Yikes. An entire week flew by without a single post. I can assure you it’s not because I was lazy. I don’t feel like I got that much done, but I sure feel like I was busy. Between design projects, dentist/doctor appointments, a million errands/tasks, book club, testing recipes, learning about food photography, getting my car fixed, cleaning up the pieces of our former garbage container that some idiot blew to pieces while he was probably texting just before he did a 180 and went into the ditch backwards (no one was hurt) and re-training the dogs to use the porta-potty in the garage so I don’t have to clean massive clumps of snow off them multiple times a day (don’t judge) – well, there just wasn’t much time left for blogging. Until now.
I tested three vegan dessert recipes this week. Two of the three were VERY good, including these vegan, gluten-free Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats. One word. YUM!
In my opinion, this version beats traditional rice crispy treats l by a mile. If I didn’t tell you, you wouldn’t even know they were vegan or gluten-free. While they are definitely healthier than the traditional version, you definitely should NOT eat the whole pan in one sitting. Although it’s hard not to. Hubs and I agreed that these little suckers are DELICIOUS. They are like the traditional version in one respect – they’re easy to make and require no baking! Just a little patience while they cool.
This recipe comes from my blogger-friend, Karielyn, who writes a blog called The Healthy Family and Home. She shares all kinds of healthy recipes, including raw, vegan and gluten-free. She also shares her favorite items for the home, from kitchen appliances to skin care. One of my favorite posts on her blog is “Traveling with Raw Foods,” a post about how she managed to eat 100% raw food during the entire family vacation to Disney. What a feat!
I happened to have vegan chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes on hand, so I figured I might as well create a deluxe version. Neither ingredient is necessary and in fact, omitting the layer of chocolate would also omit a few calories for you.
YIELDS 12 SQUARES
OPTIONAL DELUXE INGREDIENTS:
I noticed that Karielyn always uses Himalayan pink salt. So I finally decided to do a little research and find out why it’s so much better than regular salt. While researching, I read somewhere that eating regular table salt is akin to eating refined sugar. That’s what flipped the switch for me. I don’t eat refined sugar anymore (now I use evaporated cane juice, maple syrup, agave nectar, etc), so why would I eat over-processed, mineral-deficient table salt? I am making the switch to Himalayan pink salt and Celtic sea salt, which are both loaded with dozens of minerals and various health benefits. While you should consider making the switch, you can certainly use regular table salt in this recipe instead. FYI – I found that cute little jar of Himalayan pink salt in the photo above at T.J.Maxx! It’s also readily available at health food stores.
Pour the rice crisps into a large bowl. Set aside.
Add peanut butter, agave nectar, vanilla, salt and protein powder (if using) to a small sauce pan. Briefly warm over medium heat, just until peanut butter is softened.
Pour peanut butter mixture over rice crisps and gently stir until well combined. Add coconut flakes, if using, and stir until combined.
Scoop mixture into a glass baking dish or parchment-lined pan (I used a Pyrex glass container that’s about 8″ x 6″, but an 8″ square pan would work, too). Firmly press mixture into pan until even throughout. (Alternatively, you can shape the mixture into bite-sized balls, like Karielyn did.) Allow mixture to cool completely.
If using chocolate chips, melt the chips in a double boiler. When completely melted, pour the mixture over the crispy rice mixture and use a spatula to spread it evenly over the top. Sprinkle with shredded coconut if desired. Allow chocolate layer to cool completely (place pan in freezer or refrigerator to speed up the cooling time). Cut into 12 squares and dig in!
It’s Friday night, we are buried in snow, the roads suck and the snow keeps comin’. So we’re hunkering down for a cozy night at home by the fireplace while we watch a movie. Ahhh… life is grand :) Have a great weekend wherever you are!