{Heart-Shaped} Strawberry Crispy Rice Treats

I must admit, since creating our first batch of healthy{er} crispy rice treats, we’ve made several batches since. The good news is that through all of the ‘testing’, we’ve learned that they last really well in an airtight container on the counter, they can be made into fun shapes using silicon moulds and ice cube trays, and they can easily be cut into shapes with cookie cutters {all while holding their shape just as well as regular Rice Krispie treats do}.  The one lesson we’ve learned along the way is that if you overdo the cereal, they turn out crunchier, more dry, and not nearly as yummy.  Lesson learned.

Healthy Strawberry Crispy Rice TreatsWhen planning some of the treats we’d serve at our annual Valentine’s Tea, Gracen’s most enthusiastic suggestion was “Crispy treats! Valem-time ones!”  Making the treats pink came to mind first, but since I’m not crazy about feeding Miss G a bunch of unnecessary food dyes, that got nixed shortly there after. 

IMG 5456The next thing that came to mind was one of Grae’s favourite treats… Freeze-dried strawberries.  We buy ours at Trader Joe’s, but I have seen them in other stores as well.  They’re just strawberries, but the process of freeze-drying them causes them to be super crunchy and astronaut food-like.

IMG 5458I asked Grae if she’d like to experiment with making strawberry crispy rice treats, and she was on board all the way.

IMG 5460IMG 5462To get started, we took about a half a cup of freeze-dried strawberries, ground them to a powder in our food processor, and added them to the wet mixture while following our usual crispy rice treat recipe.

IMG 5466Of course, Miss G licked the cashew butter spoon, because, well… That’s probably the best part about helping with this recipe.

IMG 5468Once we’d combined the cereal and the wet mixture, we took another portion of freeze-dried strawberries, crumbled half into the mixture itself, and then sprinkled the other half on top of the mixture after pressing it down firmly on a baking sheet.

IMG 5472IMG 5472We let the mixture cool completely, then used a cookie cutter to cut out heart-shaped treats.  Miss G liked helping with this job, but it required some serious muscle, so I had to help out.

IMG 5477It’s a simple twist, but so far the feedback’s been great…  Strawberry crispy treat success! ☺

 

Healthier Crispy Rice Treats

  • 1/2 cup of organic brown rice syrup (found in the all-natural aisle of most grocery stores, somewhere between the nut butters, syrups, and honeys)
  • 1/2 cup of cashew butter (macadamia works great too)
  • 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, ground into powder
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
  • 4 cups of crispy brown rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, gently crumbled

Measure the brown rice syrup, cashew butter, ground freeze-dried strawberries, and maple syrup into a large pot.  Warm over medium heat, stirring almost constantly.  When the mixture is hot and liquidy (but not bubbling), add the vanilla, give it another quick stir, and remove the pot from the heat.

Add in the crispy rice cereal and mix well to ensure the cereal is evenly coated with the sticky mixture.  Next, add in a 1/4 cup of the crumbled strawberries and stir to distribute them evenly.

Dump the mixture onto a parchment-line baking pan and press it down firmly.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of freeze-dried strawberries on top of the mixture, and gently press them down into place.  

Allow the mixture to cool completely (or almost completely).  Use a cookie cutter to cut out heart-shaped treats.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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