Are Rice Krispies vegan? Rice Krispies is a classic puffed rice cereal that's delicious on its own or made into Rice Krispies Treats. But you might be surprised to learn that Rice Krispies aren't always vegan. It all depends on the brand. Kellogg's Rice Krispies are NOT VEGAN but not due to any dairy, eggs, or regular animal products.
Sometimes there's nothing better than a bowl of rice krispies in the morning or as a snack. I love them topped with banana slices. But why aren't they vegan? Let's take a closer look at the ingredients from their website.
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal
Ingredient List: Rice, sugar, contains 2% or less of salt, malt flavor. Vitamins and Minerals: Iron (ferric phosphate), niacinamide, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), folic acid, vitamin D3, vitamin B12.
When you look at the list, it appears that there are only vegan ingredients. The main ingredient is rice. There is also sugar and a bunch of vitamins. But it's actually the Vitamin D3 that comes from an animal source. More specifically, the vitamin D3 comes from the lanolin in sheep’s wool. (NOTE: Vitamin D2 comes from plants so it's fine to eat if you see it listed.) Strict vegans definitely stay away from Vitamin D3 while other vegans might allow it since it's not involved in the killing of an animal. But you need to make that decision for yourself.
How do they get Vitamin D3 From Lanolin?
According to Difference Between Vitamin D From Fish Oil & Lanolin on Livestrong.com, "Lanolin is derived from wool-bearing animals like sheep. To get vitamin D from lanolin, supplement manufacturers first purify it and crystallize it, then put it through a chemical process that produces a substance called 7-dehydrocholesterol. The 7-dehydrocholesterol is then liquefied in an organic solvent and exposed to ultraviolet radiation. These chemical changes turn 7-dehydrocholesterol into a substance called vitamin D-3. Next, supplement manufacturers further purify and crystallize this vitamin and add it to their products."
So Kellogg's original Rice Krispies are out. The good news is that there are other brands that offer vegan rice krispies. When looking for vegan alternatives, make sure the cereal doesn't contain Vitamin D3. Sometimes in an ingredients list, you will only see Vitamin D. Is that D3 or other types of Vitamin D? Because there's no way to tell, if you are very concerned about it you can assume that the Vitamin D is not vegan.
Vegan Rice Krispie Brands
- Happy Belly Crisp Rice Cereal (Amazon's Brand)
- Nature's Path Crispy Rice Cereal
- 365 Whole Foods Brown Rice Crisps
- Barbara's Organic Brown Rice Crisps
There may be other vegan compliant brands in grocery stores. Many stores have generic versions with simple ingredients that might work. Always check the nutritional information before purchasing!
Vegan Rice Krispie Treats
So we've found a rice krispies cereal that fits in a vegan diet. We're good to make the classic treat with the melted marshmallows, right? Wrong! Regular marshmallows contain gelatin and are not vegan. The good news is that there are delicious vegan marshmallows. Dandies brand is a great substitute. Trader Joe's also sells vegan marshmallows but they are seasonal and not always available.
Our last ingredient is vegan butter. My favorite brand is Earth Balance and I use it for everything. Earth Balance comes in both buttery sticks and a tub so it's very versatile. The recipe for Vegan Rice Krispies Treats is below. To get step by step instructions on making Vegan Rice Krispie Treats, click HERE.
Ideas and Other Recipes Using Rice Krispies
So you've found some vegan rice krispie cereal but want to make something different. There are some great options out there using the breakfast cereal.
- Peanut Butter Balls With Rice Krispies by Chocolate with Grace - Just make sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips. My favorite brand to use is Trader Joe's.
- Vegan S'Mores Rice Krispies by Eat with Clarity
- Crunch Bars from Delish - You only need 3 ingredients to make these. Again, just make sure to use vegan chocolate chips.
- Make a batch of Vegan Rice Krispie Treats and press it in a pie pan to make a pie crust.
- Vegan Peppermint Rice Crispy Treats by Thyme & Love
- Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats by Shugary Sweets
- Make Oreo Rice Krispie Treats but putting some Oreo cookie pieces inside the rice krispie treats. Oreos do not contain any animal ingredients!
While Kellogg's Rice Krispies appear vegan when looking at the ingredients list, they are not. Vitamin D3 comes from lanolin in sheep's wool and for many vegans, this is not an acceptable ingredient. The good news is that there are several other brands of the puffed rice cereal that do not contain any animal ingredients. So whether you want a bowl of the crispy cereal or want to use them to make rice krispie treats or other desserts, there are vegan options out there that taste exactly the same as the Kellogg's brand.
Wondering if other breakfast foods are vegan? Check out:
Easy Vegan Rice Krispie Treats
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 1 10 oz. bag of vegan marshmallows
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups crispy rice cereal
- Prepare your 9x13 pan either by lining with parchment paper or lightly buttering. For thicker treats, use a 9x9 pan.
- For easier melting, prep your marshmallows by cutting them in halves or in quarters.
- Put the vegan butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Once the vegan butter is melted, add the marshmallows to the pot. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the marshmallows melt and are gooey.
- Remove the pot from heat and add the vanilla extract. Stir well.
- Add the 5 cups of crispy rice cereal and stir until well combined.
- Scoop the cereal mixture into the prepared pan. Use a piece of parchment paper on your hand and press to flatten out the mixture.
- Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- I use Dandies brand of vegan marshmallows.
- My favorite brand of vegan butter is Earth Balance.