Quinoa Rice Crisps with Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache

I've never been a big Rice Krispie Treats consumer. They're tasty [I'm not a monster!], but I'm much more of a cookie, brownie, ice cream sort of human.  That is, until I came up with these peanut butter chocolate confections of glory! 

I've had a comical amount of marshmallows and Hershey's bars in my house for AGES. I like having friends over for a relaxing firepit in the backyard, but since this fall is proving to be a hot one, I've been looking for any excuse to part with my s'mores supplies sans fire.  Rice Krispies were the route I decided on, but I wanted to spruce them up a bit.

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After researching rice krispie variations, I stumbled upon the joy that is puffed quinoa.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the texture of puffed [basically toasted] quinoa. It brings a nutty and crispy bite to these treats, and I'm actually curious about using puffed quinoa in other more savory recipes now! 

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These are incredibly easy to pull together, make a perfect snack for adults or children [or both!], is gluten free, is high in protein, and is marginally healthy [I mean there are still marshmallows binding everything together!]. I did a taste comparison between traditional krispies and these crisps, and I genuinely found that after just one of the quinoa rice chia crisps, I felt satiated and full, but with the standard krispies, I could easily pop more and more of them in my mouth.  I don't think it's because they were any tastier, but I do think that protein density from the quinoa and chia comes into play.  The nutty taste also felt more substantial and less airy than your standard krispie.  

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The real champ of this recipe is the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.  I've been a tried and true Reese's Peanut Butter lover since I was small, and my love for that combination has never wavered.

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QUINOA RICE CHIA CRISPS WITH CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER GANACHE

INGREDIENTS

  • 12oz marshmallows
  • 4 TB unsalted butter
  • 5 cups Rice Krispies [or puffed rice cereal]
  • 1 cup Quinoa [I used tri colored, but any will do]
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 4 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, about 6oz.  [if I'd had dark chocolate, I would have likely used that instead[ up to you!]
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter [I had JIF, but any will do!]

DIRECTIONS

In a separate deep pot, add the quinoa and toast on medium high heat until you hear and see the quinoa popping. Usually 2-4 minutes at most. 

Remove and set aside in a bowl.  To the top, add the butter and melt [TIP: lightly brown the butter if you prefer a nuttier flavor], then adding the marshmallows, stirring to melt and combine. Remove from heat.  Add the quinoa, rice krispies and chia seeds and stir to combine. Turn out the mixture into a 9x13 greased pan, using a spatula to flatten evenly.  In a double boiler [a bowl set over a pot with water in it, heat the water and melt the chocolate, adding the peanut butter once the chocolate has melted. Stir to thoroughly combine then spread over the crisp mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into it.  [Use a greased cookie cutter to cut shapes, or simly use a knife to cut squares]. I enjoy them best at room temperature. Keeps for a week refrigerated.