3 Apr 2012
Like most people, I sometimes struggle with healthy eating around the holidays. Chocolatey temptations lurk around every corner, and while I love creating fun and festive sweets, I don’t enjoy the post-indulgence sugar crash. So over the years I’ve been simplifying my style. We still enjoy a treat or three, but I focus on easy healthy recipes (or I should say “healthier!”) that utilize more wholesome ingredients.
This year, I’m pretty proud of my holiday-worthy spin on the traditional rice crispy treat. I nixed the sugar-bomb marshmallows and margarine, and bound the gluten-free organic rice cereal with homemade coconut butter and honey instead. Just like nuts, shredded coconut can be ground within seconds into a thick “butter” that helps the treats stay together.
For a fun Easter spin, I shaped the crispy treats into “nests” using muffin cups, added just a touch of chocolate (you have to fit the chocolate in somewhere, right?), and for decoration, I filled the nests with Jelly Belly “eggs.” When I’m able to resist the “eggs,” these simple healthy treats double as a delicious dairy-free and gluten-free snack bar.
Oh, and one added bonus – these Easter crispy treats are as fun to make as they are to eat!
Who says nutritious dairy-free and gluten-free foods can’t be extraordinary?
Coconut Crispy Treat “Nests” with Jelly Bean “Eggs”
Summary: These gems are sweetened only with honey (or agave for vegan) and are completely marshmallow-free!
- 1-1/2 Cups + 1/4 Cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut, plus
additional for sprinkling if desired (about 2 Tablespoons)
- 6 Tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) Honey or Agave Nectar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Gluten-Free Organic Rice Cereal
- 1/3 Cup Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
- Jelly Bellies or Jelly Beans, optional (colorful “eggs” to complete
the crispy nests)
- To start, you will need 12 muffin cups (or double that if using mini-muffin molds). I use silicone muffin cups (best investment ever!), but if you only have metal ones, grease them.
- Place the 1-1/2 cups of coconut in a food processor or spice grinder (I use the grinding blade of my cheapo personal blender), and whiz until it begins to clump and turn into a paste (about 1 minute).
- Add the honey and vanilla, and quickly blend again to incorporate.
- Place the crispy rice cereal and the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded coconut in a large bowl, add the coconut paste mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon or lightly greased hands (I use my hands) to combine. It might be a little messy, but isn’t that half the fun of making crispy treats?
- Divide the crispy mix between the muffin cups and press the mixture into the bottom and just a bit up the sides with a shallow well in the center (think a “nest” for the jelly belly “eggs”).
- Chill the treats in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Pop the “nests” out of the muffin molds, and if desired, round the bottom edges using your fingers to press and shape them into a nest shape. If you don’t mind flat-bottomed nests, feel free to leave them as is.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a small dish (I microwave them on high for 1 minute, and then stir vigorously until smooth).
- Spread a small dollop of chocolate in the middle of the crispy “nests,” spreading it gently in the well as desired.
- Sprinkle the nests with additional shredded coconut, then place a few jelly bean “eggs” in each nest.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian, Optionally Vegan, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Peanut free, Tree Nut free (though they do contain coconut), Soy free, Wheat free, Optionally Refined Sugar free
Number of servings (yield): 12
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
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