I have hit on one significant way to stay away from sugar, excess carbs, and unhealthy goodies (when I choose to…see 5 Tips for Ditching Sugar)….and it is summed up in the little bar pictured in this post! Better known as the healthy Scotcharoo!
Okay, well not just the Scotcharoo alone. I am also helped by Sugar-Free Tagalongs, Apple Butter, Eagle Brand Fudge, and Crock Pot Cinnamon Pecans. These are my favorite sugar-free treats, and you can bet that I have these on hand when I’m going to be faced with so many sugary treats!
My advice to those who want to not eat sugar every day from December first through the thirty-first? Make something you love! And carry it throughout December. And decide ahead of time when and what you will eat.
Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!
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- Bar Ingredients:
- 5 cups of healthy cereal**
- 1¼ cup sugar-free honey***
- ⅔ cup Pyure*(or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia blend) *Or 1 cup of cup-for-cup sugar sub
- 1⅓ cup peanut butter
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Topping Ingredients:
- 1 cup peanut butter, melted and loosened but not too hot
- 1 ½ cup sugar-free chocolate chips or coarsely chopped sugar-free chocolate bar (almost a bag of Lily’s)
- Pour cereal in large mixing bowl. (You need lots of room to incorporate the sticky mixture.) I like to take a mallet and crush some of the cereal flakes, not til powdery, more like in half. In sugar-free applications, it is very hard to get things sticky enough to hold together. Crushing the cereal slightly seemed to help the sticky mixture to incorporate better.
- Melt honey and sugar on stove top or in microwave until just barely boiling. Stir constantly.
- When boiling, mix in peanut butter for bar base. Combine thoroughly.
- Remove from heat and pour over cereal.
- Work with your hands if possible to be sure that sticky mixture is incorporated all throughout cereal. This will take a bit and will require a little more effort than traditional Scotcharoos.
- In 9” x 13” pan lined with parchment and sprayed with cooking spray, press cereal mixture into pan. This also takes extra work. Press and press and press and press. Put zipper bags over hands or butter hands if needed. When you think you have the mixture well-pressed into pan, press some more. You can’t press too much!
- Melt chocolate chips in double boiler or microwave. (See melting instructions in Chapter 5. Be careful with those expensive chocolate chips! 🙂 )
- Loosen peanut butter if it is too firm. (Do this separate from the chocolate chips.)
- Stir peanut butter into chocolate chips until well mixed and shiny and smooth.
- Spread melted chocolate mixture over pan thoroughly.
- Refrigerate or freeze for a few minutes until well set. Don’t leave in too long as you don’t want them hard. You just want the topping to be somewhat firm so that they cut into nice bars.
- Store on counter, refrigerator, or freezer.
**I use bean-based flakes. The original sugary recipe calls for Rice Krispies. I like the bean-based cereals (which is shocking…they truly taste normal), and the carb count can be as low as twenty carbs per cup, which is as low as coconut flour and other low carb alternatives used in baking.
*** Do not use my homemade corn syrup. It is not sticky enough for non-baked applications and will not hold the cereal together. I buy sugar-free honey for this recipe and other “sticky,” non-baked goodies!
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Very Low Carb (VLC): With six cups of cereal, at approximately 20 carbs per cup, this is not a super low carb recipe. That being said, when you consider how many bars you get out of a 9x 13 pan, the carbs-per-bar are not bad at all. Keto? Maybe not. Moderate carb diet—like 40 to 60 carbs per day? Go for it! They are worth the carbs. (And your family would probably like them too—see Family Friendly!)
Family-Friendly (FF): Back to my ten year old eater here—these absolutely taste the most normal of any dessert I have made. That being said, do not serve them alongside the real thing (or any real thing). You can start to convert your family to healthier eating with this recipe, providing they are not choosing between this and sugary Twix bars!
Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): No special sweetened condensed milks or homemade corn syrup or homemade bar base, etc. This is a great SBS recipe!
Homemade Hannah (HH): Take the day off! You can definitely try it with a homemade honey, etc., but my testing showed that homemade syrups and honeys were not sticky enough for this recipe. (We ate the test “crumbles” like chocolaty granola! Yum!)
Freezer Cooking (FC): I have never thought Scotcharoos froze well. That being said, they do keep for a long time. I prefer to refrigerate mine as it seems to keep the bars together better.
Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): I would definitely use this in an S setting. If you are a purist who does not go so much by carb count as much as contents, then you might not use bean cereal in an S treat. In that case, it would be a crossover—but a worthwhile one!
Sugar Free (SF): All of the Healthy Mixes e books, blog posts, and newsletters contain only sugar-free recipes. Sugar-free honey can be hard to come by in a truly healthy sweetener. I use one that is less than ideal for this and a couple other non-baked treats.
Gluten-Free (GF): As long as your cereal choice is gluten-free, you should be good to go.
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