You can never be too old for a little back-to-school snack, right?
My sister and I used to love rice crispy treats as kids. Since I rarely eat marshmallows these days, I’ve been loving this slightly healthier alternative that uses almond butter and brown rice syrup as a binder instead. I also packed in omega-rich hemp seeds, almonds and shredded coconut – making these a filling treat to get you over that 3 o’clock slump.
To make these lightly sweet treats a little sweeter, I smothered them in chocolate. At first I was going to be good and just do a little drizzle of chocolate.
Look how pretty it was starting out (pictured above).
Right after that, photo nerves got the best of me, my drizzle became uglier, and I decided a full layer of chocolate was necessary. So there you have it – cute, yummy, chocolate-y bars.
- 2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
- ⅓ cup chopped almonds, toasted
- ⅓ cup hemp seeds
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut
- pinch of sea salt
- ½ cup almond butter
- ⅓ to ½ cup brown rice syrup*
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ½ cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips**
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Line an 8x8-inch pan, or similar sized pan, with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the brown rice cereal, almonds, hemp seeds, coconut and salt.
- In a small bowl, stir together the almond butter, ⅓ cup of the brown rice syrup and coconut oil.
- Pour the almond butter mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine. Mix until everything is evenly incorporated (I find it easiest to use my hands). If the mixture is too dry, add a little more brown rice syrup. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Tip: use a separate piece of parchment paper to help press the mixture down without it sticking to your hands.
- Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil (use a double-boiler or a glass bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water) and pour over the top of the crispy treats. Freeze for about 30 minutes to set.
- Once set, use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the whole thing out of the pan and place onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into 12 bars. Store, covered, at room temperature.
*I've tried using maple syrup in place of the brown rice syrup and it doesn't hold these together. I get this brand of brown rice syrup at Whole Foods.
**If you need these to be vegan, just check the ingredient label of your chocolate chips. I enjoy the Enjoy Life brand.