My posting of recipes has been 'interrupted' for some time with kitchen renovations (it's really almost done and I'm so excited to be getting back in the kitchen!). Here's an interruption from my cooking that I would welcome any time I have a craving for a sweet treat...
I manage to do a pretty good job of avoiding single-serving packaged foods. I don’t buy Lunchables, mini packets of cookies or pretzels, little cups of yogurt, or those pouches of apple sauce that kids slurp up directly from their little spouts. Spending time in an elementary school lunchroom and seeing how much garbage kids’ lunches produce is a sobering experience. (Note: I said I do a pretty good job, but I'm nowhere near perfect. The whole category of granola/energy/protein bars, for example, poses a particular area of weakness for me. I call on those bars to wipe out whining instantly (both mine and my kids’) with their nutrient-fortified convenience. When I’m being more conscientious, I’ll pack some combination of dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips and/or popcorn instead.)
I could allow myself only one pre-packed indulgence it would be the mint rice dream bar. In this case, I’m thankful for its individually packaged form. These little non-dairy ice cream sandwiches are so good that, if they came in a box of, say, six, I’m not sure when I would stop. And, as far as packaged foods go, the plastic encasing this lovely treat is about as lightweight and thin as it could get and still do its job. (I know, I’m rationalizing.)
Thin Mints got nothing on Mint Dreams
It’s Girl Scout cookie season, and I love a Thin Mint as much as the next neighbor, but the Rice Dreams raise the bar on mint and chocolate. Every part of this treat tastes as it should, which can’t be said of many packaged foods. The chocolate coating is bittersweet and crisp. The oatmeal cookies that bookend the sandwich are a soft, sweet contrast that actually tastes of oat. And the generous inner layer of ‘rice cream’ is refreshing and bright with mint, not weighed down by the richness of a dairy ice cream. Together, these components create perfect balance.
Don't be tempted by the other flavors
Sadly, when the Food Coop or the neighborhood natural foods store has been out of the mint version, I have resorted to other flavors like mocha or one time, mistakenly, carob vanilla – that was a really disappointing day. In my opinion, you’ll be happiest sticking with the mint or finding another, hopefully unpackaged, treat.