When I think of my childhood, I have several memories that include a request to my mother for a quick, sweet treat. The options included No-Bake Cookies or Rice Krispies Treats. While I truly believe a little bit of everything in moderation is okay, there are a few changes that can be made to make these sweet treats have a little more nutrients.
First, instead of using regular Rice Krispies try using a whole grain brown rice crispy cereal. While they may not be found at your run-of-the-mill grocery store, they do exist. They can also be found on Amazon if searching becomes too much. The key is getting the entire grain of rice, which means you get more fiber. Who doesn’t love a sweet treat that helps them reach their daily goal for fiber (21-38 grams depending on age and gender)!
Second, substitute honey for marshmallows. An important fact to note is the sugar content does not change significantly with this substitution. The benefit is if you can get your hands on a local, raw honey, you may be able to relieve some seasonal allergies.
Third, switch out the saturated fat found in butter with unsaturated fat from peanut butter. You’ll also add a little protein and fiber while making your heart healthier and happier.
Test out the following recipe that has been adapted from Happily Unprocessed (see link below) to enjoy a revamped version of one of my favorite childhood memories:
- 4 cups whole grain brown crispy rice cereal
- 1/2 cup local honey
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Heat the honey, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in a pan over low heat until it melts together.
- Pour the rice cereal into a large bowl and pour the melted honey and peanut butter over it. Stir together.
- Press into the baking pan hard using either a rubber spatula or your hand with wax or parchment paper.
- Let cool and cut into squares.
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.