Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
* 1 1/2 cups crisped brown rice cereal or Rice Krispies
* 1 cup quick-cooking oats
* 3/4 cup dried cherries
* 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
* 1/3 cup unflavored whey protein (available at natural food stores)
* 1 cup brown rice syrup
* 1/4 cup maple syrup
* 1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
1. Mix the crisped brown rice, oats, cherries, chocolate chips, flaxseed and whey protein in a large bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the brown rice syrup to a boil over medium-high heat. Take off stove, add the maple syrup and almond butter, and stir until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
2. Line a small pan with plastic wrap (an 8- by 8-inch pan is fine. The mixture won't completely cover the bottom, but that's OK). Press the mixture into the pan to the desired thickness. The mixture will hold its shape while warm, but will become firmer as it cools. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
* Per bar: 180 calories, 6 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 32 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
* Course: Snack
* Yields: Makes 12 bars