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Recipes Treats Healthy Rice Crispy Treats
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Written by Whole Grain Gourmet   
Thursday, 10 March 2011 11:06

Brown Rice Crispy Treat

Everyone in our family loves rice crispy treats! What’s not to love, right? I’ve been looking for an alternative to marshmallows for as long as I can remember. Not only because the corn syrup in marshmallows sends my daughter bouncing all over the room, but traditional marshmallows also contain food coloring!!! Hard to believe that something white has food coloring, but yes, marshmallows contain the artificial food dye Blue 1.**

The brown rice crispy treats I created have fiber, protein, and even some omega 3. Most importantly, though, they are delicious! They taste just like traditional rice crispy treats. You'd never know these treats didn't contain marshmallows. I honestly had a hard time transferring the treats from the bowl to the pan without eating them all. My husband and kids loved them too! No one could eat just one! They make a great, healthy after-school snack or something to keep at your desk or in your car when you are on the go.  They also won't send your kids on a sugar roller coaster.  Enjoy!

** IMPORTANT NOTE ON ARTIFICIAL FOOD DYES:

Research has shown that artificial food dyes have negative effects on our children’s health and behavior. Cancer and hyperactivity/attention issues have been linked to artificial food dyes along with irritability, aggressiveness, learning impairment and allergies. Since July 2010, the European Union has required products containing artificial food dyes to carry warning labels stating that "consumption may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children."

What prompted the EU to take this important step? A 2007 study commissioned by the British Food Standards Agency that linked artificial food dyes with increased levels of hyperactivity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and lower IQs in typical/ordinary children. Kids displayed these behavior problems within an hour of consuming artificial food dyes.

In England, the government asked food companies to voluntarily remove artificial food dyes by the end of 2009 and all companies complied with this request. In the U.S., even though the FDA has acknowledged that food dyes can cause hyperactivity in children, they have done nothing to remove these dyes from our foods. This has to change!

Healthy Brown Rice Crispy Treats

Ingredients :

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup natural almond butter
  • 2/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups crispy brown rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips, 70% cocoa

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the crispy brown rice cereal and rolled oats. Set aside.
  2. In a large pan, stir together the peanut butter, almond butter, and brown rice syrup over a low heat until the mixture is warm (not hot!) and thoroughly combined. This process should take about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract.
  3. Add the warm syrup mixture to the bowl of crispy rice cereal.
  4. Stir well until the rice crispies are evenly coated with the syrup mixture. Now add in the flaxseed, cranberries, raisins, and dark chocolate chips. I found it easier to use my hands to incorporate everything. Make sure the rice crispy mixture is not too hot before adding in the chocolate, or else the chocolate will melt.
  5. Grease an 8 x 8 inch pan. Add the rice crispy treats to the pan, pressing down evenly. Cool for a few minutes and then cut into 16 squares.

 

Notes:

I really like the crispy brown rice cereal from Whole Foods (365 brand). I think the cereal is made from short grain brown rice because the rice is rounder and plumper than a traditional long grain rice. They hold their shape well and stay crispy.

Also, I’ve just discovered the Whole Foods dark chocolate mini chunks (365 brand). They are 70% cocoa and absolutely delicious! I used them in this recipe.

 

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