no-bake energy bars

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Perfect for hiking, snacking, or back-to-school lunches, these super quick bars are easy to make and fun for little hands to help. They work with a variety of different seeds, nuts, and dried fruits, which makes it an easy recipe to adapt to your own flavor preferences. You can blend everything together at the same time, but for a chunkier version, add the cereal and chocolate at the end. They keep for a week in the refrigerator but chances are they won't last that long. 

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup crisp cereal
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (or chips)

Place oats, cocoa powder, chia seeds, wheat germ, flaxseed, salt, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla extract in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add cereal and chocolate chunks (or chips) and continue to pulse until mixture holds together nicely when finished (if not, add in a bit more honey or peanut butter). Transfer mixture to a loaf pan and flatten into an even layer with your hands. Cover with aluminum foil and chill for at least 30 minutes. Cut into bars. Store, covered in refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Makes approximately 8 bars.

cook's note: You can also double the batch, which fits perfectly in a 9x9 inch pan.

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