Homemade Rice Crispy Treats Recipe With Puffed Rice Cereal
If there’s one thing that instantly takes me back to my childhood, it’s definitely homemade rice crispy treats.
Nothing feels more nostalgic to me than watching warm butter melt into marshmallows and the sticky rice crispy treats that we would spread over wax paper.
As parents, we seem to outgrow these tasty treats from our childhood, but I’m betting that the child inside you still holds true to the things you used to love as a kid.
If you’re a child of the 80s like me, that might mean rice crispy treats with marshmallow cream - am I right?
Being a parent seems to resurrect these childhood favorites, and I’m here to tell you that you can STILL enjoy them.
Now as a mother of 5 myself, I love sharing and enjoying these past time favorites with my own children. It’s also important to me to provide them with nourishing snacks that have staying power.
What do I mean by that?
Providing snacks that offer a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats can help offer your kids a snack that is both satisfying and satiating.
A snack that offers these main macronutrients will be more likely to be sustaining than a snack that might just have carbohydrates alone.
Now, please hear me out - this doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with those good ol’ original rice crispy treats, and I’m all about normalizing dessert for kids to help them build a positive relationship with food and their bodies.
Simple adjustments in the foods you provide your kiddos can be a big step toward optimizing their nutrition and increasing their intake of the nutrients that help support their overall growth, including:
Healthy fats for brain development
Protein to support muscle growth and repair
Fiber to help promote digestion and regularity
Carbohydrates, which is a primary energy source
Sometimes, having the time and energy to plan out healthy snacks that fit this bill can be next to none, especially when you’re juggling all the things that you’re dealing with in life right now.
That’s where this recipe comes in.
Using less than 5 ingredients, these homemade peanut butter rice crispy treats come together in under 20 minutes and make a delicious and nutritious snack that is guaranteed to be a crowd-please (for both the kids AND adults alike).
With some simple swaps, this recipe makes for a versatile snack that is easy to make ahead and keep on hand whenever you or your kids need a pick-me-up.
Not to mention, these peanut butter rice krispies treats make a nutritious on-the-go option, which can work as a quick breakfast, or even as a snack option for busy, new moms who can only eat with one hand.
Nutritious food doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult to make, and this recipe is surefire proof of that.
Food Allergy Safe Rice Crispy Treats
Many parents and kids may need to modify this recipe slightly to ensure that these rice crispy treats are safe in the case of certain food allergies or preferences.
For some breastfeeding moms, it might be necessary to temporarily follow a dairy-free or gluten-free diet, as their babies may have some sensitivities to these foods.
In other cases, children may have food allergies, such as peanuts, gluten, or dairy. This recipe was created with this in mind to help you make the adjustments you need to still have a delicious snack option available for you and your family.
This ingredients in this recipe are versatile and can easily be interchanged to meet your dietary needs and preferences.
Dairy-Free and Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
To make this recipe a dairy-free and/or vegan version, simply swap out the grassfed butter with a vegan butter of choice. If you’re using chocolate chips as an add-in ingredient, just make sure you’re using a dairy-free chocolate chip option.
Using vegan butter, this recipe makes a vegan rice krispie treats option that can also be a delicious and wholesome snack. Add some of your favorite add-ins, such as shredded coconut and/or dried fruit for more of a nutrient boost.
Nut-Butter Free Rice Crispy Treat Option
One of the main ingredients in this recipe is the peanut butter, which serves to bind the puffed rice cereal together. It replaces the marshmallow in traditional rice krispy treat recipes.
In the case that you or your child can’t have peanut butter, you can swap out the peanut butter for any other nut butter, like almond butter.
If your child can’t have any type of nuts, you can also swap out the nut butter for sunflower seed butter, which would also make this recipe a safe and suitable option.
Gluten Free Rice Krispies Treats
Are rice crispy treats gluten free?
If you need gluten free rice crispy treats using this recipe, simply be sure that your grains are sourced from a certified gluten free puffed rice cereal.
Traditional rice krispies cereal is made from rice but is in fact, not gluten-free, as the cereal does contain traces of malt, which can harbor traces of gluten.
Malt, which is typically found in traditional rice krispies cereal can be dangerous for an adult or child who needs to follow a gluten-free diet, especially in the case of managing celiac disease.
Puffed rice cereal, on the other hand, is gluten-free and can safely be used to make gluten free rice crispy treats, which is why I like using puffed rice as the rice crispy treats cereal of choice in this recipe.
Just be sure that the bag of puffed rice cereal is certified gluten-free, which is indicated by a label on the outside of the package.
How is Puffed Rice Made
Puffed rice is simply a rice grain, such as a white or brown rice grain, which has been blown under heated pressure. Puffed rice is similar to popcorn, in that the heated pressure on a popcorn kernel creates the “puffed” effect.
You could actually make your puffed rice, as it’s a versatile ingredient for other puffed rice snacks. But to help you keep this recipe simple and easy to make, store-bought puffed rice cereal will most definitely suffice.
Where to Buy Puffed Rice Cereal
The good news is that if you’re not into making your own homemade puffed rice, you can easily pick some up from the grocery store.
Thankfully, plain puffed rice cereal is an accessible and affordable ingredient available at most grocery stores and traditional health food stores, including Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Sprouts.
I’ve even found organic, gluten-free puffed rice cereal in the grocery aisles at Target, as well as on Amazon, so it’s a fairly accessible ingredient.
Puffed Brown Rice Cereal Recipes
Another option to help boost the overall nutrition of this recipe is to use a puffed brown rice cereal, as opposed to the regular puffed rice.
Puffed brown rice is a considered a whole grain, which is typically higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals, compared to its original counterpart.
How Do You Make Rice Crispy Treats With Puffed Rice Cereal
How Kids Can Help Make This Puffed Rice Cereal Recipe
Getting kids to help with cooking and meal prepping in the kitchen can be a practical way to help build their exposure and confidence with food, especially if you have a child who is a picky eater.
For a simple recipe like this, you can definitely get your kids involved and even delegate age-appropriate tasks to complete the full recipe.
Ideas for involving your kids with this recipe might include:
Measuring out the ingredients, like the rice cereal
Pouring the cereal into the mixing bowl
Mixing the melting peanut butter, butter, and honey together
Mixing the butter mixture and cereal together
Spreading out the mixture in the pan
Pouring in add-ins, like chocolate chips
At the end of the day, remember that food is meant to be pleasurable, enjoyable, and nourishing. Building connection and memories with your children and family over food can be a simple yet beautiful way to add richness to your growing relationships.
Here’s to tasty snacking and happy memories!