What is In Vegan Rice Crispy Treats?
I knew once I became vegan, I could never have another one of my favorite Rice Krispie treats again without getting creative.
Something many may. not know is, even if we are to eliminate marshmallows, the ever popular “Rice Krispies” cereal itself is not vegan (it contains vitamin D3 derived from animal products).
As a new vegan, I got quick to work creating a peanut butter rice crispy treat that would fit my needs with my improvising hat firmly in place!
Ingredients for vegan peanut butter rice crispy treats
For these peanut butter vegan rice crispy treats, I wanted quick and easy things I could find in the pantry. These treats have only 4 ingredients! They include:
- Vegan butter (earth balance used here!)
- Peanut Butter
- Dandies Marshmallows
- Rice crisp cereal
There are a lot of different combinations you can choose when making vegan rice crispy squares. Some other common ingredients include:
- Vegan Marshmallows created from scratch
- Corn Syrup
- Maple Syrup
- Almond Butter
What Are Some Other Ways to Use Vegan Marshmallows?
Dandies marshmallows are always an excellent treat to keep on hand for the beginner vegan. However, there are also many other vegan marshmallow brands that will work for this recipe including Trader Joe’s brand.
While you can combine maple syrup and nut butter to mimic vegan marshmallows for these rice crispy treats, the product will be crumbly (still tastes amazing!)
Steps to Make Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
These rice crispy squares are so incredibly easy to create and ready in less than 20 minutes!
- Melt vegan butter and peanut butter on low heat
- Add in vegan marshmallows and melt. Vegan marshmallows will not melt the same as standard marshmallows. Thats okay! They will form a soft ball.
- Remove from heat, add in rice crisp cereal.
Which Rice Crispy Cereals are Vegan?
Rice crisp cereal choices you can go for to create these vegan peanut butter rice crispy treats include:
- Nature’s Path Krispie Rice Cereal
- One Degree Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps
- Barbera’s organic brown rice crisps cereal
- Arrowhead Mills Puffed Rice
It’s amazing but you can actually use crispy puffed quinoa for this treat also!
For this recipe I used Natures Path Krispie Rice Cereal.
Why Are Marshmallows Not Vegan?
The magical mystery item in marshmallows that makes them ooey gooey, sticky, and also not vegan is gelatin.
Geletin is actually collagen derived from an animal.
Gelatin seems to be everywhere! It is basically in anything jiggly. This includes jello, marshmallow, gummy bears you name it!
Many new vegans are perplexed to learn that marshmallows, among many other treats, are not vegan.
Because of this, we will improvise here to create that gooey goodness you love in a rice crispy treat, but vegan!
Do Vegan Marshmallows Taste Good?
The easy answer here is- hec yes!
When you’re vegan I think you get used to everything basically being a horse of a different color. Vegan marshmallows are no different.
While the flavor and taste mimics a traditional mallow, the texture isn’t quite the same.
Personally, I don’t find this a problem! We need to re-imagine what we call the “good stuff” as vegans and explore vegan marshmallows in their own unique light. Which by the way, is in my opinion is equally satisfying to traditional marshmallows.
What's the Texture like in Vegan Rice Crispy Squares?
These squares will be chewy to the bite, very similar to your standard rice crispy treats.
Your vegan marshmallows form more of a ball than a liquid pool like standard mallows. While this is A-okay for creating a bomb vegan treat that mimics the real deal, not all of your crispy cereals will likely stick to it.
You’re probably going to lose a few cereal stragglers that didn’t make it into the thickness of your mallow ball *gasps*.
This is fine! You should expect to lose about 1/8 cup of your cereal pieces to fate. Just let the pieces go!
One other thing to note about these treats is there may be bites with slightly more or less marshmallow. This doesn’t compromise the enjoyment of the treat!
Do I Put Rice Crispy Treats In the Fridge?
If you’re thinking of putting your vegan rice crispy treats in some type of cold storage box (aka a fridge or freezer), do yourself a favor and just don’t!
These vegan rice squares should be stored in an airtight container once cut. This will ensure they do not become stale. Vegan rice crispy treats will remain tasty and chewy for about 3 days.
Refrigeration of vegan rice crispy squares isn’t necessary (unless you’re like me and have the patience of a two year old when it comes to snacking!). If this is the case, they should ONLY be refrigerated to cool down and immediately removed. They should not be stored in the refrigerator.
New Ways To Create Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
Theres so many combinations we can use to make these vegan rice crispy squares delicious!
Here are a few to try:
- Add cranberry and white chocolate to the mix
- Cover top with a vegan chocolate layer
- Add in dried strawberries
- Throw in some oreos
- Add in pistachio
Can I make vegan peanut butter rice crispy treats in the microwave?
You sure can! I am all about cheating when it comes to my snacks.
Simply microwave dandies, vegan butter, and peanut butter mixed with a splash of water in 30 second intervals. Do this until it reaches your desired melting point.
Microwaving your treats is actually way quicker than using the stove top method.
You can cut the dandies marshmallows into pieces to help them melt more evenly.
None of your guests have to know how simple this really was!
What's Your Favorite Way to Enjoy Vegan Rice Crispy Treats?
As a kid, all the rage was getting one of those gooey rice squares in my lunch box.
Now being a full fledged grown up I’ve thrown my two favorite things- peanut butter and rice crispy squares, into one easy vegan snack.
I feel like thats one of those really cool things about being a grown up. You can make your favorite snacks any way you want them!
What’s your favorite rice crispy treat combination? Do you enjoy any crazy products in your treat other than rice crisp cereal?
Drop some suggestions in the comments below!
Vegan Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
- 7x11 cake pan
- 1 medium sauce pan
- ½ cup earth balance butter
- ⅗ cup no stir natural peanut butter
- 2 bags bags Dandy's vegan marshmallows 10 oz each
- 6 cups natures path crispy rice cereal or other vegan crispy rice cereal
- Line 7x11 cake pan with parchment paper
- melt butter and peanut butter on low heat in medium saucepan
- Add in Dandies marshmallow. Stir on low heat for about 7-8 minutes until begins to melt and forms a soft ball. There will be chunks in the marshmallows. This is okay.
- Remove from heat. Add in crispy rice cereal. Coat cereal with marshmallow much as possible.
- Pour peanut butter vegan rice crispy mix into
- press rice crispy treats firmly into pan. Let cool 1 hour. Cut into 12 squares.