I received a box of Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Mixed Berries from Attune Foods with the idea that I would try to use it in a recipe, it is funny to think of a box of cereal as a “review copy” but that is what it was. Well, we kind of ate it over several breakfasts but I bought a pack of six boxes online as well as a pack of six boxes of Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal (amazon affiliate link) and finally got around to making a fun treat with the cereal. The Mixed Berries variety (amazon affiliate link) does contain honey so it is just vegetarian but the plain Brown Rice variety is quite good and does not contain honey – then you can add your own freeze dried fruits to your taste. Honey is one of those things we do eat in foods that are otherwise safe for the kids’ allergies.
Both cereals are made in a peanut, tree-nut, dairy free facility and they are certified gluten free. Of course, as always, check all the information against your own allergy concerns to determine if this is something that is right for your family. E is allergic to oats in addition to most of the top 8 allergens (all except the two fish ones, oddly enough since as we don’t eat meat) so many gluten or wheat free cereals are out of the question for us.
Our main use for the cereal has been to combine it with sunflower seed butter, brown rice syrup, and melted chocolate to make vegan and allergy friendly crispy rice treats but a quick survey of the internet reveals this is not new so I thought I’d write instead about my latest adventures in taking our favorite safe, vegan, and tasty chocolate by Enjoy Life Foods and making it into fun shapes for the kids.
I don’t have a microwave, so to melt the chocolate I heat about an inch of water until it is boiling and rest a metal bowl on top of the pan with the chocolate inside (a makeshift double boiler), stirring frequently until the chocolate melts. I also melt in a teaspoon or so (depending on the amount of chocolate I’m making – for a whole bag of chocolate chips you’ll want a little more) of coconut oil (I know some nut allergic folks avoid coconut but we’ve had luck introducing it). This mixture alone creates “chocolate shell” – do you remember that stuff? I used to pour it over ice cream and it would harden quickly. This tastes just like the real thing, but I digress.
So, just spoon the melted mixture into silicone ice cube molds. Mine are from IKEA (shout out to my sister in law for picking up IKEA stuff for me in Arizona!) and Legoland, respectively (here’s an amazon affiliate link to the same lego tray, though). I’ve also done a version where I pour a thin layer of chocolate mixture into the bottom of the mold, freeze for a few minutes until hardened, then place a rolled ball of sunflower seed butter mixed with powdered sugar, then cover that in melted chocolate and freeze.
It was only a matter of time before my chocolate crafts met the Erewhon Rice Cereal! I did one version (the hearts) with cereal in the middle of the chocolate and another (the lego bricks) with cereal on the bottom. I think the heart version turned out better. My hope had been that the crispy rice would have a barrier for fingers holding the chocolate because though this is tasty, it melts in your hands very quickly. It worked, except that getting the chocolate out of the mold was messy (think crispy rice breaking off everywhere). Both were tasty, I think I prefer the lego mold because the chocolate is thinner than with the hearts. I think next time I’d use a chocolate lollipop mold. I’m counting calories these days (if you are also on My Fitness Pal, let me know!) but I think you could make a small batch of these and still enjoy the odd morsel of chocolate now and again even if you’re being careful about your caloric intake. Best to make room in a healthy diet for treats. The cereal actually makes for a nice breakfast with rice milk and it is just sweet enough to not need any extra sugar.
So there you have it! I did receive the review box for free but my opinions are my own and I am glad to see a cereal company taking food allergies into consideration. Attune Foods is very responsive on Twitter, Annelies (who operates the account) is very sweet and helpful, I’m glad to have “met” her. Joel at Enjoy Life has been equally responsive online, actually. Always nice when companies that make food you enjoy have nice people working for them.
I’d love to check out any fun, allergy friendly treats you’ve been making, feel free to share links in the comments!