Do you ever want to treat yourself and family to something a little sweet, without going the full-blown, void of nutrients, dessert route? Enter my Health-ified Chocolate Chip Crispy Treats recipe. This version classifies as a relatively nutritious, hybrid snack-treat that is not too sweet, yet slightly indulgent. Could you imagine surprising loved ones with these gems in their lunch boxes? I’m hearing mom-of-the-year proclamations!
So what makes this great Back to School recipe different from your ordinary Snap, Crackle, and Pop version? Let’s see … no refined sugars, in fact pretty low in sugar overall; multiple whole grain cereals (if you choose) for the price of one; coconut oil instead of butter or margarine; a little flax seed and nut butter for good measure; out with the processed marshmallows; and, well, chocolate is a health food now, right? Plus, it is naturally dairy-free (lactose-free, casein-free, whey-free, etc.) and can be made vegan and gluten-free in a pinch.
To note, these treats store really well in the refrigerator, where the coconut oil helps to keep them firm and crisp, but they will travel well (just a wee bit softer) and pack nicely into lunch boxes. And, if you aren’t in a chocolate mood, you can substitute raisins (and maybe some cinnamon) or other dried fruit for the chocolate chips / nibs.
Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Chip Crispy Cereal Treats
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. Optionally gluten-free, nut-free / peanut-free, and/or vegan.
- ¼ cup honey or agave nectar
- ¼ cup nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, or even sunflower seed butter (for nut-free)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Generous pinch of salt (omit if using salted nut butter)
- 2 cups crispy brown rice cereal (Sometimes I mix it up, using half crispy brown rice cereal and half Uncle Sam Original Cereal)
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground in your spice grinder
- ¼ cup (or more) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, chunks, or nibs
- Lightly grease a dozen muffin tins (if you have silicone muffin cups or good non-stick tins, then you can skip this step).
- In a small saucepan over low heat, gently melt together the honey, nut butter, and oil. Keep in mind, you are just trying to melt them and combine, not cook them! Stir in the vanilla and salt, if using.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cereals and ground flax seed. Allow the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes, then stir in the chocolate (if you stir it in too quickly, it may melt a bit).
- With a spoon, scoop the mixture into your muffin tins/cups, and gently press it in, evening it out with the back of your spoon. If you use your fingers, the mixture may stick a bit.
- Freeze for at least 20 minutes. Pop out, and enjoy! Store any leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container. This will help to keep them crisp, firm, and fresh.