Granola Bars vs White Bean Blondies: Not much of a battle

Homemade Cherry Almond Granola Bars

Homemade Cherry Almond Granola Bars

There’s a definite line between good healthy food and bad healthy food. I’ve been on a kick recently to try to make things healthier (yeah, yeah, New Year’s resolutions) and it’s had some interesting moments. Good things have come of it — I’ve discovered that I really love flax seeds, that baking with whole wheat flour isn’t scary and that coconut oil is possibly the best thing ever.

But bad decisions have also been made.

Have you ever cooked something so singly terrifying that you instantly feel ashamed of yourself? I recently traumatized my co-workers with a batch of (oh god Sean — please don’t judge me for this!) white bean blondies. Yes. I said it, white. bean. blondies. As in I took something that should have been filled with butter, sugar and eggs and used a can of pureed white beans instead.

I even used a well-tested recipe filled with comments like “no one ever guessed there were beans in here” and “these taste better than the real thing.” Those people are liars. They tasted exactly like beans — trust me, they weren’t fooling anyone. And even though I placed a disclaimer by the offering noting that it was both “vegan and gluten-free” (which really should have been enough of a warning), I was still a little worried I was going to get lynched.

Luckily, healthy eating took a much better turn with these homemade granola bars. They were so good I couldn’t force myself to share more than a bite with a few of my office cohorts. Maybe I’ll bake them some cupcakes this weekend in a plea for forgiveness because I just can’t give these up.

They were chewy yet crunchy, and at once both sweet and tangy. It was the perfect flavor combination for me — I love almonds, I adore the tartness of dried cherries and I’m practically obsessed with coconut. The bonus is that they store well and are a breeze to make. These took 10-15 minutes to put together (including toasting time for the oats and almonds) and used only one bowl. They bake for 20-25 minutes and voila! Toast the oats and almonds until golden

Add melted coconut oil and honey to mixture

Add melted coconut oil and honey to mixture (along with additional goodies like dried cherries, sesame seeds and flax)

Bake about 20-25 minutes and cool completely before cutting

Homemade Almond Cherry Granola BarsDisclaimers: I did swap out half the amount of the unsweetened coconut for ground flax seeds. I figured it was already coconut-y enough with the oil and this helped up the protein in the bars.

Also let it be known these are only “healthy” if eaten in moderation. There’s still plenty of fat (albeit “good” fats from the nuts and seeds) and sugar present. I’m going to keep searching for other granola bar recipes to test out, but at least this one got the taste of white beans out of my mouth!

Homemade Almond Cherry Granola Bars

The clear winner!

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7 thoughts on “Granola Bars vs White Bean Blondies: Not much of a battle

  1. I love the top photo! Ah, yes, granola and all its healthful properties. I think my husband ate a whole gallon in the last week or so after he’d made a batch. I asked: “Do you think that’s really healthy? You must have eaten about a thousand calories worth today alone.” So delicious….

    • Thanks! And my husband is the same way — he’ll eat 10 servings of something if he thinks it’s “healthy.” I’ve finally started hiding things like this and just leaving two out on the counter for him to munch on. Can’t let him eat all my hard work!

  2. Your granola looks and sounds great! Really? White Bean Blondies? lol! You tell a good story and I love your honesty. As someone who eats pretty healthy, I’ve never even heard of this idea. I think some things are better left to being “indulgent” and not messed with. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you! Yes, apparently the big “thing” is black bean brownies, which according to several blogger friends of mine are actually quite good. But I didn’t have black beans so I tried this one instead. Oh well — you live, you learn, right? It made for a great story at least! =) The granola bars, on the other hand, were just straight-up awesome!

  3. One time I made a “Wendy’s ‘Healthy’ Frosty” that used silken tofu. I have never come so close to retching upon drinking a shake. It was disgusting. Never again.

  4. Pingback: More chew, less crunch: tinkering with homemade granola bars | Attempts in Domesticity

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