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PEANUT BUTTER + CACAO NIBS RICE CRISPY TREATS

Vegan Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats made with rice cereal, peanut butter, brown rice syrup and cacao nibs is a healthy, no-bake snack recipe that’s super easy to make – and they taste amazing too!

top down view of peanut butter cacao nibs rice crispy treats

I made these healthy peanut butter rice crispy treats to take along as a snack for my flight from California to North Carolina. I packed a couple bars, along with a small bag of the Almost-Eveything Trail Mix. It was a nice variation and just enough to hold me over until I arrived.

These peanut buttery & cacao chip snack treats are gluten-free, dairy-free, and made without marshmallows. They come together quickly, are fun to make, and can be enjoyed anytime of day. Store them covered for 4 days or so, or keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (but I bet they won’t last more than a couple of days!).

top down view of ingredients for rice krispy treats: peanut butter, brown rice syrup, rice cereal and cacao nibs

Ingredients You’ll Need

There’s only 4 simple ingredients to this easy snack recipe. We’ll be using rice crisp cereal, brown rice syrup, peanut butter and cacao nibs.

After playing around using different sweeteners and cereals with varying results, I finally came up with a great rice crispy treat.

  • Rice Crispy Cereal: I started with Arrowhead Puffed Rice Cereal but the texture was too soft. Maybe my bag was stale, but they definitely lacked the crispy effect of ‘rice krispie treats’ that I was trying to replicate. Then I tried a box of One Degree Brown Rice Crisps Cereal and they were exactly what I was looking for in texture. A box of Rice Krispie Cereal, or one similar that your familiar with, will do fine too if you prefer.
  • Sweetener: Pure maple syrup was delicious, but didn’t add enough stickiness, and they fell apart easily. It also seemed to soak into the cereal making them a tad too soft. None of this was necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn’t the end result I was looking for. I finally tested brown rice syrup with the best results, adding perfect stickiness and sweetness.
  • Peanut Butter: Use creamy or chunky natural peanut butter. Sun butter would also be a great substitute!
  • Chocolate: Cacao nibs add texture and a little chocolate flavor. Plus, they are loaded with antioxidants and are super good for you! They work well in this recipe since the don’t melt as quickly as regular chocolate chips.

For achieving that ‘crispy’ effect, I suggest sticking with the ingredients listed in the recipe for the best texture.

top down view of side by side photo of warmed brown rice syrup and peanut butter being added, next to peanut butter now melted in with the brown rice syrup

How To Make Vegan Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

  • Start by gently warming the brown rice syrup and peanut butter over low heat. It only needs to be slightly warmed, just enough to loosen up the ingredients.

top down view of rice crispy cereal mixed with melted peanut butter and cacao nibs added

  • Once mixture is slightly warmed, turn off the heat, add the cereal and mix. Toss in the cacao nibs and mix once more.

side angle view of peanut butter cacao nibs rice crispy treats pressed into a square white baking pan with black rim

  • Place mixture into a parchment paper lined (or lightly greased) pan, and press gently, but firmly, until mixture is packed and evenly distributed (shown above). I used a 9 x 9 here. A 9 x 11 or 8 x 8 would work great too.
  • Feel free to add a few more cacao nobs to fill in any blank spots, gently pressing them in.
  • Once packed, either slice and eat right away, or place the pan in the refrigerator and let the rice crispy mixture cool and harden. Both ways are delicious!

Now, it’s your turn to make a batch. I think you’ll love these crispy, peanut buttery, cacao nibby rice crispy bars as much as I do!

top down view of peanut butter cacao nibs rice crispy treats on parchment paper sliced into squares

More Snack Inspiration

For more healthy snack ideas, try these other quick and easy recipes. They’ll be sure to keep you feeling good and at your best!

head on shot of peanut butter cacao nibs rice crispy treats cut into pieces and stacked

If you try this vegan rice crispy treat recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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PEANUT BUTTER + CACAO NIBS RICE CRISPY TREATS

A fun, healthy snack anytime of day that’s super easy to put together, and will ready to eat in minutes. Gluten-free, oil-free, dairy-free and marshmallow free.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 9 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Snack
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 5 cups rice crispy cereal (I used One Degree)
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs

Instructions

Line a 9 x 9 square pan (or 9 x 13 rectangular dish) with parchment paper. Alternately, lightly grease with coconut oil or non-dairy butter. Set aside.

In a large pot or pan, over low heat, gently warm the brown rice syrup and peanut butter, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, stir in the rice crispy cereal, mix until almost combined. Add in the cacao nibs, and continue mixing until well combined.

Place the mixture in prepared pan/dish, and gently, but firmly, press until compacted and evenly distributed.

Either cut into squares and serve as is, or place pan/dish in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let harden.

Store leftovers covered on the counter for 4 days or so, or place in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Using a 9 x 9 dish will yield 9 bars.

NOTES:

If you can’t source One Degree Sprouted Brown Rice Cereal, feel free to use the original Rice Krispy Cereal for a true ‘crispy’ bar. There are a few other brands that have rice crispy cereal, I just haven’t tried them all but feel free to use any brand you know and like.

Use creamy or chunky peanut butter. Sun butter would be a great too.

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Peanut Butter Cacao Nibs Rice Crispy Treats

5 Comments

  1. Thanks for this recipe. Made this today and it turned out great. Only had an 8×8 tin and it is a bit higher and I should probably have used the 9×13 instead. Really liked the use of brown rice syrup instead of other sweeteners and the cacao nibs are a nice touch.

  2. Vegan4Lyfe says:

    Thank you for posting this amazing recipe. Heading to FL next week so this is a perfect snack for the trip.

    1. I just seen and read I have all the ingredients going to make later wish me luck

      1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

        S. Akhter, I’m sure you have all the luck you need! Would love to know how it goes. Enjoy :)

    2. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Enjoy your trip and these snack bars! Cheers :)

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