Saturday, August 21, 2010

Let Fiber Star In Your Cereal Bar

Rice krispie treats are a snack that has been popular for generation after generation. Of course, like everything else, companies have created modern twists to the original variety for marketing purposes. Unfortunately such additions have nothing to do with increasing the nutrition of the product. Instead, chocolate chips, candy, fudge coatings, and food coloring are what distinguishes this century of cereal treats. If you were to look at the calories per serving on the nutrition label of a box of Rice Krispie cereal, you would probably think of it as a relatively healthy breakfast item. Yes, 120 calories per serving is a small amount, but the cereal is far from the best option. It has no fiber and the second most abundant ingredient is sugar, which is the case with many cereals geared towards children.

While the original rice krispie treat is not the worst packaged snack item available, there is plenty of room for improvement. This recipe is from the Hungry Girl book, which is full of fabulous recipe swaps. It is a very simple recipe with few ingredients needed. The Rice Krispies are replaced with a mixture of Fiber One cereal and puffed wheat cereal. The fat content is reduced by using a light butter. There is really no way to get around using marshmallows; they are naturally fat-free but contain a good bit of sugar. The modification helps to improve the nutrition of the cereal bar, but is still a treat. In other words, these are not a good source of vitamins and minerals and should not become an everyday snack food. My mom made the original Rice Krispie treats not too long ago for a party and I pinched a corner off of one to remember the flavor. I hardly eat sugar at all now, so maybe it was just me, but the bite seemed entirely too sweet. With the new alternative of cereals, there was much more substance which helped to mask the overly sweet sensation. These would be great to pack in your child's lunch- they get a tasty dessert and it shows that you care about their health. Also, allow your kids to help make this simple recipe to get them involved in the kitchen.

Krispymallow Treats from Hungry Girl
serves 25

3 tbsp. light buttery spread
3 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups Fiber One cereal
5 cups puffed wheat cereal

  1. Melt butter spread in a large saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir until melted.
  3. Remove from heat and add both cereals.
  4. Stir until well coated.
  5. Using a spatula, press mixture into a 9x13 baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  6. Allow to cool completely and cut into 25 squares.
Nutrition: 47 calories, <1g fat, 32mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 2.5g fiber, 3g sugar, <1g protein


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About Lauren


Nutrition student with a passion for giving yummy recipes a healthy make-over. Future RD on a constant search for the best food finds. And new blogger trying to relay my tasty ideas to everyone else.

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