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Crispy "Candy Bar" Bites

Vegan, refined sugar free, chocolatey nutty delights

Like most children, our son adores making sweet treats and chocolatey "expedition snacks." Like most parents, I'm always curious as to how we can create something that fits his vision, yet isn't full of empty calories or loaded with extra sugar.

These fulfill his playful and sweet treat craving - they even are perfect for tucking into a backpack for camping or hiking, and they meet my hope of being, well, healthy-ish. They're certainly aren't seaweed crisps, yet they aren't sugar candy bars either.

These use brown rice syrup and maple syrup as their sweetener, with almond butter, dark chocolate, and coconut oil as a binding. They can be finished off with slivered almonds and flaked sea salt, toasted coconut, dried fruits, or smattering of sprinkles, and they are is easy to make.

Ingredients for the bars:

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 2/3 cup brown rice syrup

  • 2/3 cup almond butter

  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil

  • 5-6 cups crisp rice cereal (I just use one box of One Degree Food: Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps, simply because this is what our natural grocer carries, use whatever rice crisp cereal works for you. I have tried this with puffed millet and puffed quinoa and although they both work, I think that rice crisps provide the best texture)


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil

  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds, or toasted coconut, or cut up dried fruits, or sprinkles, really whatever topping variety sounds good to you. This is a fun way to involve your kids and let them choose what they'd like to try onto, and you can sprinkle 1/4 of the bars with one combination, another area with another, leave another section plain, and just see what you like best.

  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt (such as Maldon, this is a nice touch even for children bars, there is no salt up to this point and its spread across a whole full batch of treats, a hint of salt here just perks up the sweetness actually)


In a big old large pot, I use the same one I use to boil pasta in, over medium low heat, melt the chocolate chips, coconut oil, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and almond butter - until it is all smooth and velvety. Then add in your crispy rice cereal and stir until the crispy rice is evenly coated.

Line a 9x13 inch tray bake pan with parchment paper and then pour and even out the cereal mixture throughout the tray.

In a separate medium sized pan, melt the topping's coconut oil and chocolate chips, then pour the topping over the bars, gently spreading it out until there is a thin coating throughout.

Sprinkle on the salt flakes and whatever other toppings you'd like. Here we went with slivered almonds and sprinkles.

Leave to set on the counter for 2 hours weather and temperature permitting, or tuck into your fridge if needed.

Once set, removed and cut into bars or cubes. These will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days on a cool counter, a week in the fridge.

I wish I knew who to credit these below words to, if you do know, please let me know. For all of us, how we can live such tenderness and compassion ... with so much love

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