Crispy rice treats was the snack I always begged my mom put in my lunch as a kid. Even as an adult (with an arguably more sophisticated palate), I still can’t get enough of them. They are so easy to make, easy to eat, and require NO OVEN. The PERFECT summer treat, if you ask me.
Especially with sprinkles. Because everything is better with sprinkles.
However, after eating my fill of crispy rice treats over the past 15 years, I wanted to figure out a way in college to lighten up my favorite sweet treat while, at the same time, keep them as decadent as the original. After some testing…and testing… and testing, I finally got it right! Cue my peanut butter cereal treats! My goodness, these are good! I replaced the marshmallows for peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup and replaced the crispy rice for puffed millet. Do not say I did not warn you, but these babies were so addicting. Decadence, mind you.
As I head back to school in the fall, I wanted to reawaken this recipe as a delicious lunchbox treat (and maybe a way to bribe my fellow students!). Unfortunately, I realize now a lot of schools now ban peanut butter in their school lunches due to the spike in allergies. For all you moms out there, I had to think of a way to adapt my signature recipe. A quick but easy substitution for a nut free lunch, I realized, would be to use sunflower seed butter. A woman with a plan, I ran to Giant to grab the essentials along with the ingredients I needed for my recipe.
Part of the reason I love going to Giant is the wide assortment of fresh products they carry. Going there makes it easy for me to ease back into my student routine, which we all know can be totally stressful.
While I was there, I was able to grab some fresh organic carrots, which will definitely be making it into my lunchbox soon. Their whole produce section is fresh and has a wide variety of options.
I also was able to finds some of my favorite brands that I can use in my lunches. When I get home late from class, I also love having a box of Annie’s Mac and Cheese on hand for a quick dinner, so I grabbed a box.
Finally, I found the Sunbutter I was looking for to make my cereal treats. Shopping was quick and painless and, for as much time as I spent wandering the aisles, I was in and out in record time!
To be honest, these are one of my new FAVORITE no bake treats EVER. They’re so easy to make, ready in less than 30 minutes and taste like a combination between a peanut butter cup and a cereal treat. I brought over a few of these after class one day and they were completely gone in 10 minutes flat!
I am totally not exaggerating.
10 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- 3/4 cup natural creamy sunflower seed butter, well mixed
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt (if your sunflower butter isn’t already salted)
- 2 1/2-3 cups puffed millet or crispy rice cereal
- 3.5 oz 85% dark chocolate bar, broken up into pieces
Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Heat a medium pot over low heat. Add sunflower seed butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract to pot. Mix until smooth and well combined, about 1 minute. Add puffed millet or crispy brown rice cereal and stir until cereal is completely coated. Pour into prepared pan. Use a spatula to flatten the top so it is even.
Next make the chocolate topping by adding broken chocolate to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 second intervals and stir in between, until chocolate is completely melted. You can also melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat if you prefer.
Pour melted chocolate over pressed cereal. Tilt pan to spread out the chocolate evenly. Place pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until bars are completely cool and chocolate solidifies. Cut into 16 bars and enjoy!
Bars should be kept covered in the fridge and will stay good for up to 1 week. Bars made of millet will be ready to eat right out of the fridge. For bars made of rice, take bars out 10 minutes before you are ready to serve to ensure they aren't too crunchy! They soften up at room temp.