Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats
by Freda Love Smith
Illustration by Jee Young Sim
I always used to go on tour with a set of rules for myself about healthy living: no cigarettes, only two drinks a night, no sweets, no fast food. Of course I strayed from my vows from time to time, paying the price when I did. But too much deprivation on the road can be a problem too if you end up feeling sorry for yourself. Here’s a solution: pack a treat that will indulge your inner naughty child without wrecking your health. Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats hearken back to those marshmallow goodies from your childhood kitchen, except the ingredients are more wholesome and they taste better. And not only will they please your inner child, they’ll please your gluten-free girlfriend and your vegan bass player. Everyone can keep their health vows without feeling deprived.
1 cup brown rice syrup
1 scant cup crunchy, salted, unsweetened peanut butter
1 teaspoon umeboshi plum vinegar*
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 ounces dark chocolate (I like 85%)
3 cups crispy brown rice cereal
*Umeboshi plum vinegar is a byproduct of pickling umeboshi plums. More importantly, it’s a salty/fruity/tart miracle ingredient that makes everything taste livelier. Available in Japanese groceries and natural food stores.
1. Oil a 9 x 9-inch pan.
2. In a heavy pot over medium heat, warm the brown rice syrup and peanut butter, stirring frequently, until mixture starts to thin a little and bubble gently.
3. Stir in the umeboshi vinegar, vanilla, and chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate melts (1 or 2 minutes). Turn off heat.
4. Gently stir in crispy brown rice cereal until the cereal is totally coated.
5. Immediately spoon into oiled pan. Let cool at room temperature. Slice and serve, or wrap individual pieces for later.
Yields 4-8 servings
Adapted from a recipe in The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics by Jessica Porter
Freda Love Smith is a rock drummer, food writer, and Northwestern University lecturer. She co-founded the bands the Blake Babies, Antenna, The Mysteries of Life, and Some Girls. Her first book, Red Velvet Underground: A Rock Memoir, with Recipes was released this October.