Whole Story

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Make it Natural: Crispy Rice Treats

By Kate Rowe, June 17, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Kate Rowe
Brown Rice Treats Just about everyone loves those kid-classic chewy, gooey rice treats, right? Well, one thing you may not love about them is the nutritional profile of the ingredients- margarine or butter, marshmallows and conventional white rice cereal. Jennifer, a Whole Story reader, sent us a request to make a more nutritious rice treat. With summertime upon us and kids out of school, it's a great time to tackle a new version of this recipe. In short, we replaced some of the usual suspects with healthier versions like almond butter, brown rice crisps and raisins. Check out our improved Crispy Rice Treats and head to the kitchen with your kids...but leave the guilt at the door! Want to know how we did it and why? Here's a quick rundown:
  • We substituted brown rice crisps for conventional white rice cereal. Since whole grains are naturally higher in B vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E and iron than processed grains, this was a simple but very effective fix. One cup of brown rice cereal has about 2 grams more of fiber, 25 mg magnesium and 45 mg potassium when compared with a cup of the white stuff.
  • We used almond butter instead of butter or margarine for added nutrition as well as great flavor. Almond butter adds protein, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
  • We included raisins in this traditionally raisin-free recipe to add protein, fiber, phosphorus,potassium and iron. Raisins are also a great natural source of sugar.
Incorporating healthier ingredients into this recipe brings greater complexity in flavor and improved nutritional value. Get the full new recipe here. Got a recipe that needs a natural makeover? Post it in the comments section below! If we select your recipe for a healthy makeover and publish the improved version on our website, we'll send you a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card.




Jeanie Miller says ...
Hope to try your Crispy Rice Treats recipe. Do you sell brown rice cereal? We currently live in Ohio (no Whole Foods anywhere near), but will be living in Austin for the cooler months, beginning in October, so look forward to being able to shop in your store!
06/17/2009 7:51:08 AM CDT
Matt (No Meat Athlete) says ...
This sounds delicious, how I miss those old terrible-for-your rice crispy treats. I've never been a huge sweets guy, but I love the idea of sneaking in healthy ingredients. My sister, a healthy baker, just made some chocolate-avocado mousse and wrote a guest post about it. People love sweet & healthy!
06/17/2009 8:32:08 AM CDT
David Kendall says ...
I am not sure whether you have Tiffin in the US, basically is is a feast of chocolate, digestive biscuits, golden syrup, sugar and raisins. I found a typical recipe on the web for you http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/7451/chocolate-tiffin.aspx If you can manage to make this just as delicious but not so bad you will make my day/week/month, heck even year haha! P.S. more Whole Food's outside of London in the UK please. One in Derbyshire would be ideal :o) ATM I go to America twice a year and overdose on WF each time.
06/17/2009 8:49:32 AM CDT
LMCampbell says ...
Sounds good, but not feasible when you have a kid that has nut allergies. Since everyone is sneaking in their hope for a Whole Foods Store, please build one in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia! The closest one is in Richmond, but it is 2 1/2 hours away. I always visit the one in Fairfax when I go to visit my sister.
06/17/2009 12:54:18 PM CDT
Staci Ducote says ...
Can't wait to try this recipe- in fact, I may go scrounging in the kitchen to see if I have enough of all the ingredients to try it right now! I would love to see a makeover recipe for brownies and oatmeal cookies. I have tried to make healthier versions in the past of these two favorites, but they have all come out a litle flat. I could also use a nice vegetable lasagne recipe too if you have time. KThx. Xoxo, Staci
06/17/2009 1:07:22 PM CDT
Marjie says ...
I would love to see a recipe makeover for french toast. I've made it with Texas Toast bread, milk, eggs, and cinnamon, then topped it all off with syrup...not very healthy.
06/17/2009 3:47:30 PM CDT
Billy Jo says ...
Has anyone tried making the traditional rice krispy treats using cheerios instead of rice krispies? I thought that would be a good alternative. Been meaning to try but haven't had time.
06/17/2009 4:12:35 PM CDT
ruth says ...
I have used many different cereals - anything left in a box (even captain crunch). Whole grain cheerios are good and add peanut butter - don't use as much marshmallow or butter then. My team always waits for the surprise treats.
06/17/2009 4:31:50 PM CDT
hsiaw says ...
@Jeanie Miller Yes, you can find brown rice cereal in our stores. Good luck with your move to Austin - I'm sure y'all will love it here!
06/17/2009 5:10:30 PM CDT
Jen says ...
A favorite dish of my husband's is chicken stuffing casserole. I'd love to be able to make a healthier version of this recipe. Can you help me out? chicken breasts Stove Top stuffing - made per box instructions 1 can cream of chicken soup swiss cheese Place chicken in casserole dish, top with Stove Top, line with cheese and spread one can of soup on top. Bake 350 for 1 hr.
06/17/2009 5:20:36 PM CDT
Jill says ...
Zucchini bread-I'd love to find a healthier recipe than my mom's beloved one that includes loads of vegetable oil. It's almost Zucchini season!
06/18/2009 9:42:10 AM CDT
Amy says ...
lemon bars! I have one that is called lemon drifts, it has lots of powdered sugar and 4 eggs + white sugar and cornstarch! The ingredient list is a healthnut's nightmare, but they are divine.
06/19/2009 3:24:19 PM CDT
Shannon says ...
Oooh I hope someone replies to these recipe makeover requests. Some sound yummy!
06/19/2009 7:42:07 PM CDT
Marjie says ...
I would also love a recipe makeover for healthy Corn Dogs, maybe even with a meat substitute dog. Thanks. : )
06/22/2009 4:11:24 PM CDT
Kelly says ...
Not to talk about another company (it's not really a competitor), but there's a magazine about "cooking light" (hint-hint) that does recipe makeovers all the time. Many of the recipes you've requested above have already been featured in that magazine... it's a good source for healthy recipes to use your goods from Whole Foods!
06/25/2009 9:43:03 AM CDT
Suzanne says ...
Always loved Rice Crispy Treats but don't eat them anymore as they are hardly a healthy treat. So I made these Crispy Rice Treats and both my husband and I loved them! I don't care for raisins so substituted toasted sliced almonds. Yummy!
07/01/2009 6:42:43 PM CDT
tanya jones says ...
I was eagered to make these rice crispy treats for my children! I have just one big question! How in the heck do you make the liquid base? When I attempted this ... all I got was a sticky mess! So, the thin liquid was out of the question to say the least! There wasn't even enough to go over the entire 3 cups of ceral! Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated! Sincerely, A Whole Foods Dedicated Customer! (a cook without a cule):)
07/12/2009 8:03:54 PM CDT
sugara says ...
Hi Tanya Jones, Thanks for your comment. For the liquid base, gently heat the almond butter and agave nectar together until completely smooth, stirring or whisking constantly. Also, please remember that these will not be sticky in the same way traditional Rice Crispie Treats are as they do not contain marshmellows. One other note is to stir the cereal into the almond butter/agave mixture well... this could a little extra time to make sure it is well coated. Next, in order to get the firmest treat, they must be well chilled (overnight is best).
07/13/2009 12:37:35 PM CDT
tanya jones says ...
Thanks! I thought that I was doing the mixture correct! I first put the almond butter in the pot and then the nectar! However, when attempting to stir (etc.) together on medium was when the mixture was sticking together! This was the mess and the nightmare!! But, I am going to give it yet another Food NetWork Try! :) Wish me well!!!! I will have to keep in touch and give you feedback!!!! LOL Natural Foods Rock!
07/13/2009 2:49:34 PM CDT
Vino Rosso Piemonte says ...
I was just thinking about Make it Natural: Crispy Rice Treats and you've really helped out. Thanks!
08/13/2009 7:22:34 AM CDT
Cindy says ...
I love this recipe, but want it to be a natural version. Can you help convert it to be healthy? Japanese Chicken Salad Salad Ingredients: 4 c. chicken, shredded 4 green onions, chopped 6 oz. almonds, sliced 2 tblsp. sesame seeds, toasted Cabbage, shredded 2 packages chicken Roman Noodles Dressing Ingredients: 1 c. vegetable oil 6 tblsp. rice vinegar 1/2 c. sugar 1 tblsp. soy sauce chicken seasoning from Roman Noodle package Toss salad ingredients. Mix dressing ingredients and chill. Serve chilled dressing over salad combination.
09/10/2009 12:06:14 PM CDT
trucos guerras tribales says ...
cool blog, definetly added to my favourites
06/14/2011 3:57:01 PM CDT