Coconut-Cacao Crispy Rice Bars

A fresh and healthy take on a personal childhood favorite.

Jump to Recipe
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Dosha: Kapha, Pitta, Vata

I love these crispy rice bars because they come together quickly with ingredients you’re sure to have on hand already. They’re perfect as a not-too-sweet nibble before an early morning hike, as a mid-afternoon snack, or a treat to take on a big adventure in the mountains.

I hope this recipe comes in handy for all of your winter adventures! Tucked into a backpack or a jersey pocket, these are just like a rice crispy treat; a nice, crunchy divergence from cardboard-cookie like packaged energy bars!

Enjoy and happy adventuring!

Recipe Notes

  • On nut butter: Switch out the nut butter with whatever you have on hand; almond butter and tahini are favorites of mine. Nut butter is a good replacement for coconut butter, but I must say it is worth ordering coconut butter to make this recipe (and so many others too!)
  • On seeds: I love adding hemp seeds as the recipe suggests, but sesame seeds, cacao nibs or shredded coconut would also be delicious.
  • The key is rice puffs: Crispy rice puffs are a MUST here. If you attempt to use other puffed cereals, like quinoa or kamut, your bars will end up chewy in a sorta-stale kind of way. Hunt down crispy puffed rice or else you won’t have crispy rice bars!
  • Cacao OR cocoa: The recipe calls for cacao powder. This is not the same thing as cocoa powder, which you may have on hand already. Both cacao and cocoa come from cacao beans. Cacao powder is literally the product of raw ground cacao beans, and isn’t heated or roasted. Cacao powder still contains all of the powerful antioxidants, minerals and nutrients and enzymes that help our bodies complete vital functions. This is basically the “healthy chocolate.” Whereas cocoa powder has been toasted at high temperatures, eliminating those enzymes. It also often contains fillers or sweeteners. I highly recommend using cacao powder instead of cocoa powder.
  • Equipment: This recipe mentions a 7×11″ baking pan, but another pan will work okay as well, just plan to chill a bit longer because your bars will be significantly thicker than those listed.
  • Storage: Store the bars in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to one week, or in the freezer for even longer!

Flavor Notes

Flavors are FUN, yes, but they also are the mechanisms by which our bodies nourish themselves. Flavors basically tell our bodies what the food is giving us – on a nutritional and energetic level. Our bodies then prepare enzymes to break those components down, assimilate them, and turn them into fuel for our vibrant lives. We can’t eat just one flavor and get all of the things we need, so learning to track the flavors in our foods helps us to be sure that we’re really getting all of the things we need in our meals. This particular recipe has three of six flavors. The more flavors we can enjoy in any meal or food, the happier and more balanced our bodies will be. If you’re wanting to learn more about how the flavors we eat fuel our bodies – energetically and nutritively, check out this little blog post.

  • SWEET: coconut, nut butter, maple, puffed rice, hemp seeds
  • SALTY: sea salt
  • SOUR: N/A
  • BITTER: cacao powder

Coconut-Cacao Crispy Rice Bars

A fresh and healthy take on a personal childhood favorite.

makes about 16 bars


Active Time: 40 minutes


Serves: bars


  • 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil (plus a little more for greasing)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) coconut manna OR coconut butter
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) nut butter
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt (heaping)
  • 1/3 cup (40g) raw cacao (SEE RECIPE NOTES)
  • 4 cups (200g) puffed brown rice crisps
  • 1 cup (150g) hulled hemp seeds
  • A few pinches flaky sea salt (like Maldon)
  • 3-4 Tbsp freeze-dried raspberries
  • 2-3 Tbsp coconut flakes OR chips


  • 1

    Rub a little coconut oil in an 7×11″ baking pan.

    Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the coconut butter, nut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and fine salt, and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in the cacao powder until thoroughly incorporated.

    Add the puffed brown rice + hemp seeds and stir quickly to combine, then pour the mixture into your baking pan and press firmly (using the back of a large spoon or spatula rubbed with a little coconut oil really helps). Once smooth and even, generously sprinkle the top with the freeze-dried raspberries, coconut flakes and flaky salt. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up, then slice into bars or squares and enjoy.

Get more from this recipe!