Healthy Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan)

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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

Print Pin
4.7 from 20 votes

Healthy Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan)

A healthier alternative to the popular crisp rice cereal treat!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Healthy Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 98kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

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

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Per Serving: Calories: 98, Fat: 4g, Carbohydrates: 16g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 1g

*A note on using rice products: Research studies have revealed that various rice products may contain arsenic, which has left many consumers concerned.Β  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!

Reader Feedback: Are you a fan of Rice Krispie treats?

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Comments

Stephanie

I am highly allergic to coconut in all forms. What other kind of oil can be used? Other than the oil it sounds great.

Jenn

I loved these! My husband and 2 kids thought these were delicious. I’m not afraid of the brown rice syrup, thanks for an easy/simple recipe!!

Grace

Megan, just bought puffed quinoa, do you think I can substitute this for Brown rice crispies? I’m not a fan of coconut oil, what can I use instead?

    Megan Gilmore

    I tried using a puffed cereal when testing this recipe and the results weren’t great… they just aren’t the same “crisp” texture that you get from using the crisp rice cereal. (I don’t recall if they held together or not, but I know they went into the trash because no one in my house wanted to eat them.) If you don’t need a vegan recipe, real butter is always the best substitute for coconut oil.

Thea Strand

My husband just got put on a low sulfur ( gluten/sugar/dairy/eggs free) diet and can only have organic butter sparingly. Is there an alternative to coconut oil AND butter for this recipe? I can’t wait to make it–he has so few treats.

    Sammy BB

    I have tried this with a 1/2 cup of almond butter or peanut butter instead and it works wonderfully!

Cassandra

I made a double batch today – the first half got good reviews from adults, tomorrow I’m testing it out on kids. The taste is noticeable different from the traditional treat but they’re definitely tasty (and very easy to make).

Monty

Love these. I am about to make my second batch. I used veganic sprouted brown rice cacao crisps. I’m making them for the neighbors, people should shout the recipe from the rooftops! I was sad to see an advert from Pizza Hut on this website. ?

    Megan Gilmore

    Hopefully you know I don’t necessarily endorse the ads in my sidebar– they just help support my site so I can keep creating free recipes! I think Pizza Hut is wasting their time with my readers. πŸ˜‰

      Monty

      lol. I guessed as much. I’m looking forward to exploring your site. But first, off to the refrigerator to scoff another brown rice krispie treat πŸ™‚

Gayl

I am pleased to find this recipe. However I would like to include peanut butter for a treat with some protein. Have you tried? Any suggestions on proportions?

      Angie

      If I wanted to add protein powder to this recipe, say 1 cup, how much more brown rice syrup and/or coconut oil do you think would be required? Was going to try to use a whole cup of brown rice syrup, but thought I would ask first in case you or someone else has already been down this road.

Carrie

This is wonderful of you to be putting this whole some recipe up! I will be making this as soon as possible, it looks healthy and just the sweetener I prefer?. Keep up good the work on this.

Emma

taste just like the real thing (or what I remember them tasting like)!!

Tracey

I got excited as I love rice krispy squares but Brown Rice Syrup is not healthy it seems πŸ™ Similar to agave or HFCS it is processed and the syrup extracted from the rice. It also contains arsenic (as does all rice) so concentrating it makes the levels even higher I would think. Add this to the fact that rice is now being used in so many products that I would steer clear of using brown rice syrup:( I wonder if honey would work?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, I mentioned that in the note below the recipe, including the honey alternative. πŸ™‚

      Tracey

      Oh my goodness, how did I miss that WHOLE big note about the syrup and honey??!?! I think I was so excited about the recipe and then sad that it was the rice syrup that I just lost all focus πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much and I will definitely try with honey. I love your recipes and have never been disappointed with one that I have tried yet so back to super excited πŸ˜‰

Mollie

Apologies if you addressed this earlier but I love the taste of these so much but they are very dry and almost too crunchy when I make them. Any suggestions for tweaks I can make to get a “gooey-er” Rice Krispie???

Mei

Great recipe. People couldn’t believe this was marshmallow free. Substituted with 1/2C honey that you mentioned. Topped with “magic shell recipe”, 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil mixed with 5 tablespoons cocoa powder.

mp3z

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.
I loved these! My husband and 2 kids thought these were delicious. I’m not afraid of the brown rice syrup, thanks for an easy/simple recipe!! Megan, just bought puffed quinoa, do you think I can substitute this for Brown rice crispies? I’m not a fan of coconut oil, what can I use instead?

    Maegen CAsey

    Did you try puffed millet? I’d like to use puffed rice cereal.

Sarah

Has anyone tried to dye this with natural food coloring? I’d like to try it for Easter!

Sarah

Has anyone tried dying these naturally, like with beet juice? I want to make them pink for Easter!

Annie

What oil would you recommend to substitute for the coconut oil? My kiddos are allergic to coconut.

    Megan Gilmore

    Butter or ghee would be the most similar substitute if you can tolerate dairy, but otherwise maybe another mild-flavored oil would work? I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure– so please come back and let us know what you try!

Karla

Could i use maple syrup?

Maegen CAsey

I see your note on puffed millet, is there a way to use puffed rice and have it still be crispy? I have to avoid brown rice, unfortunately (I do like taste better), so need no sugar added white rice cereal (rice krispies doesn’t work due to added sugar). I see note on honey so that piece is good. Thank you!

Nathaniel Cooper

These tasted very good better than store bought. Can I use Maple Syrup instead of Brown Rice Syrup? How much would you recommend that I use?

    Megan Gilmore

    Maple syrup is sweeter, so I’d probably start with 1/2 cup and see if that holds them together.

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