Alisa Fleming ~ I swear that I had no intention of being such a tease! A few weeks ago, I posted a photo up on Facebook of some bars that I had just made. They were adapted from my Easter crispy treat recipe, but I had no idea how popular they would be. Since I’ve been out of town quite a bit this month, it took me a little time to get the rice crispy bars recipe and photos up for you, but it’s finally here!
Admittedly, I may be stretching the healthy claim just a wee bit, but these crispy bars are made with natural sweetener, coconut (the latest superfood, right?), gluten-free brown rice crispies, and chocolate (well-established as a superfood – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). Still dessert-like, but with wonderful whole food ingredients … dare I say this could be the perfect rice crispy bars recipe.
Also, most marshmallow-free crispy treats or bars are made with peanut butter or a similar nut butter. These are made purely with unsweetened shredded coconut and are a nutritious dessert or sweet snack! Here’s how the coconut works …
Coconut butter can be made in 60 seconds or less, just like nut butter, in a spice grinder or mini-food processor. For this rice crispy bars recipe, I place most of the shredded coconut (I use this brand) into my handy-dandy personal-sized blender ($20 on sale at JCP! Mine is Cooks brand, but it’s identical to this Bella Cucina personal blender sold elsewhere), slap on the grinder blade, and whiz away. It works like a dream. If you prefer, you can use store bought coconut butter for convenience. However, I would melt it a little before adding the other ingredients as it can solidify quite a bit if stored in cooler temperatures.
Important: Since this recipe makes a relatively small amount of coconut butter, I do not recommend using a large food processor! This is meant to be a simple recipe for everyone. The coconut needs to be completely ground so that you are left with a paste and oil. In a large food processor, it will likely spin into a ball and will not be processed enough. Stick with the little stuff!
If you aren’t a big coconut fan, but still want to give this rice crispy bars recipe a go, you can skip the additional 1/4 cup of shredded coconut and the extra coconut sprinkled on top. That way you still get the buttery goodness of the coconut, but without the coconut-texture.
Either way, I highly recommend this gluten-free and dairy-free rice crispy bars recipe. The coconut is still rich, but has a lighter flavor than nut or seed butters, giving ordinary crispy treats a fresh spring-like vibe.