My kids love Cocopops and I remember enjoying them for breakfast too. When I stopped buying cereal, this was definitely the one they missed the most. So, after a bit of sulking at the breakfast table, I decided to try to make a healthier version of their favourite cereal. I have used maple syrup here, and while it is still essentially sugar, its nutritional value is superior to other common sweeteners. Maple syrup contains lots of beneficial minerals such as zinc, which keeps the immune system nice and healthy. It is also an excellent source of Manganese which plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defenses, necessary for normal brain and nerve function. Some studies have even suggested that pure maple syrup does not cause the same spike in blood insulin levels as some other sugars. I have also used cacao powder instead of cocoa powder. Although it is slightly pricier, raw cacao is chocolate in its purest, unprocessed form, which simply means greater nutrition.
It was a bit trial and error, but I finally nailed it. And yes, it even turns the milk chocolatey.
150g puffed rice ( I use gluten-free whole grain brown rice)
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
3 tbsp coconut oil ( I use odorless oil)
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170C /gas 5
Cover a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Put the coconut oil and maple syrup in a pan on a low heat until melted. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Mix the puffed rice with the oil mixture in a large bowl, until it is all coated. Tip the rice onto the baking tray and spread it out as much as possible. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your tray. Cook for 6-8 minutes, keeping a close eye on it so that it does not burn. Leave to cool and then store in an airtight container.
Makes enough to fill a
medium-sized jar and keeps happily for a week.