A few months ago a good friend of mine made a new type of Rice Krispies Treat using more natural ingredients than Kellogg’s famed version. I know exactly what you’re thinking…they can’t possibly taste as good. WRONG! When people think of healthy ingredients they often associate them with a bland taste. Trust me, try this recipe will squash those myths and have you hooked. I used to love Rice Krispies Treats and all their varieties (especially peanut butter flavored!), but now I can honestly say I will NEVER make them again. These Natural Cherry Crispy Treats are so tasty that they put traditional Rice Krispies Treats to shame.
Butter and a whole bag of marshmallows are the key ingredients within Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats . Natural Cherry Crispy Treats, on the other hand, are prepared with natural peanut butter, honey, and dried cherries. They also use Kashi 7 Whole Grains cereal instead. What’s great about Kashi 7 Whole Grains cereal is that it contains no added sugar and a whopping 18 grams of whole grains! It also has a variety of puffs, flakes, and nuggets which give Natural Cherry Crispy Treats an irresistible texture.
There’s one suggestion I’d like to make, before you begin, and that’s to buy natural peanut butter. You may very well have a typical brand at home such as Jiff, but natural peanut butter is a million times better. I tried natural peanut butter for the first time, shortly before discovering this recipe, and was utterly amazed by the taste. I had ignored natural peanut butters at the store because the top portion of the jar was filled with liquid. I thought it looked odd and unappetizing. Since the oils naturally separate, all that’s needed after opening a jar of natural peanut butter is to stir the mixture with a knife until everything has been equally distributed. There are a variety of brands to choose from, but my personal favorites are any of Trader Joe’s or Krema. Even Smucker’s produces natural peanut butter. See what selections your grocery store has to offer!
After the first time I made these bars, my husband and I were addicted. Since we recently started eating healthy, these serve as a sweet snack (or dessert!) that doesn’t sabotage our calorie count for the day (163 calories per serving). And the best part about making Natural Cherry Crispy Treats………no more messy marshmallow clean up!
Natural Cherry Crispy Treats
Adapted from Cripsy Rice Treats by Ellie Krieger,Foodnetwork.com
Serves 12 (1 serving = 2.5 x 3 in. square)
Prep Time: 10 minutes.
Total Time: 40 minutes (includes 30 minutes of cooling)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 6 cups Kashi 7 Whole Grains cereal
- 2/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
- non stick cooking spray
- wax paper
- Spray a 9x13 inch cake pan with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl add cereal and chopped cherries. Set aside.
- In a small pot, over low-medium heat, combine honey and peanut butter. Stir until completely melted (approximately 2-3 minutes).
- Add honey-peanut butter mixture to the large mixing bowl. Using a large spoon, mix and stir the ingredients until cereal is fully coated; equally distribute the mixture.
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan and evenly spread across. Place a large piece of wax paper on top, fully covering the pan. Using hands or a smaller rectangular baking pan, firmly press the mixture into the pan. This will flatten the mixture and as well as help keep its form.
- Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Note: In the summer I keep these stored in the refrigerator as they’re nice and refreshing when served cold.