Double Chocolate and Maple Tahini Puffed Cereal Treats

I‘ve been packing school lunches for eight years and lunchbox treats are one thing I have down to a science, thanks to plenty of practice and a whole lot of honest feedback.

Today I’m sharing two versions of puffed cereal treats that I regularly make with my kids: Double Chocolate and Maple Tahini. They are no-bake, one-bowl, vegan recipes, with just a handful of ingredients, perfect for a kitchen project with little ones.

Yes these are based on the popular Rice Crispy treats, but you find that my version is a little more nourishing. I love to play around with puffed ancient grains such as millet or quinoa, I use natural sweeteners, stir in seed butter for protein, and leave out the marshmallows entirely.

Read on for two new recipes and then stir up a treat for Valentine’s Day with the kids.

I don’t have to sing the praises of a rice crispy treat to you; we all have our weakness for those marshmallow squares – kids especially! However, you’ll find kids are just as taken with these two unprocessed versions, especially if they get to help cut them into pretty hearts and drizzle a little chocolate on the top.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – what better time to play with chocolate, cookie cutters and sprinkles? You can send a plate of these to school, knowing they are allergen-free (no dairy, no nuts, gluten-free, vegan, etc…) or box up a dozen for a neighbour or friend and leave them on the doorstep.

The Puffed Cereal Treat magic formula

Just three ingredients form the base of these simple treats:

  1. Puffed cereal – I keep puffed quinoa around in the pantry, as well as puffed rice. Puffed millet is winderfully nutty with lots of crunch. Then there are kamut puffs – so deliciously chewy!
  2. Sweet syrup – I use any or all of the following: maple syrup, liquid honey, organic brown rice syrup and molasses.
  3. Nut or seed butter – I adore almond butter, but most often stick with a seed butter, as I am usually making these treats for school lunches and they need to be nut free. Tahini, sunflower butter (also branded as ‘SunButter’) and pumpkin seed butter are all delicious, or any combination of the three.

My basic formula for these treats are as follows: 4 1/4 cups puffed cereal, 2/3 cup sweet syrup, 2/3 cups nut/seed butter. You can customize them to suit your tastes and to use up what you have in the pantry.

I occasionally will toss in additional flavouring like cocoa or vanilla, and I add a dab of melted coconut oil just to help smooth out the syrup/nut butter so that it easily coats the puffed cereal.

Fun with puffed ancient grains

I find most of my puffed cereals in the gluten-free section of my health foods store. Be sure to read the label and don’t buy the cereal with added sugar. Try puffed kamut, puffed quinoa, puffed amaranth or puffed millet. I love the 7 Whole Grain Puffs from Kashi, although this one is not gluten-free.

The organic section of the grocery store or the health food store is also where you will likely find brown rice syrup and sunflower seed butter. Have fun!

Double Chocolate and Maple Tahini Puffed Cereal Treats recipes


Tahini Maple Puffed Cereal Treats
5.0 from 2 reviews
Print
Recipe type: Dessert
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 16
A no-bake, gluten-free treat for the lunchbox that is fun to make with kids. Sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt if making for adults.
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup liquid honey
  • 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 2 1/3 cups puffed millet
  • 2 cups puffed rice
Instructions
  1. Measure maple syrup and honey into a large Pyrex measuring cup. Add coconut oil, tahini and sunflower seed butter.
  2. Microwave the ingredients on Medium in three bursts of 30 seconds, stirring between each burst. Mixture should be quite hot. Stir vigorously, until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the puffed millet and puffed rice. Pour the seed butter mixture over the top and stir well to combine.
  4. Scrape the now-sticky puffed cereal into an oiled 9x13 pan and spread evenly from corner to corner. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and press down firmly to pack the puffed cereal into the pan.
  5. Chill for 1 hour (and up to overnight). Use a cookie cutter to press into the slab and cut out heart-shaped treats. Place on a tray and chill again while you roll the scraps into balls (for more lunchbox treats!).
  6. If desired, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in the microwave and drizzle chocolate on top. Dash a few sprinkles on top or more puffed quinoa. Serve at room temperature.
  7. Keep in an airtight container and store, refrigerated, for up to 3 days. You may also freeze the treats for up to 3 months.
Notes
If you are cutting these into shapes, press them into an oiled 9x13 pan. If not, press them into an oiled 9x9 pan and then cut them into 16 squares when they have cooled.


Double Chocolate Puffed Cereal Treats
5.0 from 2 reviews
Print
Recipe type: Dessert
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 16
A delicious, no-bake lunchbox treat that is fun to make with kids. Sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt if making for adults.
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 3 cups puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1 cup puffed quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Measure maple syrup, molasses and coconut oil into a large Pyrex measuring cup. Add cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Add in the sunflower seed butter.
  2. Microwave the ingredients on Medium in three bursts of 30 seconds, stirring between each burst. Mixture should be quite hot. Stir vigorously, until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the puffed puffed brown rice and puffed quinoa. Pour the seed butter mixture over the top and stir well to combine.
  4. Scrape the now-sticky puffed cereal into an oiled 9x13 pan and spread evenly from corner to corner. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and press down firmly to pack the puffed cereal into the pan.
  5. Chill for 1 hour (and up to overnight). Use a cookie cutter to press into the slab and cut out heart-shaped treats. Place on a tray and chill again while you roll the scraps into balls (for more lunchbox treats!).
  6. Melt chopped chocolate with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in the microwave and drizzle chocolate on top of the puffed cereal hearts. Dash a few sprinkles on top or more puffed quinoa. Let the chocolate set before serving, at least 30 minutes.
  7. Keep treats in an airtight container and store, refrigerated, for up to 3 days. You may also freeze the treats for up to 3 months.
Notes
If you are cutting these into shapes, press them into an oiled 9x13 pan. If not, press them into an oiled 9x9 pan and then cut them into 16 squares when they have cooled.

A few more healthy lunchbox snacks:

Chocolate-Oat Cereal Bars

Hemp Cocoa Bites

Crispy Sun Butter Bites

Maple-Cinnamon Apple Chips

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. I love how truly kid-friendly and easy your recipes are. Loving the new cookbook and can’t wait to try these. Thank you!

  2. These sound delicious! I’m always looking for new and healthy ideas for my little one and am definitely adding these to my list.

  3. These both look SO good. I have celiac so I appreciate the nod to the GF grains, too! I have never thought of putting coconut oil in my nut butter or chocolate to get it to stick better. Interesting… going to try that, too.

  4. This looks crazy good!

  5. So simple and so beautiful ! Thank you !

  6. I’ve done both and they are definitely keepers, thank you so much! One question though: how do you manage to measure out the sticky ingredients without it being too messy? I’m having a hard time not making my hands and the kitchen sticky!

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