Transitioning into becoming vegan can be difficult for most, and since being vegan requires one to avoid all animal products- it is often confusing and difficult to do so. Most of our favorite foods, especially snacks, are not vegan, and that can be extremely disappointing.
Sadly enough, the same is true for America’s favorite cereal: Rice Krispies! This chewy, gooey, and satisfyingly crunchy bar made of rice cereal and melted marshmallows has been around for hundreds of years. Released back in the early 1900s, this classic American snack is extremely popular among kids and adults alike! So, this article finally debunks any myths regarding Kellogg’s rice Krispies and answers the question of the hour- “Are Rice Krispies Vegan?”
Are Rice Krispies Vegan
To put it simply- No, unfortunately, rice krispies are not vegan. Rice krispies contain Vitamin D, and even though Vitamin D can be vegan, this specific one sadly is not. Vitamin D3 is an ingredient that is obtained from lanolin, an oil-like substance that is usually extracted from sheep’s wool.
Rice Krispies Cereal Ingredients
Now the main question arises ‘What are Rice Krispies made of?’ Besides, Vitamin D3 there are other rice krispies cereal ingredients such as sugar, salt, artificial flavoring such as malt flavoring, Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, iron, Vitamin E or alpha-tocopherol-acetate, niacinamide, Vitamin A palmitate, peroxide hydrochloride or Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin, Vitamin B1 or Hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin B12 or cyanocobalamin and most importantly Vitamin D3!
Though all these might sound like big terms that are difficult to understand- they are all FDA-approved food ingredients that are okay for you and your body! However, Vitamin D3 is the only non-vegan ingredient that makes rice krispies ineligible for consumption by vegans.
Sometimes, some cereals (what cereals are vegan) may include Vitamin D2 instead of Vitamin D3- which is obtained from plants. However, if there is no specification, then it is safe to assume that the ingredient used is Vitamin D3 since it is a cereal staple.
Vegan Alternative to Rice Krispies
Even though it can be difficult to find a good quality vegan rice crispy treat, there are great vegan alternatives that one can switch too. Below are some tasty recommendations, conveniently available and, most importantly, plant-friendly.
Nature’s Path Organic Crispy Rice Cereal is not only vegan but also gluten-free, NON-GMO project verified, certified USDA Organic, kosher, and free from all sorts of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
It is made with simple plant-based ingredients that are nutritious as well as tasty. They are super similar to the original rice krispies in their feel and taste, making for a great, crunchy snack.
365 by Whole Foods Market is another great vegan cereal made from ingredients such as organic whole grain brown rice, organic cane sugar, and sea salt. It also does not contain barley, making it completely gluten-free.
The organic ingredients can, however, affect the taste, and it does sometimes lack a little sugar. However, with a little dash of honey, cinnamon, and maple syrup- it tastes as good as ever.
Barbara’s Bakery Brown Rice Crisps Cereal is a vegan alternative that is only sold in packs of six. It includes ingredients such as organic whole brown rice, organic fruit juice concentrate and sea salt.
The fruit juice is usually pear juice or apple juice depending on the flavour. The cereal has a distinct sweetened taste and stays crisp for a good amount of time. It’s crunchiness makes it impossible to guess that it’s main ingredient is brown rice.
The One° Cereal Rice Crisp Brown is a great choice as well. They are made from organic sprouted brown rice, organic coconut palm sugar, unrefined salt, and vitamin E. However, they do have a disclaimer that states that they are produced in a facility that uses soy, tree nuts, wheat, and dairy.
Thus, they are not recommended for those with extremely sensitive or severe allergies to these ingredients. However, if you don’t have a problem with them- this cereal is a great crunchy alternative that is almost as good as the original.
Vegan Rice Crispy Treats Recipe
If you’re vegan and you love rice krispies, don’t worry. You need not forgot your favorite childhood snack completely. There’s an alternative homemade vegan rice crispy treats recipe you can use to cook this cereal. The end result will still be some chewy and crispy cereal treats that are vegan as well gluten-free!
Ingredients- There are some basic ingredients of vegan rice krispies you will require to make this delicious vegan rice crispy treat recipe-
1. Vegan Marshmallows – Marshmallows are essential to get the gooey and chewy texture of a rice crispy, and there are vegan alternatives in the market that you can use.
These vegan rice krispies are made without the use of gelatin and are usually vegan, gluten-free, and corn-syrup free too. Dandies All-Natural Marshmallows are a great option, and you’ll require about 10 ounces of them.
2. Oil – The best option in terms of oil is virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil, or vegan butter. The virgin coconut oil has a tropical coconut-like flavor that usually goes best. You’ll require about a quarter cup of coconut oil for this recipe.
3. Vegan Crispy Rice Cereal – Since the original Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal that we use to make our traditional cereal treats are not vegan, one can opt for any one of the alternatives that have been mentioned in the list above. The ideal amount is usually four and a half cups of any vegan crispy rice cereal.
Vegan Rice Krispies Treats Recipe
- 10 ounces vegan marshmallows
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
- 4*⅔ cups vegan crispy rice cereal
- There are two methods that can be used to create these vegan rice crispy treats- The stovetop method being one and the other being the microwave method.
- To use this method, all you need is a stovetop and a saucepan. You need to cut the large marshmallows into four small pieces and arrange them well on the pan.
- You can then add into the pan the oil or butter of your choice. Set the stove to low heat and continue to stir the marshmallows until they are more or less melted.
- Go on to smash, mix and stir the marshmallows. Eventually, add in the vegan rice crispy cereals of your choice and mix them into the melted marshmallows.
- Carefully combine the entire mixture until it is uniform and then empty it out into a pan that has been greased with vegan oil or butter. Lastly, let it cool down for 30-35 minutes till it is completely settled, and then cut it into small pieces.
- The alternative method to use this vegan rice krispie treat is to use a microwave.
- Cut the marshmallows into smaller pieces and combine them with the vegan oil or butter of your choice. Make sure the bowl you use is microwave safe.
- Heat the mixture on high heat in 30-second intervals. Between the heating, remove and stir the mix to ensure that it becomes uniform and soft. It should become completely melted in anywhere between 90-150 seconds, depending on the heat of your microwave.
- Once the marshmallows are melted well, add the crispy rice cereal and mix it in. You can also use your hands to combine the cereals with the marshmallows since the mixture will cool down quickly in the absence of a gas stove.
- Set the mixture into a greased pan and give it adequate time to cool. Once well-set, you can cut it into square or rectangle pieces.
Final Verdict | Are Rice Krispies Vegan and Gluten-Free?
So there you have it. The final verdict for Kellogg’s rice krispies is definitely the fact that they are neither gluten-free nor vegan. As mentioned earlier – they contain Vitamin D3, which is obtained from lanolin, an oil-like substance that is usually extracted from sheep’s wool.
Moreover, the malt present in these krispies comes from barley and may contain gluten, so they are not labeled gluten-free either.