a.k.a. the empty-your-cabinets-and-throw-it-all-in treats. Or the feeling-lazy-but-want-snacks treats. Or the hey-look-I-cleaned-out-the-pantry-and-found-marshmallows treats.
Take your pick.
Talk about quick and easy! This one whips up in no time and is so, SO adaptable. I love Rice Krispie treats, but as far as nutrition goes…kind of lacking, right? Not exactly a substantial afternoon snack to hold you over at work. This batch of cereal treats however passes the work snack (and taste) test with flying colors.
And because I can’t seem to get away from numbers, let’s analyze some, k?
The quantity of crisped rice cereal that would have been used in this recipe (3 cups) has about 5 grams of protein and zero fiber. Adding butter and marshmallows to the mix don’t exactly help the nutritional stats as you can imagine.
5 grams of protein / 16 treats = approx. 0.3 grams of protein and zero grams of fiber per treat. Yikes!
So what’s an easy fix so you can enjoy cereal treats and not scrounge around your desk drawers for an old granola bar an hour later? Mix up the ingredients!
I used protein cereal, nuts, and raisins in my treats, and subbed in nut butter for a portion of the butter. Besides more protein and more fiber, this version of cereal treats results in a heartier snack. You won’t think you’re chewing on crispy, sweet (though super tasty) air – promise.
The cereal treat methodology is still in place here, though the ingredients have changed. This particular combination was a hit in my house so I wrote the exact recipe below, but there is ample room for customization. I have been obsessing over cinnamon almond protein Cheerios, so we had a box (or three) to spare in recipe development. Feel free to use the cereal that you prefer – high fiber, gluten-free, etc. We buy cashews in bulk to have on hand for our favorite hint of curry chicken salad, so in they went too. If your pantry has a higher inventory of almonds, peanuts, walnuts, or pecans – then by all means! Raisins were a fun little addition that can be omitted if you happen to live with some raisin haters.
Last but not least I reduced the butter, instead adding peanut butter. It melts beautifully and binds the ingredients along with the butter. Oh yeah, and the marshmallows? They stayed. 🙂
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
- 3 cups protein Cheerios (or any type of cereal you prefer)
- 3/4 cup cashew halves and pieces
- 1/4 cup raisins
- In a large saucepan, melt butter and peanut butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir frequently, until marshmallows lose their shape and melt.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in Cheerios, cashews, and raisins. Pour mixture into a greased pan. Press mixture into bottom of pan (I lightly wet my hands to prevent sticking while doing this) and let treats sit at room temperature to cool before slicing and serving.