Around this time last year, one of my dearest friends moved from LA to Texas and I’m not gonna lie- I was pretty heartbroken over the situation. Aside from being friends, we were neighbors so there were lots of last minute weeknight dinners, beach walks, and wine nights. But if I’m being honest here, what I really miss are her signature desserts: Rice Crispy Treats. I don’t know how one makes a totally basic dessert outstanding, but Lisa nailed it…I literally could not eat just one. I don’t think I’ve had one since she left, but the other day I had a mad craving for a Rice Crispy Treat out of nowhere (this is not so much a blog post as it is an attempt to guilt my friend over her move to Austin), and when I’m craving something, I get a crazy kind of tunnel vision.
I’d never attempted to make regular rice crispy treats before but knew they have like, mashmallows, butter, rice crispy cereal, and some other stuff in them that I definitely didn’t have around the house. I didn’t feel like going to the market to buy all the supplies and despite my best efforts, I couldn't find anyone who delivered Rice Crispy Treats to your house. I was rummaging around the pantry for an alternative option when I came across a bag of puffed quinoa that i had forgotten about, and I knew I had my answer. I was left to my own devices to come up with something based on the ingreds in my fridge so I totally winged this, but I’m very pleased with the outcome. And had quinoa crispy treats for breakfast the entire week following.
Here’s where these puppies are nutritionally superior to their cereal-based cousin (maybe make that second cousin - the taste is a little different because I didn’t use marshmallow):
- Protein: Rice cereal: 1/5 gQuinoa: 8
- Fiber - quinoa has plenty.
- Healthy fat - ghee/butter/ coconut oil/ cashew butter. Yes please.
- Refined Sugar Free
- Magnesium & Iron Rich (dark chocolate and quinoa = solid iron combo)
- Antioxidant rich (quinoa, cashew, dark chocolate, cinnamon)
If these don’t get you out of bed in the morning, I don’t know what will.
- 2.5 Puffed Quinoa
- 1/4 c Cashew Butter
- Scant 1/4 c Coconut Oil
- 1/4 c Cashew Butter (any nut butter is fine but cashew is the most neutral tasting)
- Pure Grade B dark maple syrup (You can use raw honey here to take the nutritional value up a lot, but because good raw honey is so expensive I rarely use it to bake when doing R&D)
- 2-3 tbsp Ghee or grassfed butter
- Cinnamon - few good shakes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 - 1/3 c Extra dark Chocolate (I like the Bulletproof bars)
- Line a glass plan with parchment paper and grease the sides with coconut oil (<- or whatever)
- Pour puffed quinoa into a large bowl and set aside.
- Melt the cashew butter, ghee/butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and well combined. Add vanilla, salt, and a few shakes of cinnamon.
- Pour mixture over quinoa and stir to combine. Mixture will be somewhat wet, so don’t trip. It will harden when coconut oil cools.
- Press mixture into prepared pan and place in freezer for 15 minutes or until hard.
- Meanwhile, slowly melt chocolate in a double broiler over low heat (if you don’t have one, you can go without, but use very low heat and stir constantly or it will burn. You can add a tbsp of coconut oil if you’re having problems melting. Also, an extra shake or three of cinnamon is super yum.
- Remove pan from fridge, and pour melted chocolate over the top. Spread evenly, pop back in freezer until hard.
(I cut these up and stored them in the freezer and they kept really well and tasted perfectly fine after de-thawing)