalling up to the 6 cups. We love them!