Virtuous desserts are in high demand these days, folks. Sugar, increasingly portrayed as the satanic bearer of everything that ails us, from premature aging to cancer, is on the outs while an intriguing variety of alternative (read: “hip”) sweeteners have descended upon your organic food aisle. This does not mean that we will collectively shun the sweet stuff, the one taste that humans are born craving, oh no, how could we deny an evolutionary impulse so strong that it has the power to cause even the most devout kale crunchers to polish off a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one go? Rather than deny an evolutionary impulse, suffice to say I’m more than willing to try a few alternatives.
My general approach to life has always been more la dolce vita than deprivation, and this is why I am on a healthy dessert quest. It is my absolute pleasure to share with you one of my favorite low-impact sweet treats – brown rice crispy treats. Bonus: they’re gluten-free and vegan. Dang.
Brown Rice Crispy Treats
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups plain or chocolate brown rice crisp cereal
1/3 cup cacao nibs
1.) Oil an 8×8 baking dish and a large bowl with coconut oil or your oil of choice. Set aside. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat the brown rice syrup and peanut butter over medium heat until it melts into a thick syrup. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
2.) Place brown rice crisps in the oiled bowl, pour the syrup mixture over it, add the cacao nibs and stir until everything is coated with the syrup. Spoon into the oiled dish and press until evenly distributed. Refrigerate for at least 1-1/2 hours before eating.