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Rice Treats Minus the Junk


Photo by Carina Skrobecki

One of my favorite things about eating real food is proving to people that they don’t have to give up all the things they love to live a healthier life. 

In fact, I think a healthy lifestyle that’s actually sustainable has to include some of the things you love — foods and drinks that bring you joy, comfort, and spark memories. But there’s a way to do it that can make all the difference in the world: more mindfully. 

As in, whatever you want to have, there’s usually a way to make it in an upgraded, whole, real-food way. And truth? The “real” version of these treats always tastes better, digests better, and is kinder on your body overall.

When you’re aware and on a mission to upgrade the ingredients, treats become a more mindful decision: to gather, create, and make something you love with care and intention.  

As we transition into fall, try to get the best-quality ingredients you can find, and enjoy the process, the experience, and the beauty of whatever you’re making. Whether that’s a soup for the week, or a batch of simple roasted veggies, bread, or cookies, or your favorite kind of Halloween candy: Upgrade it. Use the real stuff — butter, real sugar, fresh peanut butter, cream, quality chocolate. Look for minimal and simple ingredients you can see and pronounce. 

One bite, and you are on your way to a totally different relationship with food.

Healthy, Crispy Rice Bars

Makes approximately 13-15 1-inch bars

A fun little twist on an old-school classic but upgraded with all real food ingredients! This recipe is from my new cookbook that comes out Nov. 19, called Simply Real Eating. Grab your copy on presale now, wherever books are sold. 

2 tablespoons organic unrefined coconut oil

½ cup organic Grade B maple syrup 

½ cup organic honey

½ cup almond butter, or other nut butter of your choice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

5½ cups gluten-free puffed brown rice or millet cereal

½ cup dark chocolate

chips (optional)

In a small saucepan over low heat, add coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, almond butter, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Remove from heat. Line a rectangular baking dish with parchment paper, then add cereal to a medium mixing bowl and drizzle honey-coconut oil mixture over the top. Gently stir all ingredients to combine. Pour mixture into the lined dish, and press the mixture flat with a rubber spatula or back of a large spoon. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.