There is a secret that I must share with you: I’ve never made rice cereal treats before! There I said it! Now you know. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest; I feel better now.
Don’t get me wrong, I know what rice cereal treats are. I have experienced plenty of homemade ones growing up that my friends’ moms would make. I grew up in a household of limited sugar. If it wasn’t chocolate, ice cream, or fruit, then my mom didn’t keep it in the house. So, whenever I was offered a homemade ooy-gooy, sticky, crunchy rice cereal treat as a kid, I savored every last bite.
When I was a kid I used to hate my mom for not allowing me to have sugary treats that the other kids had. As an adult, I am very thankful for how choosy my mom was about letting me have dessert. Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of dessert growing up but it was mostly chocolate or fruit-based, with some redeeming nutritional quality. We never had treats filled with processed sugar such as suckers or marshmallows (unless we were having a fire, for s’mores).
When I decided that I must fill my gap of making ooy-gooy, crunchy rice treats I decided to put a healthy spin on this beloved dessert. I guess my mom’s voice is still in my head. Besides, healthy food is what I do here.
I used a brown rice puffed cereal, such as this one. It is gluten-free, made from brown rice so it is higher in fiber and contains more vitamins and minerals than your traditional rice cereal.
Instead of marshmallows I used rich peanut butter. I opted for peanut butter because of its healthy fats and high protein content. And of course I had to add some dark chocolate. It is sweetened with a touch of honey. Add a kiss of salt for balance, and a hint of coconut oil.
These peanut butter and chocolate puffed rice treats are crunchy, peanut butter-y, chocolate-y, and perfectly sweet. They are reminiscent of a Kit-Kat bar and they are highly shareable.
Next time you consider making marshmallow treats, make these peanut butter and chocolate puffed rice treats instead. They are a healthier, grown-up version. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.
- ¼ cup + 1 ½ teaspoons extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons honey*
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- 3 ¾ cup puffed rice cereal
- ¾ cup dark chocolate
- Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by brushing it with coconut oil.
- Using a small saucepan heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add the salt, peanut butter and honey. Gently stir until it is warmed through and softened
- Add chocolate chips and stir until melted.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the puffed rice cereal until everything is incorporated. Transfer to the baking dish and press flat using the bottom of a glass. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until cooled. Cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.
Adapted from: Food Loves Writing