Quinoa Crispy Treats

A few weeks ago on a Whole Foods shopping extravaganza, something caught my eye in the bulk section. Strangely, it wasn’t a baby (that left me realizing just how big my boys are getting) or even a really cute guy (whom I’m almost old enough to be his mother, making me realize how old I’m getting). It was quinoa pops!

A new form of quinoa???!!! What?  Why didn’t someone tell me.  Oh wait.  I’m the one who is supposed to be on top of this quinoa thing.  Anyhow, not wanting to be late to the party, I immediately bought a bag full having absolutely no idea what I was going to do with them.

My first thought was to make some sort of quinoa bars, but then my boys changed my direction.  Most of you know that I home school them, and I must confess that I’m a bit of a slacker home school mom.  Those organized, plan your curriculum weeks in advance type moms?  Yeah, um, not me.  Amazing craft projects?  Um, no.  Endless patience.  Well, let’s just not go there.

Anyhow, earlier in the week my 7 year old was sitting at the kitchen bar asking me 12,694 questions about everything I was doing in the kitchen.  He’d finished his math sheets ahead of his brother, and to be honest I had no clue what I was doing with them next, but I knew I needed to finish up in the kitchen so I could figure it out.

So, in a brilliant act of parenting I gave him my Deceptively Delicious cookbook and told him to pick out two recipes we could try together and read through them.  I immediately saw the error of my ways when he started reading the recipes and rejecting anything with vegetables in it. (Which is the entire book.)  Instead, he went straight for the desserts and wanted to try the Rice Crispy Treats.

Bells and whistles went off in my head.  The quinoa pops!  The vegan marshmallows the boys conned me into that had been sitting the in pantry for weeks because I couldn’t bear the impact of them having that much sugar straight.

This was a huge hit at our house!  HUGE.  The hubby said “Better than the original!” and my 7 year old put 8 bags of marshmallows on my grocery list because “we don’t ever want to run out of these”.  And I smiled, knowing that while this certainly isn’t health food it is far better than what I grew up eating.

Quinoa Crispy Treats

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 16

Serving Size: 1 treat

Calories per serving: 140

Fat per serving: 3.3

Quinoa Crispy Treats



  1. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine brown rice cereal, quinoa pops and flax seed meal.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and cook until melted, stirring frequently. (Note - if you use vegan marshmallows this will take a while but have patience, they do melt.)
  4. Add melted marshmallows to cereal mixture and stir well. You may need to use clean hands to get everything well combined. (I did.)
  5. Press mixture into prepared pan. Hide from your kids until they have the chance to set. Enjoy the praise and feel a little bit sneaky that your little ones are eating crispy treats that aren't total junk.


Carbohydrates 25.7, Fiber 1.3, Protein - 2.2.

If you can't find the quinoa pops make the following substitutions: Increase the brown rice cereal to 5 cups. In a medium skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1 cup rinsed quinoa and cook until lightly golden brown, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool and proceed as directed.


  • Marie

    Hi Wendy….I have alwasy loved Rice Crispie treats and can't wait to try this. Question – do you know what the glycemic index is for the vegan marshmellows and would that level differ from regular marshmellows? I have been really trying to reduce my daily sugar intake. Would love to hear your comments about the advantages of using the vegan marsh's rather than regular. I am not a vegan so it's not an issue for me to use regular.

    BTW – I was on the list to get your book thru Amazon and they just notified me that I don't have to wait until April. I'm so excited and can't wait to get your book. This will definitely be a gift for tons of my friends!!!!!!


  • gailllc

    Wow, what a fantastic idea! I never thought about changing up THIS kind of treat, and with popped quinoa (protein!) to boot! I wonder if you can pop it at home? I know I've inadvertently popped other seeds/grains while toasting them. Hmmm. What fun!

  • Joyfulmomof6

    Do the marshmallows have any artificial coloring in them? It's amazing that regular marshmallows have Blue Dye in them, and I've been looking for an alternative for years since we can't eat colorings and dyes.

    Do you know where else (besides online) that they sell the marshmallows? I don't think I want 12 bags right now (Amazon is 12 10 oz bags)

    Have you ever tried the marshmallows with S'mores? Do they melt?

    This is a great idea! Your ideas are always so fresh, inspiring and brilliant.
    As a homeschooler myself, I can tell you not to sell yourself short on how much your children are learning from your creativity in the kitchen! Hands on learning always trumps book learning in my opinion :)

  • Elaine

    I wonder if these would work with puffed millet, which are easy to find for me (arrowhead mills)?
    Also I think these might work with honey in place of the marshmallows, although I've never tried it. I've used honey in a trail mix recipe that has a sticky consistency like these bars

    • Wendy Polisi

      I think puffed millet would be just fine!

  • gailllc

    Wendy, I was recently at my closest Whole Foods and didn't see Quinoa pops. Have you seen it since? – must – have – popped – quinoa – !

    • Wendy Polisi

      They still have them at mine so I'm sure they could order them for you. Or there is a link in the recipe to where you can get them from Amaon.com.

  • Aimee

    You can buy quinoa puffs online at nuts.com. They also have many other quinoa products.

  • Beethoven

    I was at Whole Foods today and was not able to find quinoa pops. Asked a staff member and he have never heard of that. What aisle did you find the quinoa pops? Can you link a photo of the acutal packaging so the next time I'm back at Whole Foods, I can ask someone?