When desires for a childhood treat and allergies collide. This is the rundown of how we make our allergen friendly rice treats.
- Why Allergen Friendly Rice Treats?
- Where Do You Start With Top 8 Allergen Free Rice Treats?
- First Up, the Rice Cereal!
- Step Two, the Butter.
- Third Up - the Marshmallows.
- Why is Gelatin an Issue?
- A Tiny Win, or Was It?
- We Solved the Marshmallow Issue!
- The Easiest Recipe To Follow Is the Tried and True
- Storing Allergen Friendly Rice Treats
- Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- Do You Love Rice Treats Too?
Sometimes allergy cooking isn’t about completely re-hauling your favourite recipes to meet your needs or to find a site that has an allergen safe copycat recipe. It can, instead, be figuring out the correct substitutions for your favourite family recipes. One thing we cannot get enough of are rice treat squares.
Why Allergen Friendly Rice Treats?
The ooey gooey ones where you pull them apart and the marshmallow stretches to strings between the pieces. The memorable ones everyone had at potlucks and holidays. The irreplaceable ones that companies have tried to mass produce but their versions are tough and cardboard-like. For us it was all about replicating the textures and tastes we remembered from childhood and being able to share this staple treat.
Where Do You Start With Top 8 Allergen Free Rice Treats?
I sat down and thought about what I needed to change as rice treats really only have 3 ingredients, rice cereal, marshmallow, and butter. I use the traditional recipe is the one by the Rice Krispies company.The steps were really easy, I looked at what products were available that we could eat in those categories.
First Up, the Rice Cereal!
The allergens for us with most of the major producers fell into the gluten and wheat areas. “May contain warnings” providing a massive issue for me as a parent, too. I had to look for a good substitute which tasted good and not dry or flavourless.
We really like the Made Good line of products as they have a huge variety and flavours offered. The standard rice cereal comes in Vanilla or Chocolate flavour. To make it most like the ones we were used to we used a whole box of the Vanilla Rice Cereal by Made Good.
Step Two, the Butter.
There are many dairy-free and vegan butter-like options on the market but they aren’t all created the same. Our allergies rule a lot of them out as most contain soy. We are left with 2-3 kinds of vegan butter. Out of those there are spreads and sticks. The latter tends to work better in baking because of the consistency and water content. Water in the product will change the way your bakes and recipes turn out.
That left us with one clear choice for our allergies, Melt Organic Buttery Sticks. I should note that Melt is made with coconut so if you do want to try the products we use always read the ingredients and labels to see if they are suitable for you and your eating needs. They are really my go to for all my baking.
They react the most like regular butter in pastries, cakes, and cookies. I don’t use shortening a lot because soy-free vegetable shortening is difficult to find in our area.
Third Up - the Marshmallows.
That is where things get really tricky. Commercially made marshmallows either have “may contain warnings”, don't have any warnings listed, or have ingredients we cannot use or need to verify. Instantly, I could rule out ingredients we couldn't have and those with warning labels.
That left us with two categories: those that don’t have a warning and those that have ingredients I needed to verify were safe for us. Beautifully, those two lines of issue intersected on a few products which meant I could contact fewer companies. That is right I had to verify with them that the products were safe through various emails. The ingredient that concerned me the most in the marshmallows was the gelatin.
Why is Gelatin an Issue?
Kosher gelatin and some mixed gelatins are derived from shellfish sources. That is a massive issue for us. I did find one company that was able to verify that their product was okay for us to use at the time I contacted them.
A Tiny Win, or Was It?
All the verification meant was the current batches in my area were okay for us. It didn't mean that they wouldn't change their formula in the future, which really bothered me, so I did what I thought was best and decided to make my own marshmallows for the kids. The pictures on this page show the one bag we got from the safe batch but I worry too much to buy them. I felt I would be constantly verifying the gelatin and the companies really aren’t forthcoming with the info unless you contact them repeatedly.
We Solved the Marshmallow Issue!
We would make our own. The plus side of this is the recipe I found works beautifully with agar or gelatin. If you are vegan the corn free marshmallow recipe will still work for you. The recipe is not ours but super easy and quick to make and from a fantastic baking blog called Bigger Bolder Baking.
I love this one because it doesn’t need corn syrup and can be made with raw sugar or vegan sugar. The note I would make is instead of letting the marshmallows set - mix them into the melted butter right after beating the mix.
The recipe does require a candy thermometer but they are easy to find and not too expensive. I highly recommend getting one if you are top 8 free as it can be used to make so many items that are hard to find pre-made that fit in this eating lifestyle. It also does add a few more steps to one of the easiest treats to make. Kids would definitely need an adult to make the marshmallows as it deals with melting sugar.
The Easiest Recipe To Follow Is the Tried and True
The one we all grew up with is the Rice Krispies one found here. One box of Made Good Vanilla Rice Cereal, ⅔ of one stick of Melt Organics Buttery Sticks, and the whole whack of whipped marshmallow from Bigger Bolder Baking recipe found here is how we now make our rice treat squares.
Storing Allergen Friendly Rice Treats
These squares don't freeze well as they go super hard. Microwaving and thawing will not help solve the issue. Use a tightly sealing container and store them in it for up to 3 days.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Do You Love Rice Treats Too?
Please leave a comment with your favourite versions and adaptations.