Chocolate and Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Bars (Gluten-Free)

These healthy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Bars are a delicious no-guilt treat. This no-bake recipe is made using natural ingredients such as coconut oil, puffed rice, peanut butter, and rich dark chocolate. They are refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan friendly.

Stack of puffed rice bars with chocolate

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Not only are these chocolate and peanut butter puffed rice bars a great gluten-free dessert idea, but thanks to this easy no-bake recipe, they are the perfect grab-and-go snack for lunch boxes or a mid-morning pick me up.

With only a handful of wholesome ingredients, they are sure to satisfy those chocolate peanut butter cravings but unlike traditional rice crispy treats, they are packed with healthy fats and protein so there’s no chance of a sugar slump.

What is the Difference Between Puffed Rice & Rice Krispies?

Both puffed rice and Rice Krispies are made using rice, but there are differences in taste, texture as well as the “puff” process.

Puffed Rice

  • A healthy alternative as it is made by dry roasting white or brown rice kernels only – no additives, sugar or preservatives.
  • It releases energy slowly thanks to the combination of high fibre, protein and complex carbs. Not to mention low in calories and naturally gluten free.
  • The texture is crunchy, yet dense and hearty so more likely to leave you fulfilled than traditional rice crispy treats.
  • Can be found in health food stores or the cereal aisle. Always check the label to ensure gluten free.

Rice Krispies

  • To create, rice is cooked as normal then dehydrated and fried. This process requires sugar as well as other preservatives and additives.
  • Rice Krispies are also fortified with vitamin D3 which is derived from animal sources. This makes them unsuitable for vegan diets.
  • Some brands are also made with malt, derived from barley which may contain gluten.
  • Also crunchy, but more light in texture than puffed rice so arguably less fulfilling.
Stack of puffed rice bars with chocolate with tongs

Puffed Rice Bars vs. Rice Crispy Bars

You’ve maybe heard of (or even tasted) the childhood favorite, Scotcheroos. These were the sweet treats printed on the back of the Rice Krispies box that quickly became a household name.

Consider these puffed rice bars their healthier cousin. Similar in texture and taste but gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free meaning they are healthier for the whole family. Best of all, with just 7 ingredients you can indulge in these tempting treats knowing there are no artificial flavors or preservatives.

While many rice crispy treats use marshmallows or corn syrup to combine the base, these puffed rice bars use only wholesome pantry ingredients – coconut oil, maple syrup, and peanut butter. With no compromise on flavor, they are even more delicious than the sugar-filled alternative.

ingredients to make puffed rice bars like chocolate, puffed rice and honey

Ingredients

There are 7 wholesome ingredients that make these puffed rice bars irresistibly healthy:

  • Puffed Rice Cereal – By using natural puffed rice these bars remain refined sugar free and vegan-friendly. The recipe can also be made using puffed quinoa or puffed spelt.
  • Natural Peanut Butter – The healthy fats in natural peanut butter help fuel your day. As a tip, use crunchy peanut butter for added texture and crunch.
  • Coconut Oil – As mentioned the traditional rice crispy treat uses marshmallows to bind the base which is not vegan friendly. Coconut oil will help the bars firm up when chilled. To avoid adding coconut flavor, make sure to use refined coconut oil.
  • Maple Syrup – Other natural sweeteners could be used such as agave syrup, or honey if you’re not vegan.
  • Vanilla Extract – Extract is less processed and has a stronger vanilla flavor than vanilla essence.
  • Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate chips will make the melting process easier. Melting a bar of dark chocolate won’t yield the same results.

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Healthy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Bars – Step By Step

  1. Add all the base ingredients except puffed rice into a bowl and whisk well to combine.
  2. Add puffed rice and stir again until the rice is well coated.
  3. Line a 6” tray with baking paper and pour in the puffed rice mixture. Press with a spoon until the entire surface is covered. It should be well compacted with no gaps. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Melt the dark chocolate (or milk if using) with coconut oil in a double-boiler over the stove. This can also be done in the microwave for cook 45 seconds but I prefer the double-boiler method as it gives the chocolate a glossy shine and avoids burning. 
  5. Remove the puffed rice mix from the refrigerator and drizzle over the melted chocolate. Make sure the whole base is covered.
  6. Return to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes or until the chocolate is hard.
  7. Once hardened, slice into 10 bars.
collage of puffed rice bars process images

Can You Substitute Peanut Butter?

If you’re not a peanut butter fan or you have other nut butters at hand, this recipe will still turn out delicious. Try mixing it up with almond butter or cashew or for a nut-free alternative try sunflower seed or soy butter. If you can, avoid substituting the coconut oil for other oils as coconut oil helps the bars hold together and firm up when chilled.

Are these Chocolate Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Bars Vegan?

It is super easy to make vegan puffed rice bars. Simply ensure that the dark chocolate you are using is vegan-friendly. Most dark chocolate should be a blend of cocoa solids and sugar to some extent but some cheaper brands include ingredients such as milk solids, or butter oil so always double-check.

Stack of puffed rice bars with chocolate

Can You Top These with Milk Chocolate?

I prefer dark chocolate as it is healthier and provides a tasty contrast with the sweet base. However, it is perfectly doable to substitute with milk chocolate if you crave a little extra sweetness. As mentioned, chocolate chips work best instead of a bar.

Top Tips for The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Bars

  • Warm the knife blade before slicing as this will prevent the chocolate layer from crumbling into pieces and give you clean-cut bars.
  • These chocolate peanut butter puffed rice bars must be stored in the fridge as they can melt quickly. Ideally, do not refrigerate for longer than 1 week as the cereals will begin to soften and lose the signature crispy texture.
  • They can also be frozen and will take around 1 hour to thaw at room temperature.
puffed rice bars cut on parchment paper

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stack of ouffed rice bars with chocolate on a plate

Healthy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Bars

Don’t Mess With Mama
These healthy chocolate and peanutbutter puffed rice bars are a delicious no-guilt treat. This no bake recipe ismade using natural ingredients such as coconut oil, puffed rice and peanutbutter and rich dark chocolate. They are refined sugar free, gluten free andvegan friendly.
4.99 from 50 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 Bars
Calories 293 kcal

Ingredients
  

Base

  • 3 cups Puffed Rice
  • 1 cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil melted
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Top Layer

  • 2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips melted
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil

Instructions
 

  • Add all the base ingredients except puffed rice into a bowl and whisk well to combine.
  • Add puffed rice and stir again until the rice is well coated.
  • Line a 6” tray with baking paper and pour in the puffed rice mixture.Press with a spoon until the entire surface is covered. It should be wellcompacted with no gaps. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Melt the dark chocolate (or milk if using) with coconut oil in a double-boiler over the stove. This can also be done in the microwave for cook 45 seconds but I prefer the double-boiler method as it gives the chocolate a glossy shine and avoids burning. 
  • Remove the puffed rice mix from the refrigerator and drizzle over themelted chocolate. Make sure the whole base is covered.
  • Return to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes or until the chocolate is hard.
  • Once hardened, slice into 10 bars.

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 3gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 156mgPotassium: 251mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 118mgIron: 2mg
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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello I haven’t tried the recipe yet but I am licking my chops already. I’d like to know, if I want to avoid the sugar, can I substitute cacao powder ffor the chocolate chips? Thanks