C – I can’t tell you how much I have been craving sweets.
I was on a low sugar diet for a few months, but I got addicted to desserts again when bake week happened. I had so much sugar. Too much sugar. Of course, I had to “test” everything that I posted. AND of course, I had to finish everything that I “tested.” Jim was no help, either.
I was trying to eat cleaner for my New Year’s resolution. But, I am dying here! I am really craving something sweet and good. I threw out a lot of the junk food in the house. I’ve been eating only fruits and vegetables. But, I am still craving the good stuff. Chocolate, cookies, cakes and ice cream. Anything covered in chocolate. Yes, I know I already mentioned chocolate. But, it’s so good!!!
What should I do?
Today, I was walking through the grocery store and some how I ended up looking at a box of granola bars. I almost put it in my shopping cart. GRANOLA! Of all things. Granola isn’t for me. I used to eat so many granola bars that I got sick and tired of them. I even used to be able tell people which bars were the best in taste, protein and health. So, why was I looking at granola bars again? I guess my mind was wanting something sweet but healthy. Most granola I buy in the store isn’t the healthiest thing in the world for me. I can’t seem to digest many oats. I usually end up gaining a few pounds from them, also. I finally came to the realization that this box full of oats, refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup wasn’t for me.
I came to a bigger realization that I could make my own healthier version of “granola” at home with a few ingredients. Making it fresh was much better than something made weeks or months ago. It would taste better too.
|Cranberry Chocolate Date Bars|
- 1½ cups slivered almonds (unbalanced)
- 1 cup pecans, lightly toasted
- ⅓ cup ground flaxseed meal
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup dried unsweetened cranberries
- 10 large medjool dates, pits removed
- ⅓ cup dried goji berries
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 4-5 Tbsp water
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
- Place almonds, pecans, flax meal, cinnamon, cranberries, dates, blueberries and vanilla in a food processor and process until well ground.
- Pulse-in honey and 3 tablespoons of water. You want the mixture to form into a ball. If it’s not after the 3 tablespoons of water, add additional water and process until the mixture begins to form a ball.
- Remove from food processor and stir in chocolate chips.
- Press into a 8×8 inch baking dish.
- Place baking dish in refrigerator for an hour.
- Slice into bars and serve.
- Bars are best kept in the refrigerator. Bars can also be wrapped individually and stored in an airtight container in the freezer.
I didn’t want to add oats. I get a stomach ache from them. Nor, did I want to add any refined sugar. I am still trying to eat clean. So a few dates, a bit of honey, some nuts, a few dark chocolate chips, some flaxseed meal, dried fruit and I was ready to have a great snack. The mix was really good. I am glad I didn’t buy that stuff from the store. My bars had the perfect texture. It wasn’t too crunchy. The only problem I found was the bar kind of fell apart. But, it did crumble nicely. I guess I needed to pulse it a little bit more. Oh well, I put it on top of bananas and it made the perfect dessert. Most importantly it tasted incredible. Not too sweet or too bland. It had a lovely cake taste and smell.
I am so glad I came to the realization that I can eat healthy and still satisfy my cravings.