Remember Rice Krispie Squares as a kid? I sure do.
I remember helping my mom make them, eagerly anticipating the first bite of gooey marshmallowy goodness off the spoon after she was finished pouring the mixture into the pan to cool. Touted as being a “healthier” snack back in the day (HA!), my mom added an extra 3-4 cups of rice crisps thinking this would make them healthier. Bless her heart. We know better now.
This classic Rice Krispie square has had a major health makeover but will easily be devoured by kids and adults alike. Replacing the processed marshmallow glue with high protein almond butter and organic brown rice syrup, and adding puffed brown rice adds significantly more nutrition than the original recipe. And in my opinion it tastes even better!
Now before some readers’ alarm bells go off with the words “brown rice syrup” and it’s arsenic content (as some notables such as Dr. Oz have discussed), if you don’t feel comfortable using it, feel free to substitute with honey, coconut nectar or another sweetener of your choice.
I feel it’s easy to become paranoid about food these days. Every month there’s always new research stating that what was once a “healthy” food, may now be “dangerous” and that we should try to avoid it.
In this case, I think the concern lies with processed products that contain brown rice syrup (like granola bars, cereals and cookies) since the source is not organic, so if you avoid those foods, your exposure is simply limited to whatever you cook. I definitely don’t eat brown rice or brown rice syrup daily (or even weekly), I buy organic (which I’m hoping will contain less arsenic) and thus feel that my exposure is pretty minimal.
My philosophy? Eat everything in moderation and try to avoid eating the same types of foods all the time. That way you get a variety of nutrients and avoid becoming sensitive or intolerant to certain foods. 🙂
Enjoy 1-2 of these delicious morsals as an energy boost before a run or hot yoga where you don’t want a lot of food swimming in your belly to cause discomfort….or simply when you have a craving for a Rice Krispie Square. 🙂
Almond Rice Crispy Bites (adapted from Oh She Glows)
- 2 cups organic puffed brown rice cereal
- 3-5 tbsp. organic brown rice syrup (I use Lundberg)
- 1/4-1/2 cup almond butter (I prefer chunky but smooth is fine too)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
- 1 tbsp. cacao nibs
1. Mix almond butter, brown rice syrup and vanilla extract in a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring until mixture becomes more liquid from heat.
2. Immediately turn off heat and mix in rice crisps and cacao nibs. Carefully roll into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment lined sheet. Sometimes I like to leave the pot on the element to allow for the residual heat to keep the mixture warm. But be careful: the mixture at the bottom of the pot will be hot!
3. Refrigerate until firm and serve or place in another container and freeze for when you have the munchies in the future. (Tip: If eating from the freezer, let thaw for 5 minutes or so, otherwise it’ll be rock hard when you bite into it.)