Healthy No Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats

March 24, 2014

in Desserts, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Snacks

Healthy No Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats_main

I’m not sure whats more nostalgic than Rice Krispie treats. It was always a great day when there was a pan of Rice Krispie squares freshly made. We didn’t get them very often, since they weren’t exactly the healthiest…loaded with sugary marshmallows.

Naturally, my 5 year old loves them too, so I wanted to find a way to make them healthier and make them without marshmallows, use the gluten free brown Rice Krispies, and use a natural sweetener.  But of course, they would have to taste identical to a traditional Rice Krispie treat.

Healthy No Marshmallow Rice Krispie Squares_3

Mission accomplished.

I’ve also seen a lot of marshmallow-free recipes online, but most of them add nut butter. I didn’t want to add nut butter, cause I know most of you with kids have nut-free schools, so I wanted something they’d also be able to take to school and for other events with kids.

I wasn’t expecting the first trial to work so well, but I was shocked. They taste very close to the original, and they’re just as simple to prepare (I think its even easier as you’re not melting marshmallows!)

Healthy No Marshmallow Rice Krispie Squares_2

Of course the chocolate drizzle is totally optional. But I think it makes them more pretty and fun! I used Krisda stevia chocolate chips, so there is no additional sugar added, but you could also use regular semi sweet chips. I also included a link in the recipe for Lily’s stevia chocolate chips (available in the US). It will just add a touch more sugar to the nutritional content.

Healthy No Marshmallow Rice Krispie Squares_4

My kids couldn’t tell the difference, and my hubby said, “Wow, these really are close, I can barely tell the difference”. I confess, I’ve already made them twice, and have given some to friends and their kids gobbled them up too!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Healthy No Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats
Prep time
Total time
Healthier Rice Krispie Treats made with no marshmallows. These are gluten-free, can be dairy-free and also nut-free! Taste identical to the original.
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Yield: 16
For the Squares
  • 4 cups gluten-free or regular Rice Krispies or crisp rice cereal
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup
  • 3 Tbsp butter (for dairy-free use Earth Balance or vegan margarine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the Chocolate Drizzle
  1. In a medium sized pot over the stove, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the brown rice syrup and stir until combined.
  2. Cook the butter and brown rice syrup together until it just comes to a rolling boil.
  3. Immedietely remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla and stir.
  4. Quickly add in the 4 cups of rice krispies, and stir together until all the cereal is coated.
  5. Press the mixture into an 8x8 pan (I lightly sprayed mine with coconut oil). The mixture is sticky, so to avoid it sticking to your hands, press into the pan with a sheet of plastic wrap.
  6. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
  7. When bars are almost ready, prep chocolate drizzle. In the microwave or stove, melt together chocolate chips and coconut oil...the oil helps to thin it out a touch.
  8. If using microwave, you'll only need about 30 seconds to melt it.
  9. Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the cooled rice krispie squares.
  10. Return to the fridge till the chocolate is set.
  11. Cut into bars, and keep stored in the fridge in the pan (covered) or transfer them to a sealed container stored in the fridge.
Serving size: 1 square (of 16) Calories: 92 Fat: 3 g Carbs: 16 g Sugar: 5 g Sodium: 78 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 1 g

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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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  • Maureen

    Can you use honey instead of brown rice syrup?

  • heylook

    Hi, I made this recipe — doubling it actually — and the Krispie Treats were a little soggy and didn’t stay together at all. Any ideas where I went wrong??

  • Jessica

    This recipe is an answer to prayers. I don’t know why it’s not splattered all over Pinterest! It’s super easy to make (and I was about to make homemade sugar free marshmallows and then re melt to make Rice Krispies when I found this) can’t wait to see how they turn out in an hour!

  • Alma <3

    any substitutions for brown rice syrup? i have no idea what that is

    • Kristine Fretwell

      You could try with honey, its just not as thick as brown rice syrup. Brown rice syrup is found at most health food stores. Would most definitely be at Whole Foods.

  • Angie

    The problem with brown rice syrup is that it is also not healthy. There is no nutritional value, just empty calories that spike glucose and studies have shown it and products made with it is contaminated with arsenic. Check it out.

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Hi Angie! I’m totally aware of all the info out there about brown rice and arsenic etc. We don’t consume brown rice syrup on a daily basis, so I totally don’t see a problem with it as an occasional treat. I also like that its also much lower glycemic index than other types of sweetener. I haven’t tried it myself, but you might be able to sub the brown rice syrup for yacon syrup or coconut nectar.

  • nicki

    Have anybody used brown or white sugar syrup?

  • Breatheveggie

    Good for vegans too as marshmallows not good for us non carnivores. Thanks for sharing

  • Rin

    Hi Kristine, do you think this rice krispie treats can last for about 2 weeks? Thanks

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Hmm, I’m not sure as they’ve never lasted for that long in my house. Haha. If you kept them in the fridge, they probably would last at least a week and a half (perhaps even longer).

  • tay

    brown rice syrup has pretty much zero nutritional value and can be pretty nasty to your health. while our bodies can break down glucose (which is what is in brown rice syrup) a lot better than it can fructose, there are many studies that show it is contaminated during production with arsenic (basically, rat poison). natural sweeteners like stevia, erythritol, and yacon syrup are WAY better alternatives than brown rice syrup.

  • Jasmine

    Wait, so 16 squares are 92 calories?!

    • tay

      it pretty clearly says 1 square… not all 16..

  • sherri

    Hi Kristine – do you think I could swap out the rice syrup for maple syrup or honey?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      You can try it, but I don’t think they will hold together very well…as brown rice syrup is much thicker than honey and maple syrup.

    • want2bawinner

      I tried making them with maple syrup. They don’t stick together like “glue” the way the marshmallow-recipe crispies stick together, but they stick together well enough to eat them from the fridge as a bar. A few crispies fall off here and there. Nothing too terrible if you aren’t eating them on the go.

      • Kristine Fretwell

        Thanks for reporting back on the maple syrup! Good to know it works! I find brown rice syrup much thicker than maple syrup, so it really helps with holding it together well. Still tasty regardless, though 🙂

  • Sarabeth Lehsten

    Where can I find brown rice krispies? No Trader Joe’s here.

    • Kristine Fretwell

      It’s not at Trader Joes…it’s at all regular grocery stores. Beside the regular rice krispies.

      • Sarabeth Lehsten

        cool, thanks.

  • angie

    could you sub coconut nectar in place of brown rice syrup?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Angie – I’m not sure…never tried it. If you try it…report back.

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