If you want to lower the amount you spend at the grocery store each week, one sure fire way to do that is not to buy pre-packaged foods. It still surprises me how many people still buy their kids snacks for lunchboxes but this easy 3 Ingredient LCM Bars recipe is a keeper.
So what is an LCM Bar and what does the LCM stand for? I don't think anyone really knows but as soon as you mention "LCM Bar" everyone knows that its a treat for kids made with rice bubbles (rice krispies) and somehow glued together to form a bar. They are sold in boxes and individually wrapped.
To be honest, I've never bought them no matter how much my kids screamed for them. I can't justify the price for something that is so simple to make at home. I'm not saying they're the most healthiest of treats but if you're buying them, you might want to know how easy it is to make them. I decided to make some as an end of school holiday treat for my kids just recently.
As a comparison, a box like the above normally retails for around $4 for 6 bars, which works out to about $0.66 each. To make them yourself:
- 4 cups (or 100gm) homebrand rice bubbles - 360gm box @ $1.85 = $0.51
- 80gm homebrand butter - 500gm @ $3.00 = $0.48
- 250gm homebrand marshmallows (or make your own) = $2.45
- Total: $3.44 for 16 bars ($0.21 each)
As you can see on the above nutrition panels (the one on the left is the homemade version and the nutrition panel I created myself so it's based loosely on weight measures), they are pretty similar with the Kellogg's version being slightly lower in kilojoules, fat, carbohydrates and sodium. But here is where the difference is. Here are the ingredients for the Kellogg's version.
Hey? I don't even know what most of those things are! There might be a few nasties in store bought marshmallows if you decide to make your own LCM Bars but if you make your own marshmallow, there's only sugar, water and gelatine in the recipe. This is one of the points I try to make when I go on about cooking from scratch. You have total control of the ingredients in your recipes.
To be honest, I very rarely have normal rice bubbles in the house. Not that my children are gluten intolerant but I've found they prefer the puffed quinoa cereal. Sure, it's a little more expensive so it's only bought for a treat every now and again and when the kids get sick of it, I love using it in bar recipes similar to these Peanut Butter Puffed Quinoa Bars.
So if you're going to buy the pre-packaged LCM Bars, think twice about what it is your kids are eating and don't forget it's a third of the store bought price to make them at home, as a treat. Also, if you have uneaten boxes of cereal in the pantry, try using it in this recipe instead of the rice bubbles. I've done it with cornflakes and cocoa pops before and it works great.
Easy 3 Ingredient LCM Bars
- 4 cups rice bubbles (rice krispies)
- 80gm butter
- 250gm packet marshmallows (or make your own)
- sprinkles or chocolate chips (optional)
- In a microwave proof bowl, melt butter for approximately 30 seconds in the microwave.
- Add the marshmallows and heat in 30 second increments, stirring each time until marshmallows have melted and butter is combined.
- In a mixing bowl, combine rice bubbles and melted butter/marshmallow mixture.
- In a 20x25cm baking pan lined with baking paper, add rice bubble mixture.
- Sprinkle on chocolate chips or sprinkles.
- Allow to set in fridge for approximately an hour then slice into 16 (or smaller) bars.
So there you have it. When the cupboard is bare and you need a quick treat for the lunch box or afternoon snack, give these easy 3 Ingredient LCM Bars a try, in moderation of course.
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