I’ve been on the lookout for a while for a gluten-free, sweet, tasty treat that isn’t a biscuit and I remembered that one of my favourite treats as a kid was chocolate crispie cakes. You must remember the chocolate coated puffed rice that was crammed into fairy cake cases and would lacerate the roof of your mouth and practically take your teeth out as you ate them because the chocolate had become so solid. Yeah, good times, man. You can understand then, that when it came to making my own version of chocolate crispie cakes I wanted them to be flavoursome, but also soft and yielding enough to be friendly to the teeth.
I sometimes have low iron levels, so I wanted to incorporate iron-rich seeds and dried fruit in the crispie bars in an attempt to make them not just tasty, but nutritious too. Pumpkin seeds are excellent sources of protein, iron, zinc and dried cranberries are also packed full of iron, so they were thrown into the mix too. This inclusion of fruit and seeds made the texture of the crispie bars even better. The use of peanut butter also works well in the bars because it adds flavour as well as calcium, iron and B-vitamins too.
Pumpkin seeds are a low FODMAP food so they’re an ideal source of nutrition for all and if you’re not a fan of pumpkin seeds you could easily substitute them for sunflower seeds, pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts instead. Really, you can very easily adapt these bars to suit your own tastes. One rice crispie bar is a low FODMAP portion.
These chocolate crispie bars aren’t fully solid (thankfully!), but the dark chocolate drizzle on top of them helps to keep them together. As a result, they are tasty, chewy bars of crispy puffed rice, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds that are held together by a sweet, fudgy marshmallow and coconut oil syrup and are adorned with a luscious coating of dark chocolate. They’re the perfect snack to pop in a lunchbox or enjoy after dinner.
100g puffed rice (Rice Krispies)
40g pumpkin seeds
40g desiccated coconut
60g peanut butter
70g golden syrup
40g coconut oil (or butter)
100g dried cranberries
30g mini marshmallows
100g dark chocolate (for decorating)
Get a large traybake tin or rectangular casserole dish out and line it with greaseproof paper.
Put the coconut oil, golden syrup, peanut butter and marshmallows in a microwavable jug and melt in the microwave on a medium heat (stirring very frequently) until it forms a loose syrup.
Place all of the dry ingredients (apart from the dark chocolate) into a large mixing bowl and pour the syrup over it. Mix well until it’s fully coated.
Pour the mixture into the baking tray and flatten it out and press it down.
Melt the dark chocolate in a microwaveable bowl (stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn) and then drizzle it over the top of the crispie bars.
Leave it to set in the fridge before cutting it into bars and storing in an air-tight container.