Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipe: Peanut Butter Rice Balls, a.k.a. How to Use All the Leftover Chinese F

August 27, 2010 | Written By:

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

Hot summer day, leftover Chinese-food rice… what to do, what to do. Henry and I decided to experiment a bit by creating a no-bake cookie recipe. It turned out to be fun — and a huge hit with both Henry and my wife.

First things first: As I've said before, please — Mr. and Mrs. Chinese-Food-Restaurant-Owners, give us the option of brown rice on your menu. Please!

Back to the story. This is the type of simple recipe that can be easily modified with what you have at hand. And it’s a get-your-hands-dirty, mess-up-the-counter-and-floor kind of activity. Perfect for a precocious four-year-old.

Ingredients (approximate):

2 small containers of leftover rice
3 tablespoons of favorite peanut butter
3 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of brown sugar (Henry insisted)
1 pinch of sea salt
2 big pinches of cinnamon


Chocolate chips

Mix all the ingredients together in a glass bowl. Henry helped me by adding the items. Place the bowl into a microwave for 2 minutes to soften the mixture. Then mix thoroughly with a spoon. Here’s where Henry’s help really shined: taste the mixture to see if it needs anything — more sugar, more raisins, more nuts… Henry insisted on adding some brown sugar.

This is the fun part: Take the mixture into your hands and roll into balls. Kids love helping with this, although in my experience more mixture ended up in my son’s mouth rather than in the cookies — all part of the process.


Refrigerate the balls for about an hour. In the end, you’ll have slightly sweet, chewy, tasty cookies great for a dessert or snack. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you. It was a huge hit in my household. I love the chewy rice with the crunch of peanuts in it, but add or mix it up as you see fit. It’s easy, tasty, and it didn’t heat up my summer kitchen.


More ways to use leftover rice:

Part 1: Fruit Rice

Part 2: Veggie Fried Rice

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