Rice crispy treats- the bad?
The rice crispy treats we are all familiar with are not the best choice when it comes to being conscious about what type of sweeteners to eat. Marshmallows are packed with refined sugar and/or corn syrup, along with gelatin (a thickening agent that is made by boiling down the parts of animals that we don't normally eat, such as the skin, tendons, and bones). We are not fans of using gelatin in our food or desserts, especially if it's coming from an unknown source. Refined sugar and corn syrup are the worst thing you can eat for maintaining balanced blood sugar (which impacts everything from risk of diabetes to your mood throughout the day). On top of this, rice crispy treats are usually made with cereal that has been made from refined white rice, which is another spike to your blood sugar.
Rice crispy treats- the good?
It is possible to have yummy, delicious rice crispy treats that are good for you too! We make our rice crispy treats with brown rice cereal, which is less refined than the stereotypical rice crispy cereal. We also choose brown rice cereal that is fruit juice sweetened, instead of with normal sugar.
Instead of marshmallows, we use a combination of tahini and brown rice syrup. Tahini is the paste of sesame seeds and is a wonderful source of protein and minerals, especially calcium. We always recommend for people to eat tahini when they are low in calcium and want to support the health of their bones, teeth, and heart. Using tahini in desserts is one of the best ways to ensure that you also are eating protein with your dose of carbohydrates- this means your blood sugar will remain stabilized instead of spiking.
Brown rice syrup is a great sweetener choice because while it is still a carbohydrate that breaks down into glucose inside the body, it is more complex than other sweeteners. Brown rice syrup will be digested more gradually over time, which prevents a massive blood sugar spike.
Rice Crispy Treats
(vegan, gluten free, low-glycemic)
3.5 cups brown rice crispy cereal (organic and sweetened with fruit juice is best)
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil of ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
1. On a low heat, warm the tahini, brown rice syrup and coconut oil in a small pan. You will need to warm them up because tahini, coconut oil and brown rice syrup are all more solid at cooler temperatures.
2. Mix together the rice crispy cereal, tahini, brown rice syrup, coconut oil, and chocolate chips.
3. In a baking dish, spread a dab of coconut oil over the surface to prevent the rice crispy mixture from sticking. Or, alternatively you can place a piece of parchment paper in a baking dish to line it.
4. Spread the mixture into the baking dish. The mixture will be really sticky. Make sure you pour it into the dish before it cools down too much, or else the mixture will be even stickier.
5. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. You can also place the rice crispy treats in the refrigerator to cool faster. Cut into squares of desired size.