23 Jan Vegan + Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk Krispie Treats
I realize I’m about three weeks too late to talk to you guys about your New Year’s resolutions. I’m sorry for not having asked sooner. Really, I do care. But let me tell ya, I’ve been freaking swamped since the day I got back from Belize. I haven’t even had time to think about New Year’s resolutions of my own.
But that’s okay. It’s good to be busy sometimes.
I’m just going to assume that at least 50% of you made some sort of resolution to be healthier this year. And if you didn’t, it’s never a bad thing to get your healthy-snack on. Especially when that healthy snack includes dark chocolate chunks. Can-I-getta-amen?
Healthful New Years resolution’s are a baking blogger’s worst nightmare. On January 1st, dessert is the first thing to be chopped from America’s menu. Some of you may be looking around thinking pfffft not me. And in that case, I love you.
But true confessions, as you witnessed with my cleanse in November, I too struggle with balancing healthy meals with my sugar/butter/flour intake. My sweet tooth is a monster. So let’s think about finding a happy little balance between the best of both worlds. I’m talking about sweets that please your dessert cravings while cutting out some of the guilt-inducing ingredients. Forget that “diet” stuff that tastes like cardboard.
Start thinking about Vegan + Gluten Free Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk Krispie Treats. Quite the mouthful, I know.
No flour, no butter, no marshmallows, no refined sugar. Yet ever so chewy, gooey, chocolatey, crispy, and peanut buttery. How, you ask?
The key ingredient is brown rice syrup. Never heard of it? I hadn’t either until I was tasked with making a gluten-free, vegan dessert for a coworker a while back. No easy feat.
Brown rice syrup is an all-natural sweetener made by culturing cooked rice with enzymes, then reducing the mixture until is becomes a thick amber-colored syrup, about the consistency of honey and half as sweet as refined sugar. There is some debate as to where it falls on the glycemic index, but it’s pretty widely agreed that because it is all-natural and organic (most of the time) it is healthier than the refined stuff. And of course, it gives you the sticky consistency needed for krispie treats, without any animal products (marshmallows contain gelatin).
Of course, I must confess, I am marshmallow biased. And I won’t claim that the end result is exactly the same as a traditional rice krispie treat. But I will tell you it is wholesome, vegan, and pretty-darn-good alternative. So if you’re on the look-out for something a little more waist-line friendly and a tad more “clean” to satisfy your sweet tooth this season, try these guys out. And let me know what you think! Seriously, leave me some comment love!
Notes: I made mine with plain rice krispies, but if you wanted to make them even healthier, use brown rice krispie cereal which can be found at your local Whole Foods or other organic grocery store. Also, some dark chocolate chunks still contain milk ingredients, so if you’re going for vegan, make sure you read through the ingredient list on the back of the packaging.
I’ve got another lightened up recipe in the works so stay tuned!
Enjoy! XO, Katie
- 1 cup brown rice syrup
- 3/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 cups rice krispie cereal
- 12 oz. dark chocolate chunks (dairy-free)
- Line a 9x9 inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Pour rice krispie cereal into a large heat-proof bowl.
- In a medium sauce pan, heat brown rice syrup over medium heat until warm. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and stir over heat until well blended.
- Pour syrup mixture over the rice krispies and stir to begin to combine, and to let the syrup mixture cool a bit. Add the chocolate chunks and stir until all krispies are well coated and chocolate chunks are mixed evenly throughout.
- Gently press the mixture into the lined pan and let cool before cutting.