Tag Archives: healthy version of rice krispie treats

{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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Healthier Crispy Rice Treats

Healthier Crispy Rice TreatsI don’t know why, but lately I’ve had a real hankering for Rice Krispie treats…  Of course I could have easily whipped up the classic butter and marshmallow version I grew up with, but number one, I wouldn’t feel good about letting Miss G try one (which is slowly becoming the determining factor of whether or not any of us should eat particular foods), and number two, have you ever read the ingredient list on the side of a bag of marshmallows?!  It’s not good.  

So today Miss G and I set off on a little mission to create our own healthier version.

IMG 4301To be honest, I really had no idea if it was going to work.  My thought process went something like this… Hmmm… I guess I could replace the butter with a nut butter (still lots of fat, but good fat with some added nutrition mixed in). Then I could replace the marshmallows with a more natural sticky sweetener (Maybe maple syrup? Honey? Brown rice syrup?) And the regular Rice Krispies cereal could easily be swapped for a crisp brown rice cereal.  It at least sounds like an okay plan, right?

In the end, I decided to go with cashew butter… It’s light, has a mild flavour (that is almost mallowy), and is super creamy.  As for my sweetener, after a bit of online research, I decided to go with this brown rice syrup.  I haven’t used brown rice syrup a whole lot in the past, but that’s only because I hadn’t yet done my research.  What I found out is that brown rice syrup is a natural sweetener produced by fermenting cooked rice and treating it with natural enzymes from sprouted barley.  It’s about half as sweet as sugar, has a mild flavour, and is thick and syrupy (somewhere between pure maple syrup and a good honey).  The benefits are that it has a low glycemic value, and it’s a good source of minerals and minor nutrients.  Sold.  In order to add just a touch of sweetness, we added a little bit of pure maple syrup, and pure vanilla is a must in almost all baking projects in our house.  

So there you have it – crisp brown rice cereal, brown rice syrup, cashew butter, pure maple syrup, and pure vanilla – and all were available in our nearby {regular} grocery store.

IMG 4303Just for fun, we decided to make our treats in individual portions using a muffin tin, so Grae prepared the tray ahead of time by lightly brushing on some grapeseed oil.

IMG 4305Now for the actual cooking part…  First, we put our brown rice syrup to a large pot…

IMG 4307Then we added our cashew butter…

IMG 4308And a little bit of pure maple syrup for sweetness.

IMG 4310Then we transferred the pot over to the stove and stirred the mixture over medium heat until it was hot and liquidy, but not bubbling.

IMG 4313Next, we added a good amount of vanilla, gave the mixture another quick stir, and removed it from the heat.

IMG 4314While you could just as easily dump your cereal into the pot and dirty one less dish, we opted for dumping our cereal into a large bowl and pouring the mixture on top so Miss G wouldn’t have to worry about the hot pot during the mixing process.

IMG 4315Then we mixed everything up until the cereal was evenly coated with the gooey mixture.

IMG 4318Working quickly, I filled each cup with a heaping scoop of crisp rice mixture.

IMG 4319Then we placed a large sheet of parchment paper on top and pushed the mixture down firmly into the cups.

IMG 4321Voila!

IMG 4328After a little bit of time in the freezer, I used a butter knife to pop out our treats.

IMG 4325The verdict on Miss G’s first ever crispy rice treat?  She LOVED it. 

IMG 4330We all loved them in fact.  They’re soft and gooey just like regular Rice Krispie treats, with a similar flavour that is just slightly more caramely.  

The true determining factor of success?  Brad {my sometimes picky husband who doesn’t always love the ‘weird food’ G and I cook} announcing that he likes them just as much as the classic variety, only to later decide that he thinks he likes them more.  Score. ☺


Healthy Crisp Rice Treats

  • 1/2 cup of organic brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup of cashew butter (raw is best, but roasted is good too)
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
  • 4 cups of crispy brown rice cereal

Measure the brown rice syrup, cashew butter, 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.  

Dump the mixture into a parchment-lined baking pan or scoop into a greased muffin cups and press it down firmly.  Pop the pan into the freezer for about 15 minutes to allow the treats to set.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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