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Healthy Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

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Healthy rice krispie treats with all the buttery, gooey goodness, but none of the guilt! These portable cereal-based treats are dairy-free, vegan, and kid-approved.

I often make vegan rice crispy squares for my kids, but I prefer to make them with better-for-you ingredients. Traditional rice krispie treats are made with plenty of butter and gooey marshmallow, which taste delicious but cause an awful sugar crash. And regular marshmallows aren’t vegetarian or vegan friendly.

Which is why I decided to revamp this childhood favorite into a vegan, healthy and guilt-free treat!

This healthy rice crispy treats recipe is made with cashew butter and maple syrup in place of marshmallows. The sticky mixture sweetens and binds the vegan rice krispies just like marshmallows do!

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These no bake treats are easy to make, perfectly sweet, and kiddos adore them! They’re also easy to customize and decorate.

Serve these allergen-friendly, gluten free, dairy free rice krispie treats at kid’s birthday parties or any fun gathering! Nobody will know these cereal bars are actually a healthy treat!

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • No corn syrup, only 4 grams of sugar per treat!
  • Made with healthy ingredients
  • Super easy recipe
  • Only five simple ingredients
  • Fun treat for kiddos
  • Naturally gluten free
  • Sweet & crispy squares
  • Delicious treats for parties
  • Crisp brown rice provides added nutrients
  • Curb that sweet tooth with a healthy snack
  • Best healthy, vegan rice krispie treats ever!

🥘 Ingredients

These low calorie rice crispy treats require five basic ingredients found at your local grocery store.

  • Crispy Brown Rice Cereal: They taste the same as regular rice crispy cereal but they’re less processed! I like Barbara’s organic brown rice crisps. If you’re on a vegan or gluten-free diet, be sure to buy a brand that’s labeled so. Kellogg’s brand crisp rice cereal is not vegan or gluten-free. Classic rice cereal is more processed than brown rice cereal.
  • Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup sweetens the healthy rice krispies without any refined sugar. If you don’t have this natural sweetener, honey or agave work great too. Brown rice syrup can be used, but it’s refined and not as healthy.
  • Coconut Oil: If you don’t have coconut oil, vegan butter works too. I like Miyoko’s Classic Fresh Organic Vegan Butter or Calafia Farms’ Vegan Butter. Unrefined coconut oil is less processed but has a stronger coconut flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract: For a sweet, vanilla essence!
  • Cashew Butter: Nut butter is the healthy twist that binds the rice cereal treats. It also provides healthy fats and a nutty flavor! I prefer cashew butter but natural almond butter and sunflower seed butter are delicious too.

📖 Variations

  • Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats: Swap the cashew butter with natural peanut butter.
  • Healthy Rice Crispy Treats With Marshmallows: If you want to use marshmallows, look for a brand that avoids corn, artificial flavors, colors, & sweeteners. Dandies vegan marshmallows are a good option.
  • Healthy Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats: Add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips to the maple syrup mixture. Melt as directed.
  • Honey Rice Crispy Treats: Swap the maple syrup with honey. Follow the recipe as directed. These healthy rice crispy cakes have a distinct honey flavor!
  • Toppings: I like to drizzle dark chocolate and sprinkle sea salt on these low fat rice crispy treats! Sprinkles, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts would be delicious too.

🔪 How To Make Healthy Rice Krispie Treats

Line Baking Tray: Line an 8×8 baking tray with parchment paper and set aside. Place the crisp cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Melt Remaining Ingredients: Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and cashew butter into a small pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir constantly until everything is melted.

Stir Into Rice Cereal: Pour the melted ingredients into the crispy rice cereal and stir well with a spatula.

Spread In Baking Tray: Evenly spread the sticky rice krispie cereal into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top and then place in the refrigerator to chill. This will make it easier to cut.

Cut Brown Rice Crispy Treats: Once set, remove the rice krispy treats from the pan and cut into 16 squares.

Store these vegan rice krispie treats in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

❓Recipe FAQs

What can you use instead of marshmallows for homemade rice krispie treats?

Nut butter and maple syrup are a healthy substitute for marshmallows in rice crispy treats. It creates a sticky mixture that sweetens and binds rice cereal just like marshmallows do! Any nut butter works great, but each one has a different flavor. Peanut butter and cashew butter are great options.

How long does it take for healthy rice crispy squares to set?

It’s best to let vegan rice crispy cakes cool completely before cutting, and that typically takes at least an hour. Giving them time to cool properly allows the coconut oil and cashew butter to firm back up. If you cut them too early, they may fall apart.

How do you cut brown rice krispie treats neatly?

Cutting vegan rice krispie squares can be messy if you don’t do it right. For best results, use a greased knife or pizza cutter. I like to spray a sharp knife with nonstick cooking spray. This will keep the crunchy treats from sticking to the knife. You may need to spray the knife more than once or in between each cut.

How do I store healthy rice krispie squares?

Store these vegan rice crispy treats in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for about 3-4 days, or you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

💭 Expert Tips

  • If you want to make these gluten-free, just make sure you use gluten-free certified brown rice crisps (note: the traditional rice krispies cereal are not vegan or gluten free).
  • Barbara’s brown rice crisps are both vegan & gluten-free!
  • To prevent the healthier rice krispie treats from sticking to your knife or spatula, spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
  • If you want to add a chocolate drizzle, melt dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 15-second increments. Once the chocolate is melted, use a spoon or piping bag to drizzle over the tops of the treats. Refrigerate until set.
  • The parchment paper makes the bars easier to remove. If you leave excess parchment hanging over each side of the baking pan, it creates handles for you to easily pick them up and out of the pan.

🍰 More Healthy Vegan Desserts!

If you have tried this recipe, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

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📋 Recipe Card

Healthy And Vegan Rice Krispie Treats

Healthy rice krispie treats with all the buttery, gooey goodness, but none of the guilt! These portable cereal-based treats are dairy-free, vegan, and kid-approved.

Prep Time6 mins

Cook Time5 mins

Chill Time2 hrs

Total Time2 hrs 11 mins

Course: Baking, Dessert

Cuisine: American

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 16 treats

Calories: 49kcal

  • Any nut butter can be used instead of cashew butter.
  • Adjust sweetness to suit taste by adding more maple syrup if desired.
  • An optional topping can be a drizzle of melted vegan chocolate or powdered sugar.

Serving: 1treat | Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g

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