These peanut butter cereal bars are healthier than Rice Krispie Treats–they are naturally sweetened and made without marshmallows!
Heads up! This post was originally published way back in 2011. I’ve updated some of the photos and left some of the old ones for you. 🙂 The text with the post is the same, so you’ll notice my now 9 year old daughter is just a toddler here and my son Luke wasn’t born yet! Since I first made these, I have started to make them into bars instead of balls because it’s a lot faster! You can do it either way and they are equally delicious. ENJOY!
Ah, Rice Krispie Treats. A childhood favorite. Why is it that some of my yummiest childhood memories are filled with the worst ingredients? The typical Rice Krispie treat is made with Rice Krispie cereal (white rice cereal), a lot of butter, sometimes peanut butter, and marshmallows.
Those fluffy little marshmallows are so unassuming, but they are packed with sugar, artificial flavors, and even food dyes. (Blue 1-Not sure why since they are white?!)
Luckily it isn’t that difficult to make a Rice Krispie-like treat that is much healthier than the original version. A quick ingredient swap and you are in business.
Instead of regular Rice Krispie cereal, look for a brown rice version. Brown rice is always a better bet than white rice. I found this box of Nature’s Path in the regular cereal aisle, in the small section dedicated to “natural cereals.” There are other varieties depending on where you live; I recommend the kind with just one ingredient: puffed rice.
Next, get some natural peanut butter, preferably made with only peanuts and maybe some sea salt. Instead of marshmallows, we are going to sweeten our treats with honey. It’s a bonus if you use raw honey as then you are getting the extra anti-viral and anti-bacterial benefits. For extra flavor, you’ll also need some pure vanilla extract and cinnamon, which is also an anti-inflammatory and helps regulate our blood sugar.
I actually got this recipe from Nicole over at Zen Tree Wellness when I was looking for some healthy treats to make for Meghan’s 2nd birthday party. These are not the type of treats I make all the time, but rather are our special treats.
I made them yesterday because we were hosting a play date today and I thought it would be a fun treat for the kids. I made a huge batch since Tim eats these up so quickly I wanted to make sure there’d be enough left for our play date!
I suggest you make these for a crowd because you don’t want to be alone with an entire tray of these guys. Trust me!
Edited to add: Now that I’ve made these Healthier Than Rice Krispie Treats for years, I’ve learned that it’s quicker to cut them into bars instead of roll them into balls.
These are sticky (just like traditional Rice Krispie Treats are!) and are best when you keep them in the refrigerator and don’t keep them at room temperature for too long before eating them.
The nutritional information below is for if you roll them into 40 balls. I usually get 20 when I cut them into bars, so just double the information if you do that. 🙂
Healthier Than Rice Krispie Treats
This is a healthy twist on the kid-favorite classic, Rice Krispy treats!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 40 balls 1x
- Category: dessert
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 cups brown crispy rice cereal
- In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and ground cinnamon.
- Stir in the cereal and mix until it is evenly incorporated.
- With slightly wet hands, form the mixture into small balls. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serving Size: 1 ball
- Calories: 76
- Sugar: 7.9 grams
- Fat: 3.4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 11 grams
- Protein: 1.7 grams
Awww–I couldn’t get rid of these pictures!
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