Rice crispy treats were all the rage at my softball games growing up. They might have been the reason I continued to play (this may not come as a big ol’ surprise but I was not the team’s MVP, or even close). It was either the after-game treats or the long socks with the stripe down the middle. Both of which were the coolest things (and maybe the only things) I can really remember about my stint as a middle school “athlete”.
The snacks and the outfit. Some things never change.
I do remember thinking that the rice crispy treat days were the best because 1) they were dessert and 2) they were fat-free and kind of low-calorie. Which basically meant healthy. Duh.
And if we got really lucky, someone’s mom would make them from scratch. A simple little mix of marshmallows, butter and puffed rice cereal.
It sounded close to a easy recipe. It fit my 3 ingredient rule, and rice is gluten free. I thought I was in the clear for a fun little Valentine’s Day treat post. Just for fun and because I couldn’t think off the top of my head how to make marshmallows from scratch, I looked at the ingredient label:
Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dextrose, Modified Cornstarch, Water, Contains Less than 2% of Gelatin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate (Whipping Aid), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Blue 1.
Nice. Not one normal real food listed in the whole bunch. Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate? Sounds like a kind of gasoline.
So, I did what any normal real food lover would do. Re-vamped and upgraded that shisty stuff.
For a little dessert throw-back that you can serve the people you love (yourself included) without a once of guilt. Or toxic chemicals. Or any baking.
Sweet, right? In all the ways.
Healthy Rice Crispy Bars
Makes approximately 28 1-inch square bars. Feel free to use a heart shaped cookie cutter or small knife and mad-knife skills to cut these into Valentine’s Day hearts!
1/2 cup organic grade b maple syrup
1/2 cup organic honey
1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
2 tablespoons organic unrefined coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups gluten-free puffed brown rice or millet cereal
In a small saucepan over low heat, add coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, almond butter and vanilla.
Stir until combined. Remove from heat.
Line a rectangular baking dish with parchment paper, then add cereal to a medium mixing bowl and drizzle mixture over the top.
Gently stir to combine, then add in chocolate chips. Pour mixture into the lined dish and press the mixture flat with your fingers. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving.
Store in the fridge until ready to eat.
Have a great idea on another throw-back or favorite recipe that needs a real-food upgrade? Leave a little comment below with your requests or ideas. Or, as always, if you try this one, let me know how it goes for you.