Healthy Cooking

These Healthy Rice Krispie Treats Are About To Become Your New Favorite Dessert

Kells McPhillips

Consider this your guide to healthier baking. Chef Mia Rigden and Jenny Dorsey team up to show you how to revamp some of your favorite baked goods to make them healthier and loaded with better-for-you ingredients—without skimping on flavor. See All

Check out the video to make this plant-based, healthy rice krispie treats that come together in just five minutes. 

When I became a vegetarian seven years ago, my greatest dietary loss (and I’m not even being dramatic here) was the fact that I could no longer eat classic Rice Krispie treats. The key ingredient of the nostalgic snack is marshmallows, you see, and—thanks to their gelatin content—the dessert doesn’t make the vegan or vegetarian cut. That is, until today.

In the latest episode of Well+Good’s YouTube series Alt-Baking Bootcamp, chefs Mia Rigden and Jenny Dorsey replace marshmallows with a handful of healthy (and, yay, 100 percent plant-based) ingredients that make the sweet snack friendly to almost any diet. How? By replacing those ‘mallows with a handful of sticky, nutrient-dense ingredients: cashew butter, tahini (sesame paste), honey, cacao, and coconut oil.

Together, these five binders for the crispy brown rice treat form a goo, of sorts, that’s packed with protein (cashew butter contain about four grams per two-tablespoon serving). The tahini brings its fair share of nutrition and flavor to each bite as well. “Tahini comes from sesame seeds, which are full of vitamins and minerals and also has a lot of protein,” says Rigden. The sharp-yet-sweet cacao, meanwhile, features must-have nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and iron. (And, of course, honey can be swapped for agave to make the recipe entirely vegan.)

What really makes the whole dessert stick together, though, is the coconut oil, says Dorsey. “Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but we’re going to melt it down. Then, when you put it in the fridge it solidifies again. So we’re using this as a way to bind our rice puffs together—and then when we put it back in the fridge after we’re all done, it’ll stick together so we can cut it into squares,” she says. Basically: the coconut oil will act as the animal-free gelatin stand-in many of us have been pining for over the years.

To try the vegetarian rice krispie treats for yourself, make sure to watch the whole video.

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