I can remember it like it was yesterday. When I was a kid, my favorite food to bring to any function was Rice Krispie Treats! All that gooey goodness of marshmallows, butter, and Rice Krispies. What kid, or adult for that matter, doesn’t love butter and sugar? Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had those treats, but today I’m sharing these plant-based chocolate rice crispy bars, a much healthier version that might just be as satisfying.
These Rice Crispy Bars are made with plant-based ingredients. Think nut butter, instead of butter, maple it date syrup for sweetness instead of marshmallows, and a touch of chocolate and walnuts to make them even yummier and healthy. Oh yeah!
And, the cool thing about this rice crispy recipe is that you can switch out ingredients for variety. Use any kind of nut butter. I find that cashew butter is the mildest, but if you like peanut butter and chocolate this is the combo for you. You can leave out the chocolate chips if you want or add chopped peanuts, sunflower seeds, ground flaxseeds, or even dried fruit. Instead of maple syrup, I’ve also tried date syrup.
Now I know we want to eat as little sugar as we can on a whole food plant-based diet but a pretty decent plant-based treat once in a while is OK in my book. However, if you’re one to go crazy on certain foods, remind yourself to try something else and just pass by this recipe.
I also have Plantritious Certified and Friendly recipes if you are looking for very low salt, high fiber, and low sugars (including no maple or date syrup).
How to Make Healthier Rice Crispie Bars
These are quite easy to make. First, you’ll but the wet ingredients plus the cocoa powder into a small bowl and microwave for a few seconds to melt everything together. Then, you’ll add this to a bowl full of brown rice crispies and old-fashioned oats, and walnuts and mix with a little elbow grease. You might even need to get your hands in there to make sure everything is covered in the ooey-gooey mixture.
Then, place it in a baking dish and firmly push it into all corners, smoothing the top. Did I say firmly?
Bake for just 8-10 minutes and let cool all the way, a very important step, because these can be a little crumbly otherwise.
Now dive in! These Chocolate Rice Crispy Bars are a little bit like granola bars. They’re chewy, crunchy, with a bit of sweetness and would be great in your kid’s lunchbox, too.
If you’re craving other healthy snacks you might like one of these:
- Carrot Chocolate Chip Cookies: made with a secret ingredient
- Mint Chocolate Smoothie: taste like ice cream
- Pumpkin Chia Pudding: very quick to make
- Avocado Brownies: these are amazing
- Chocolate Mousse: great for company
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Chocolate Rice Crispy Bars Recipe! If you have a photo, post it on Instagram, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!
Chocolate Rice Crispy Bars
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
- 1/3 cup unsalted chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup almond butter (cashew or peanut butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoon cocoa powder (or cacao)
- 1/4 cup mini vegan chocolate chips (for topping - optional)
- Preheat over to 350°F. Add oats, rice cereal, and walnuts to a large bowl.
- In a separate microwavable bowl, add almond butter, vanilla, maple syrup, and cocoa and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds to loosen the mixture. Stir with a spatula to fully combine.
- Scoop the nut butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Working quickly, stir and press with a spatula until well combined. It will be very thick.
- These tend to crumble so very firmly press into all edges of an 8 x 8" baking dish, then press a few chocolate chips into the top, if using, and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
- These are thinner like granola bars, but if you'd like a taller bar, double the recipe and use the same size baking dish
- Leave out the cocoa powder if you'd like them without it.
- Add dried fruit for a changeup
- Add nuts, seeds, or dried fruit for variety.