Spring is here and with Easter coming up this Sunday, I felt there was no better way to celebrate than with some carrot-shaped treats. For some reason, rice crispy treats just feel like springtime to me. They are right in between wintertime baked goods and summertime frozen goods. I wanted to experiment with using chickpea liquid as a replacement for marshmallows in the treats, but couldn’t find the time. I ended using homemade cashew butter as a binder. And not sure if it were necessary, but I added agar powder as well. I was concerned the cashew butter wouldn’t be firm enough.
Matcha and paprika/turmeric as natural food coloring
Naturally coloring the treats didn’t exactly go as planned. When I originally thought about making carrot-shaped rice crispy treats for Easter, I had wanted to use carrot puree and spinach puree. However, when I tried a batch with carrot puree, the outcome left little to be desired. Because of the high moisture content, it made the rice crispy treats soggy. I was left with no choice but to use natural food coloring in powder form. I’ve seen people recommend paprika for orange food coloring, but considering how red it is, I decided to add some turmeric to give the “carrots” a bit more yellow. Next time around, I would like to try coloring the treats with carrot powder.
Rice crispy treats getting cut into carrot shapes
These brown rice crispy treats are best eaten within 2 days of them being made. They start losing their crispiness by the third day. These can be eaten as a snack between meals or a treat for breakfast. You will feel less guilty eating these, especially since you have control of how much sugar to add. A half cup of maple syrup was the perfect amount of sweetness for my family, but if that is too much for you, you may reduce it to a quarter cup.
This is a recipe for vegan rice crispy treats without marshmallows and without corn syrup. Crispy brown rice cereal is used for a healthier alternative. Paprika, turmeric, and matcha powder are used as food coloring to dye the treats orange and green. These carrot-shaped treats are perfect for springtime and for the Easter bunny!
- ½ cup cashew butter
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ tsp agar powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 4 cups crispy brown rice cereal
- 1 tsp annatto powder
- Pinch of turmeric powder
- ½ tsp matcha powder
- Combine cashew butter, maple syrup, and agar powder in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir the mixture until agar melts and all the ingredients are blended.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add vanilla and almond extract.
- Split the cashew mixture into two bowls. One with ¾ cup of the mixture and the other with ¼ cup of the mixture.
- Add the orange food coloring to the ¾ cup mixture and mix well. Add the green food coloring to the ¼ cup mixture and mix well.
- Add the cereal to the cashew mixture. If making carrot shaped treats, add 3 cups of cereal to the orange mix and 1 cup of cereal to the green mix.
- Firmly press the rice crispy treats into a lightly greased 8 x 8 in (20 cm) square baking pan. If making carrot shaped treats, press the treats into a lightly greased 13 x 9 in (32 x 22 cm) rectangular baking pan. Place the colors on opposites with a small gap between them. The green color should measure about 9 x 2 in (22 x 5 cm), where the 2 in (5 cm) will be the same width as the carrot top.
- Refrigerate the rice crispy treats for at least an hour.
- Cut rice crispy treats as desired. For carrots, cut the green treats width-wise into 6 equal rectangles. Cut the orange treats into 6 triangles.
- Store the rice crispy treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator and take out right before serving.