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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

Plate of healthy rice crispy treats

Healthy Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan)

4.72 from 21 votes
A healthier alternative to the popular crisp rice cereal treat!
prep10 mins total10 mins
Servings:16

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
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan)
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.  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?

Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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Comments

  1. 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!

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

    -Cassidy

  3. 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!!

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.