Monday, October 5, 2009

Healthier than your average Crispy Rice Square

How can something that doesn't taste that sweet have so much sugar in it? Well, OK I don't know if Rice Krispies have soooo much sugar in them, but it's still very high on the list, along with glucose-fructose syrup... then add those marshmallows!! Yikes!

The high sugar content in marshmallows wasn't the only reason I chose an alternate recipe. I wanted to make a recipe without eggs or dairy. My sister can't have eggs, and neither of us can have dairy. I don't have any vegan friends, but I'll be prepared if I ever do :-).

This recipe still uses sugar, but you can definitely control what kind of sugar you use. I found evaporated coconut sap at a health food store (lower GI than regular sugar) and brown rice syrup. I also used unsweetened peanut butter rather than margarine, but if you're feeling schmancy, you could definitely use almond or some other glamorous nut butter.
The syrup, sap, and PB become like gooey caramel in this treat.

For cereal, I used organic brown puffed rice cereal. I also subbed 2 cups oats in place of 2 cups cereal for extra fiber and some chew.

Vegan Peanut Butter Puffed Rice and Oat Squares
(let's see you come up with a better name!)

5 cups puffed brown rice cereal
2 cups slow cooking oats
1 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup evaporated coconut sap (you could use brown sugar or cane sugar instead)
1 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat oven to 300 C and toast oats until lightly toasted (I had mine in there for about 7 minutes but this might depend on your oven).
Pour rice syrup and coconut sap in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in the peanut butter. Mix well to ensure that PB is really mixed in with the syrup.
Place toasted oats in a large bowl and combine with puffed rice cereal.
Pour PB syrup mixture over the oats and cereal and use a large rubber spatula to combine. The syrup gets very sticky as it cools but the oil from the PB does help to keep it from getting too sticky.
Spread mixture out in a greased 9 in x 13 in (think lasagna pan) and cool.
Cut into squares and enjoy!

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