Chow?  Really? I know, my creative brain is on fire!

Anyway, earlier this summer I posted this on Instagram: 

Shortly after the post, and then dozens of times following that, I've been contacted to share this recipe.  Since I am a holistic health coach I found myself in the middle of a moral dilemma.  You see, the base of this recipe is not a whole food. It's not brown rice covered in real nutrient dense goodness; it's a processed, stripped, mashed up, molded form of fake food.  It's white rice squares.

Then, I thought about real life.  Real people and real problems.  If I find joy and comfort in knowing I took an addictive childhood treat and added nutrition to it in a way that I can justify feeding it not only to my family, but also myself, then this needs to be shared!  It's the truth and like all circumstances in life involving the release of secrets, once they are out you are FREE!!

So, the secrets out.  I am not perfect. Actually, I hate perfectionism and am a self proclaimed recovering perfectionist.  Here is my "Chow" recipe.  My kids beg for it and I love it as an occasional treat occasionally justified as a snack on the go or upon occasion on the beach.  Ok, ok, sometimes it's a lunch box staple--ahh, another slip up!  Either way, join me in the journey of striving for better, not perfect, and clean up Betty Crocker's oh so addictive version of this treat.


By Audrey Byker Health Coach

9 cups Corn rice or wheat squares cereal*

1 cup dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life ideal, Ghiradelli 60% cocoa or more)

1/2 cup natural nut or seed butter, unsweetened 

2 Tbls coconut oil**

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar (organic if possible)

1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut***


Measure cereal into a large bowl (do not talk or think about anything else or you will have to start over).  Melt chocolate chips, coconut oil and nut butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave or on the stove in a double broiler (my favorite method).  Add vanilla.  Pour over cereal once smooth and stir well until cereal absorbs mixture, set aside.  Mix coconut with powdered sugar then add to cereal mixture.  Add to large airtight container and cover with lid.  Shake like crazy and have a dance party.  Open and enjoy!  Store in fridge or on the counter for up to 6 days.  If you're looking to keep it clean keep chilled.

*Use rice or corn for gluten free

**For coconut free use ghee or vegan butter(earth balance)

***For coconut free get creative and use ground roasted nuts or seeds. Yum!

Cleaned up Scotcharoos


Way back, when I started feeding my sweet little Savannah solid foods, I can oh-so-clearly remember really questioning the package labels like I never had before.  Sure, if you read my story you know I definitely read food labels, but it wasn't until my innocent baby sat in my arms I, then, started looking at them differently.  The pediatrician prescribed baby rice cereal, but when I read the label on the box recommended to me, I could not help but wonder if it was truly rice I was forcing down her.  Shortly after a few successful attempts, it was no surprise that after many months of no issues on breast milk, she now developed constipation.  The next prescription was to then administer prune juice or a stool softener (or both) after the rice cereal.

Now, call me crazy, but my mommy radar went a little nuts.  We love our pediatrician. We love Drs.(and nurses, hospitals, surgeons...Of course), but this just simply did not compute. My baby was now suffering and I created every bit of it.  Instead of me pounding myself to the ground with mom guilt, anxiety and panic, I trusted my creator and started making my own baby food (and feeding her after she nursed if she was still hungry).  I cooked brown rice.  I mashed it up.  I thinned it with breast milk.  My baby girl thrived.  

Fast forward 7 years and we're still eating brown rice together (and thriving)!  The only difference now is we are making treats instead of mashed up breast milk (can you even imagine?!)  When I asked Savannah if I could dedicate my next recipe post to her she didn't even hesitate and squealed "Scotcharoos!!!!".  This puffed brown rice dessert-looking goodness offers nutrition and health in every bite.  The raw honey and nut/seed butters' benefits are far too expansive to even begin to list.  As the two chocolate-loving ladies in the house, this treat is our staple.  Consider yourself warned: when you add-in more real food, your guts will feel soothed, your tastebuds alive and a little bit will satisfy even the sweetest of sweet tooths.  

Cleaned Up Scotcharoos

by Audrey Byker Health Coach

1 cup raw honey(local, even better!) 

1 cup natural peanut butter(or natural nut or seed butter of choice)

7 cups brown rice puffs

1 cup raw or roasted seeds(we use hemp and sunflower)

1 cup dark chocolate chips(Enjoy Life, Ghirardelli, or Costco, in that order) 

1 tsp coconut oil. 

In small saucepan bring honey to low boil then boil for 1 min.  Remove from heat. Add PB, stir well. Add warm mixture to rice puffs and stir well. Press into a 9x13 pan, press down to flatten with silicone spatula or damp fingers.
Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in double broiler or microwave, in 30 sec. increments. Stir well until smooth.  Drizzle and/or spread over bars. Cover and freeze briefly to set. Store at room temp or fridge, cut into squares.