Healthy Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan)

It’s always a nice surprise when a healthier treat turns out better than the original.

plate of healthy rice krispy treats

And that’s definitely the case with these healthier rice crispy treats!

Rather than using melted marshmallows as a binder, these gluten-free treats are made with brown rice syrup, an all-natural sweetener that is fructose-free and suitable for those trying to reduce their sugar consumption. Brown rice syrup isn’t a sweetener that I use often, but its thick and sticky texture is perfect for binding these crisp and chewy bars.

Paired with crisp brown rice cereal, coconut oil, and a touch of sea salt, these 5-ingredient treats have an irresistibly sweet and buttery flavor that will leave everyone wanting to know your secret recipe.

Healthy Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan)
Makes one 9-inch square pan

Ingredients:

2/3 cup brown rice syrup*
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups brown rice crisp cereal (I used Erewhon brand)

Directions:

Combine the coconut oil and brown rice syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute, then remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Pour the cereal into a large mixing bowl and stir in the boiled syrup mixture until the cereal is well-coated.

making healthy rice krispy treats

Line a 9-inch baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking, then spread the coated cereal in the pan. Use an additional piece of parchment paper over the top of the cereal, to keep your hands from getting sticky, then press HARD to pack the cereal tightly into the bottom of the pan. The harder you press, the better.

Place the bars into the freezer to cool for 45 minutes, then remove the pan and bring the bars to room temperature. Slice and serve!

cut healthy rice krispie treats

Store any leftover bars in a sealed container in the fridge for best shelf life.

stack of healthy rice crispy treats on a plate

4.69 from 19 votes
Print
Healthy Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

A healthier alternative to the popular crisp rice cereal treat!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 16
Calories: 98 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine the coconut oil and brown rice syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute, then remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Pour the cereal into a large mixing bowl and stir in the boiled syrup mixture until the cereal is well-coated.
  2. Line a 9-inch baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking, then spread the coated cereal in the pan. Use an additional piece of parchment paper over the top of the cereal, to keep your hands from getting sticky, then press HARD to pack the cereal tightly into the bottom of the pan. The harder you press, the better.
  3. Place the bars into the freezer to cool for 45 minutes, then remove the pan and bring the bars to room temperature. Slice and serve!
  4. Store any leftover bars in a sealed container in the fridge for best shelf life.

*A note on using rice products: Research studies have revealed that various rice products may contain arsenic, which has left many consumers concerned.  Though the FDA has deemed the levels of arsenic found in rice products to be too-low to cause any immediate or short-term health effects, more research will need to be done to determine any long-term effects. In the meantime, they recommend eating a varied diet to minimize any adverse effects of eating an excess of any one food. Keep in mind that arsenic gets into the rice through water and soil, so it’s likely that rice is not the only food affected– it’s just the food that is getting press at the moment. For more about arsenic, check out the FAQs by Lundberg Farms.

If you’d prefer to avoid using brown rice syrup, I’d recommend trying Coconut Nectar, another low-glycemic sweetener. Honey also works, but just 1/2 cup is required for this recipe, since it’s sweeter. I have a feeling any other crispy cereal could be substituted for the rice cereal, if you prefer to avoid that, as well– just make sure to pack it tightly in the pan. (Please note that cereals like puffed millet, which are not crispy in texture, will not work well in this recipe.)

Enjoy!

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Comments

Laura @ Raise Your Garden

Since I’m avoiding fructose like the plague, I’m super excited to try your brown rice syrup as a binder instead of the marshmallows.

My kids are 2 and 4 and have never had Rice Krispie treats because I can’t justify making snacks that aren’t good for them, but I’m ok with your version and will give them a whirl. My neighbors all laugh at me because they’ve never had Gold Fish Crackers, or even Pretzels or Hugs drinks, oh well.

These might rival your Klondike bars though!!!

    lacy O

    Thank you for sharing this! Sometimes I feel like we’re the crazy parents for not letting our daughter eat processed food. I’m glad she’s not the only “deprived” 2 year old.

    Sandie

    Goldfish have some very bad ingredients but I found one for my Grandchildren that tastes great and is healthy, they’re by Annie’s and shaped like little rabbits..

Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl

I’ve made healthier rice crispy treats with almond butter, but I haven’t tried brown rice syrup. These look mighty tasty, though!

Julie @ A Case of the Runs

I have a lot of brown rice syrup that I haven’t been using, so these would be a great way of using some!

amy

My mom always made peanut butter rice crispy treats and we loved them. Im going to try these with some peanut butter in the mix 🙂

Red

What a coincidence – this week I was thinking of and researching healthier alternatives to rice krispie treats!

My boyfriend loves them (he uses double the marshmallows. Sigh). He’s very wary of my “healthier” versions of most foods, so I’m trying to create an equivalent alternative to feed him. He’s very “Steak and potatoes”, big city eater. It’s been an interesting challenge!

I’ll have to add this to the list, see what I come up with 🙂

Charlene @ That Girl Cooks Healthy

Ironically I was looking at some brown rice syrup during my lunch break today. I tend to favour coconut nectar or maple syrup for my sweet treats. Anyway, this recipe looks divine Megan and thanks for sharing.

Phil

Megan – any suggestion about how much peanut butter to use if I wanted to make peanut butter variety? Should I reduce the amount of coconut oil since peanut butter is oily? Any help and suggestions would be appreciated. TIA.

    Megan

    I actually have a peanut butter version to share soon– that’s the variety that I grew up with!

Brianna

Do you think coconut nectar would be a good substitute for rice syrup? I have everything but the syrup.

Kerrie

I am excited to make healthier rice crispy treats. I have all the ingredients except brown rice syrup. Can I substitute 100% pure maple syrup, or should I purchase brown rice syrup?

    Megan

    I tried these with pure maple syrup, and the result wasn’t quite as soft and sticky as traditional rice crispy treats– they were more firm, like a granola bar, if that makes sense. If you don’t mind that texture, the maple syrup will work, but you might want to use a little less than the recipe calls for, because it’s sweeter than brown rice syrup.

      sara

      I used equal parts maple syrup instead of the brown rice syrup, (prior to reading this) it tasted amazing but it fell apart. Can you tell me what I did wrong?

Kerrie

Thanks for your reply Megan. To follow your recipe, I will go to Whole Foods today to purchase brown rice syrup. I look forward to making and eating them very soon!

Rachael Roehmholdt

These look awesome! Rice crispy treats were one of my favorite summer foods to take camping as a kid. I’ll be giving this cleaner version a try – so much healthier than the marshmallow-y ones.

Emma

These look fantastic but I have to ask– do you think butter would work for the coconut oil, or is the coconut oil vital to the bars setting?? I know the purists out there are clutching at their hearts in horror but I don’t have any coconut oil at the moment! I would be doing the 1/2 cup of honey version, by the way. Thank you!

    Megan

    Ha, yes! I think real butter would work just fine. 🙂

dina

great healthy rice krispies!

susan

These are incredibe!!

Roxy | Roxy's Kitchen

These look so good, always happy to find healthier recipes of the treats I love! Plus the recipe is so easy…looking forward trying it out!

Kalliste

Ooh these look great! I don’t like marshmallow so don’t eat rice crispy treats, so it’s good to see an alternative.

Herbaljo

My 3 year son and I just made these, he loves them! We have been enjoying baking together recently and I only make healthy versions of treats. Thank you!!

Herbaljo

Oops, I forgot to rate

Cassidy @ Cassidy's Craveable Creations

You always the THE BEST recipes, thanks for another great one 🙂

-Cassidy

Tarik

Made these yesterday for me because at 50, I am old enough to eat as many as I want without getting in trouble for spoiling my appetite for dinner, however, [weep, weep, sadness] my kids ate them all. They were great. Not as sweet as the marshmallow kind which is why we liked them so much. Off to the store to get more puffed brown rice. Note: will be hiding half the batch in my office behind a locked door!

Deb

Just made these with gluten free chocolate krispie cereal added extra dark cocoa powder for a dark chocolate taste! Delicious Thank you for all your recipes :()

I think I’ll try a french vanilla version or maybe use orange or almond extract. The possibilities are endless!

Christine

These are AMAZING, and taste just like the “real” thing!!! (I put real in quotes because the healthier version is actually more real) 🙂

Natalie

Megan,

What is the closest substitute to brown rice syrup for this recipe? Also, I went gluten and dairy free with my kids 3 months ago to my husband’s strong dismay. Your website has made me realize this lifestyle is not only doable but yummy! You have no idea how grateful I am for you and for this website. I am a nurse and have many of the nurses I work with making your recipes!

Warmest regards!
Natalie

Jo

In Australia we don’t have rice crispie treats but these are similar to chocolate crackles that we have at kids parties and serve up as a mound in cupcake cases. I added cacao and chia seeds and my 3 yr old looooves them. I may try putting some chopped nuts next time. So easy to make – little mess and no need to cook.

Dr. Robyn

My obsession with the peanut butter blondies is over …..I’ve made with the chocolate rice cereal and also with the plain and added organic Chocolate chips!

Stella

I’ve made a stack of your recipes and they’re always great. I felt compelled to comment for the first time because these were AMAZING!! So easy. I’m struggling not to eat the entire pan…

Zsanett

I love your recipes but in this case I will try to substitute brown rice syrup with Almond butter and see if it works… I have not read anything good about brown rice syrup, it is still not good for you nor any sugars: http://authoritynutrition.com/brown-rice-syrup-good-or-bad/

Xinhia

Wow! Love love this! I feel good giving my kids this healthier version! Mind you i’ve never given the other version 🙂 I subbed the brown rice syrup to agave. Worked out beautifully ♥

Veronica

Hi Megan,

These were sooo delicious! I went to Sprouts but they didn’t have the regular brown rice Erewhon, but I got the Cocoa one and it tastes awesome! Weeeeeeeeee!

Natallia

These came out amazing! I am not a big fan of the original ones as they are too sweet but LOVED these – perfect amount of sweetness! Was very easy to make – thanks again for a great recipe!

EatFreeRecipes

Incredible! My little one couldn’t even tell the difference! Thanks so much for the fab recipe! 🙂

daria

can you use carob molasses instead of rice syrup ?

    Megan

    I am not familiar with that ingredient, but please let us know if you give it a try!

Sylvia

I’ve use rice syrup before, but prefer using half honey and coconut sugar with a tbs of water, and follow same directions. Gives it a nice flavour. The kids love chocolate chips in it to. I use enjoy life brand.

Kim

Can you use something else besides brown rice syrup? I just read online that some brown rice syrup has rice barley in it which is not gluten free.

    Megan

    Only certain brands contain barley– the brand I used, Lundaberg, is certified gluten-free. However, if you’d prefer to use another sweetener you can refer to my notes in the above post and comments.

Heidi

I will be subbing the brown rice syrup with agave… Do I still do the same measurement ?
Also, do these have a hint of a coconut taste? I don’t like coconut and never baked with it, but I did buy it!
Let me know, I’m dying to make these! Thanks

Alex R.

I found this recipe to be a little bit salty even though I also used the erewhon brown rice crispy cereal and lundaberg brown rice syrup. I found out the erewhon cereal has some sodium in it. I wonder if we’re used different kinds, if it comes in an unsalted version? otherwise I would recommend halving the salt.

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