For as commercialized as it is, I have always been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Those pink and red hearts that pop up around this time of year are like sprinkles for the soul. A day dedicated to celebrating the people we love can’t be a bad thing, and it’s probably something that needs to happen more often.
The idea for these raspberry coconut cereal treats came to me in the middle of Target. (Don’t all the best ideas?) With a bag of shredded coconut in hand for a completely different recipe, I rushed home to experiment with what I hoped to be a take on berries and cream cereal bars—hold the cream.
With an 8-ounce bag of unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut oil, gluten-free O’s cereal of choice, maple syrup, and freeze dried raspberries or strawberries, you’ve got yourself a healthier cereal treat.
Using shredded coconut to make your own coconut butter is easy and way less expensive than store bought. Once you make your own coconut butter, you’ll never go back.
A couple tips that will make these easy treats that much easier:
- Only use unsweetened shredded coconut, not flaked. A new bag will yield the best results. Shredded coconut that has been opened previously may be too dry to properly create coconut butter.
- Make sure you line all four sides of your pan. When set, the coconut butter-maple syrup mixture will stick to the pan.
- When you transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, pack it down firmly.
Make a Salted Plains recipe? I’d love to see! Tag your creations on Instagram with #saltedplains!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2⅔ cups (8oz) unsweetened shredded coconut (NOT flaked - I like Let's Do Organic Brand)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup maple syrup, room temperature
- 4 cups gluten-free O's cereal (such as Nature's Path, Love Grown, Honest O's, Cheerios)
- 1½ cups freeze dried raspberries or strawberries
- Grease an 8x8 baking pan. Line with parchment so that all sides are covered.
- In a food processor, add the shredded coconut and process until smooth, stopping occasionally to wipe down sides of bowl with a spatula (about 3-5 minutes). This may take longer than 5 minutes, just stop periodically and stir with spatula. Once the coconut becomes a smooth butter consistency (it doesn't have to be extremely smooth), add melted coconut oil and vanilla extract and process once again until coconut oil and vanilla are combined.
- In a large microwavable bowl, combine maple syrup and ¾ cup of the coconut butter (the rest will be used later). Microwave mixture on high for 1 minute. Whisk. Microwave for 1 to 1½ minutes again. Mixture should have liquefied a bit. Whisk well.
- Add cereal and 1 cup of the freeze dried berries to the mixture. Stir with a spatula until the cereal is evenly coated.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan. With an extra piece of parchment paper, press the mixture into an even layer. Pack down the mixture. Sprinkle remaining half cup freeze dried berries over the top, crushing some if desired. Drizzle remaining coconut butter over the top. Refrigerate for an hour or freeze for half an hour until set.
- Using parchment, remove from baking pan and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice into bars.
- Store treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I often get my freeze dried berries from Trader Joe's.