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!
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!