No-bake granola bars: healthy and low sugar

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Inspiration called on me to make a batch of granola bars, or rather, inspiration + a hungry child on an early-morning dog walk. Racking my brain for ingredients, we encountered a yummy bar at our local coffee shop and attempted to replicate it, with no added sugar. Also, this is the first time I’ve ever used cocoa butter in a recipe and it won’t be the last! The result: deliciousness.

Makes about 12 – 1″ pieces

1. In a food processor, process:

1/2c of peanuts (mine happened to be roasted and unsalted)

1/2c of dried cherries

1/4-1/2c of oats

1/4c of:

chia seeds

sesame seeds

2. In a slow drizzle while the processor is on, add:

1/4c of coconut oil

1/4c of cocoa butter (I got wafers from Mountain Rose Herbs)

1/4c of buckwheat flour

3. Pour mix into a medium sized bowl and stir in 1/4-1/2c chocolate chips (67% dark chocolate)

4. Transfer mixture to parchment paper lined dish and refrigerate

5. Remove after hardened and cut into 12 pieces

6. Consume.

 

Reflections: Next time I will probably double the recipe. The sweetness of the bar is unimposing and just enough to satisfy – thanks to the cherries and chocolate chips. No syrup or honey needed!

-Kristin

Chocolate almond cookies

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Are you as much of a chocolate lover as I am? I’m talking about the real chocolate, the dark stuff. Don’t get me wrong, milk chocolate has its place too – just not in my mouth. Why? Too much sugar intake for me = canker sores (not to be confused with cold sores – very different). In the last year, I’ve learned that my daughter also gets canker sores from too much sugar. How do I define too much sugar? This is surely individual but, to give you an idea, most recently my little one had one (or two) frosted homemade green tea cookie(s) and a McConnell’s ice cream cone within the same week resulting in a canker sore. If you’ve ever had a canker sore then you know the misery I speak of.

Needless to say, this canker sore trigger has led me to modify many a’ recipe, particularly in desserts. In my trial and error process, I’ve found that 1/4c of sweetener (typically maple syrup for us) is really all that’s needed in a dessert, particularly when you’re also using fruit somewhere in the recipe. I’m still shocked every time I stumble across a recipe that calls for just as much sugar as flour, and there are many out there.

Now, on to the scrumptious cookies because I can feel your anticipation. A couple of years ago, I began making my own almond milk. All of you nut-milkers out there know that something’s gotta be done with the leftover pulp. Hence, chocolate almond cookies.

Turn on the oven to 350

1/2c salted butter

1/4c maple syrup (or any sweetener, really)

1 egg

1/2tsp vanilla

2/3c rice flour

3/4c almond pulp (from about one cup of soaked almonds)

2tbs ground chia seeds

3tbs cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2c dark chocolate chips

Cream the butter and the sweetener. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Next, throw in the rice flour and almond pulp for a thickening batter. Mix in ground chia seeds, cocoa powder and baking powder, Finally, toss in your chocolate chips.

Using a tablespoon, scoop and arrange cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Use the back of your spoon to flatten the cookie just a bit. Bake for about 15mins until the edges of the cookie begin to harden and the inside is still soft. Fully cool on the counter top. And, try not to eat them all in one seating. I find that freezing them as soon as they cool helps deter me.

Bon appetit!

-Kristin