I have always had a weakness for rice krispie treats. I do not know if it is the gooeyness or the salty/sweet combo that always gets me wanting more. Last year when I started my health makeover I decided to take all of my traditional recipes and give them a makeover as well. One of the first items on my list was the traditional rice krispie treat. I wanted to use brown rice instead of white rice. And coconut oil instead of butter.
During my first makeover attempt, in order to go the extra mile on the health scale I did try using popped rice cereal instead of crispy rice cereal. However, I can honestly tell you that using the popped rice is not a good idea. The treats turn out somewhat soggy and mushy. The traditional crunch of the rice treat can really only come from the crispy type rice cereal.
For the brown rice cereal I did some comparison shopping and found the best one, in regards to low sugar and filers, at Whole Foods. The brand name is “Erewhon”. The brown rice is organic and the sweetener is organic brown rice syrup. The rice syrup is far better then the refined white sugar that is used in the Kellogg’s brown rice cereal.
For the marshmallows I used a standard bag of generic marshmallows. I searched high and low to find a better alternative to the traditional marshmallow. I first tried the kosher brand marshmallows from Whole Foods. The kosher brand marshmallows are made with fish gelatin so your house will smell of fish and the treats do have a fishy after taste. I have a huge fan of fish but not in my dessert so these types of marshmallows quickly got scraped.
Since most store brand marshmallows contain corn syrup I tried making my own marshmallows using cane sugar (and even honey). While the marshmallows by themselves were amazing, the consistency of the final crispy treats did not turn out the same. So after countless trails and tests using different types of marshmallows, I decided I needed to stick with the traditional generic marshmallow.
For substituting the butter, coconut oil was a clear and easy choice. Coconut oil is easy to find, easy to use and the health benefits tower over butter or margarine. There are several types of coconut oil on the market but they are all pretty much the same so any one of them would work fine in this recipe. Coconut oil comes in a solid form with a low melting point so it actually works quicker then traditional butter. I also use coconut spray to line the pan for the treats. Now the brand of coconut oil spray does matter since some of the brands use chemical propellants in their product. I like to use a coconut oil spray by “Spectrum”.
Brown Rice Coconut Oil Crispy Treats
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 (16 ounce bag) of mini marshmallows
6 cups of brown rice crispy cereal
Melt coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallow and stir continuously until melted. Remove pan from heat.
Add brown rice crispy cereal to the pan and stir until it is coated well with the melted marshmallow. Spray light coating of coconut oil on a 9 by 13 pan. Pour the crispy mixture into the pan and press evenly using a spatula (spraying the spatula with coconut oil helps it not stick to the treats).
Cool the treats completely and then cut into bars. The treats can be stored covered with plastic wrap in the 9 by 13 pan. Or they can be removed and stored in a plastic container. Due to the solid nature of coconut oil, the rice crispy treat can have a tendency to harden after they are made. This can be easy “undone” by zapping the treat in the microwave for about 3 seconds before eating.