Sweet Hearts for Your Sweetheart

Tis the season for love! In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to find a simple, healthy dessert recipe to share with everyone. But I soon discovered that much like a search for true love, finding healthy yet delicious desserts is actually pretty challenging! Normally, when I bake, I use whole wheat flour and substitute yogurt for butter to make my sweet treats less destructive, and fruit is always a good alternative for satisfying a sweet tooth in a healthier way.

I eventually decided to share this recipe for Peanut Butter Cereal treats from Happy Healthy Mama. Unlike typical Rice Krispie treats, this recipe uses honey and peanut butter instead of butter and   marshmallows to keep the cereal stuck together. Plus, you can make these with pretty much any cereal – don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to rice cereals only! Lastly, because the treats are easily moldable, you can also form them into all sorts of shapes. So feel free to make your own hearts and Cupids to pass out to everyone you know -or just eat them yourself (but not all at once! Moderation is beautiful.)

Peanut Butter Cereal Treats
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 30
Costs: $8.00

Ingredients:
2 cups of peanut butter
2 cups of honey
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 cups of cereal

Directions: In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir in the cereal and mix until it is evenly incorporated.  Press the mixture into a baking dish, pan, or any other shapes you’d like! When you finish, refrigerate or store outside to help the shapes solidify before eating them.  Top with strawberries and whipped cream to add some Valentine’s Day color and festivity!

Nutrition Benefits: Despite being a sweet dessert, this recipe is healthier than many other treats you may find on Valentine’s Day. In particular, using honey to sweeten the dish instead of refined sugar makes it a slightly better choice, and adding peanut butter adds a little bit of protein. Feel free to use different cereals to add fiber and other nutrients to the mix as well!

cereal treats

Idea: roll the mixture into cookies


Valentine’s Day Twist: Have a Heart (without a Heart-Shaped Pan)

Press the mixture into one square pan and one circular pan, similarly sized. On a large surface, remove mixture from the square pan and shift it 45 degrees (like a diamond). Cut the mixture in the circular pan in half and add each half to the top of the diamond. Voila! A heart! This also works for cakes and large cookies.

heart shape 1heart-shaped-cake-2heart-shaped-cake-5

-Lisa

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