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Strawberry Puffed Millet Bars {Vegan, Nut-Free, GF}

Get your instant energy boost with these easy-to-make lemon & strawberry puffed millet bars! They are vegan, nut-free, gluten-free and made without baking.

lemon & strawberry puffed millet bars stacked on a piece of white parchment paper

No-Bake Strawberry Energy Bars 

I have not posted an energy bar for awhile. Also, I have not cleaned out my pantry for awhile. The latter led to my discovery of a package of freeze-dried strawberries that had been pushed to the back of a shelf (I believe I blamed someone for eating them. Oops, and sorry), as well as an open bag of millet puffs that were begging to be used up.

These facts, as well as a few other ingredients, added up to this wholly delicious energy bar! It is loaded with the freeze-dried strawberries and millet puffs, as well as an ample amount of lemon zest, equaling a bar that is as summery as can be.

strawberry puffed millet energy bars laid out on a piece of white parchment paper on top top of a slab of marble

Use Millet Puffs in Place of Crispy Rice

The millet puffs, which look like tiny, hull-less popcorn, are the foundation of these bars. Millet is a tiny, gluten-free grain that resembles couscous. It is high in fiber, as well as a host of minerals (such as calcium and magnesium) and other nutrients.

Millet can be cooked whole, like rice or a porridge (depending on the amount of water added), ground into flour, or puffed, just like puffed wheat or puffed rice. You can find puffed millet in the health food section of grocery stores or at natural food stores. Look for it in bags (Arrowhead Mills is the most common brand).

overhead shot of puffed millet in a glass jar

Sunflower Seed Butter for Nut-Free Bars

The light, delicate texture of the puffs, combined with a simple concoction of sunflower nut butter (yes, these are nut-free, too!) and brown rice syrup, a bit of lemon juice and a wallop of lemon zest, creates a chewy bar (similar to rice crispy treats–yes, please), but with a bright, citrus flavor.

I like to stir in a few tablespoons of chia seeds to the mix, too, for both crunch and nutrition, but they are entirely optional. You could also substitute finely chopped nuts, or another type of seed.

Freeze-Dried Strawberries Add Instant Fruit Flavor

Last, but not least, the strawberries! Freeze-dried strawberries are ideal for bars, cookies and muffins, adding intense berry flavor without moisture. For these bars, I find that it is best to stir them in halfway through combining the cereal and the sunflower butter mixtures; it keeps their texture and form distinct and prevents them from breaking down in the warm sunflower mixture.

You can crumble the strawberries into bits, as I have done, or crush them into a powder for a more uniform (pink) color and strawberry flavor throughout.

overhead shot of freeze dried strawberries, whole, chopped and crushed

I should note that maple syrup will not work in place of the brown rice syrup in these bars. By will not work, I mean that the bars will not hold together. It’s a sugar thing. Honey (if not vegan) or organic corn syrup are the only other options for these particular bars. I have a lot of other power bar recipes, with all kinds of options for sweeteners and ingredients, if these do not suit your needs!

These bars travel very well, great for all kinds of summer activities. We are off to pick blueberries in the morning (in near 10o degree heat); I’ll definitely pack some of these, along with plenty of water.

Happy weekend everyone, and here’s to more power to you!

vegan and nut-free strawberry millet bars on a piece of white parchment paper

Related Posts:

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  2. How to Make Low-Calorie Granola (vegan, gluten-free, 72 calories)
  3. Strawberry Almond Flour Crumble {vegan, keto option}
  4. Vegan Keto Sunflower Seed Bread {grain-free, oil-free, nut-free}



Strawberry Puffed Millet Bars {vegan, nut-free, gluten-free}

Strawberry Puffed Millet Bars {vegan, nut-free, gluten-free}

Yield: 12 bars
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Get your instant energy boost with easy-to-make lemon & strawberry puffed millet bars! They are vegan, nut-free, gluten-free and no-bake.


  • 2 and 3/4 cups puffed millet
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup smooth sunflower seed butter
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup crumbled freeze-dried strawberries


  1. Lightly spray or grease a 9-inch baking pan; line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the millet and optional chia seeds in a large bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the sunflower seed butter, brown rice syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice and salt, stirring until melted and beginning to bubble. Cook and stir for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest.
  4. Working quickly, pour sunflower seed mixture over millet; stir to partially combine. Sprinkle in strawberries and stir until mixture is well coated and combined.
  5. Scrape mixture into prepared pan, firmly tamping down until even (I use the bottom of another small pan to do this). Cool completely and then refrigerate until firm.
  6. Use the parment liner to remove the firm slab to a cutting board and cut into bars.


Storage: Store the cooled bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 6 months.

Tip: An equal amount of smooth nut putter or tahini can be used in place of the sunflower seed butter.

Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1 bar
Amount Per Serving Calories 154Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 3.9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 103.9mgCarbohydrates 15.1gFiber 1.4gSugar 7.4gProtein 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tuesday 30th of August 2022

Any idea if it's possible to sub dates for the syrup?


Friday 2nd of September 2022

Hi Paloma, I really don't think that will work here unless you make a date syrup (or use a date syrup). I googled "how to make date syrup" and found many recipes for making it. The syrup should work!


Sunday 8th of May 2022

Love this recipe...your photo really inspired me to make it! I didn't have puffed millet so I used puffed kamut, added coconut and used honey. Awesome! Next time I'll have millet. I love your recipes! Thank you!


Sunday 8th of May 2022

I am so glad you discovered the recipe, Shelly--it is from the way back :) Thank you so much, I am so glad you like my recipes!

Joan Hogan

Monday 24th of August 2020

I know you mentioned only 2 sweeteners worked, but maybe you were just thinking gluten free. Will this recipe work with barley syrup?


Tuesday 25th of August 2020

Hi Joan,

You are correct, I was! Yes, barley syrup should definitely work; I've used it in the past and it worked well for binding in recipes such as this. Cheers!

Misty Whitehead

Monday 25th of June 2018

Sorry, never mind


Tuesday 26th of June 2018

No worries, Misty!

Misty Whitehead

Monday 25th of June 2018

Is honey an ok substitute for brown rice syrup? Or agave?


Tuesday 26th of June 2018

Honey, yes, agave no (the bars will not stick) :)

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