Cereal bars are a mixture of different cereal types shaped like a bar where you can add honey, nuts, chocolate, etc. Since they are more popular nowadays since it’s a healthier snack for your children, I will teach you how to store cereal bars.
Uncooked cereal bars can be kept refrigerated for a week or frozen for a month. On the other hand, the baked cereal bars can be at room temperature for a week.
If you want to learn the steps to preserve cereal bars, I invite you to continue reading.
How to preserve cereal bars?
Cereal bars, also known as nutritional bars or energy bars, are intended to improve physical performance and provide energy. You can eat them as a snack or to complement a breakfast.
Homemade cereal bars may or may not go through a cooking process (usually baking), which is one of the variables we must consider when storing them.
On the other hand, the shelf life of the cereal bars of commercial sale is higher due to the preservatives and their packaging, the reason why they are simple to store.
Preserve uncooked cereal bars
Uncooked cereal bars need to be preserved cold, especially in hot places. However, they can be about 4 or 6 hours at room temperature without any problem.
To store uncooked cereal bars, you need to do the following:
- Step 1: Cut the bars.
Usually, when preparing this bar, a whole block is left on a tray in the refrigerator or freezer until it compacts, then the dough is taken out and cut into bars of the desired size.
- Step 2: Wrap.
After dividing, you should wrap the cereal bars with film, waxed or aluminum paper, whatever you have on hand.
- Step 3: Put in an airtight bag or container.
After wrapping the cereal bars, put them all inside an airtight bag or container to seal the air intake well and prevent them from absorbing the smell of other foods.
- Step 4: Tag
Write the storage date, or stick a label with that date on the bag or container.
- Step 5: Store in the freezer or fridge.
If you keep the uncooked cereal bars in the fridge, they can last in good condition for a week. Instead, frozen cereal bars can last a month.
To thaw it, just leave it for an hour or two at room temperature or pass the cereal bar the night before to the fridge.
Preserve baked cereal bars
Baked cereal bars have a slightly longer shelf life, so you can store them at room temperature if the temperature does not exceed 77°F (25°C).
How to preserve cereal bars baked at room temperature?
To store baked cereal bars at room temperature only meets these indications:
- Step 1: Wait for the bars to cool.
Leave the cereal bars fresh from the oven on the tray until they cool entirely; otherwise, their consistency won’t be as desired.
- Step 2: Wrap the bars.
When they are cold, wrap the bars with film, waxed, or aluminum paper.
- Step 3: Put the cereal bars in an airtight container.
Then, place the cereal bars inside an airtight container to protect them better.
- Step 4: Tag.
Paste a label with the date of preparation of the bars.
- Step 5: Store in a dark place.
The place where you keep the cereal bars should be fresh, dry, and away from artifacts that generate heat. Thus, the baked cereal bars can be at room temperature for a week.
How to keep baked cereal bars in the fridge
If you want to extend the shelf life of baked cereal bars, you can refrigerate them. To do this, you just have to do what is below:
- Step 1: Wait for them to cool down.
After removing the bars from the oven, it is advisable to wait for them to cool before handling them.
- Step 2: Wrap each bar.
You can wrap the cereal bars with waxed paper, aluminum foil, or plastic film.
- Step 3: Bag or put in a container.
After wrapping the cereal bars, you should put them inside a bag or container, as long as it is airtight to prevent air entry.
- Step 4: Tag.
As they will be stored for a while, it is convenient to know how long they have been in the fridge.
- Step 5: Store in the fridge.
In this way, the baked cereal bars will last a whole month in the fridge.
How to freeze baked cereal bars
Can cereal bars be frozen? You can freeze the cereal bars without any problem; no matter if you baked them or not, they will maintain their quality long-term if you need to follow the freezing guidelines.
Here’s how to freeze them:
- Step 1: Wait for the bars to cool.
No matter which storage you select, this step is a must.
- Step 2: Wrap each bar with two layers.
First with film paper, then with aluminum foil. In this way, you can avoid frostbite burns. You could also apply two layers of film paper or two layers of aluminum foil.
- Step 3: Place the bars inside a bag suitable for freezing.
Put the cereal bars inside a sealed bag suitable for freezing. You could also use an airtight container.
- Step 4: Tag.
Write the date of preparation of the cereal bars.
- Step 5: Store in the freezer.
In this way, you can keep the baked cereal bars in good condition for about 3 to 6 months. 
They should only be left for a while at room temperature or left all overnight in the fridge to thaw them.
Preserve commercial cereal bars
In supermarkets or grocery stores, you get a wide variety of cereal bars. Usually, each bar comes packaged, and several come inside a cardboard box.
So the only thing that you should do after uncovering the box is to close it and leave it in the pantry or a dark, dry, and fresh place. You can transfer the cereal bars into an airtight bag or container, but it is not necessary unless refrigerated.
Commercial cereal bars remain in good condition until the expiration date indicated by the manufacturer. However, you can consume them after this if the bar is still well sealed.
How do you know if a cereal bar is bad?
To know if a cereal bar is in poor condition, you must check the following:
- Smell: If it smells stale, its shelf life is over.
- Taste: If it tastes terrible, bitter, or rancid, avoid consumption.
- Presence of mold: If they have something like lint, or you see green, white, or black spots, throw them in the trash since that’s most likely mold.
- Firmness: If they are so hard that you cannot crumble them, they are probably already rancid because their shelf life is over. The same if they are softer than they should be.
Why do cereal bars spoil?
Adding nuts to cereal bars is a risk in their storage mainly due to the large amount of unsaturated fatty acids contained in the nuts, which accelerate the deterioration of cereal bars when oxidized.
In addition, the stability of these bars also depends on their humidity, but the moisture increases the chances of the appearance of mold.
Also, light accelerates the development of rancidity in cereal bars. And if the oxygen concentration is not decreased, the fats would oxidize, apart from the fact that it would destroy the essential vitamins and amino acids.
How long do cereal bars last?
The answer to this question depends on whether you baked the bar, but they usually have an average lifespan. Below I leave you a summary table:
|Uncooked cereal bar in the fridge
|Uncooked cereal bar in the freezer
|Baked cereal bar at room temperature
|Baked cereal bar in the fridge
|Frozen cereal bar (baked)
|3 – 6 months
|Commercial cereal bar at room temperature
|Until the expiration date
What is the best way to store cereal bars?
Uncooked cereal bars keep well in the fridge and the freezer, so it is best to freeze them for more than a week if you want to preserve them.
Baked cereal bars can be stored at room temperature, as long as they are well covered. But they also keep well in the fridge or freezer.
Commercial cereal bars last much longer and are easy to store, although they have preservatives and other components that would make them a product not as healthy as homemade ones.
If you are interested in knowing how to preserve other foods, I have an extensive list of topics that you could use.