Monday, September 29, 2008

Healthy Adult Oatmeal Bars

Oh yes, healthy. That's what we all want to try to eat. We want our friends to eat healthy. We want ourselves to eat healthy. We, especially, want our kids to eat healthy.

My son loves chocolate. That, in itself, isn't so bad. Trouble is, he craves those really nasty chocolate goo-covered sponge cake industrial garbage wrapped in plastic. I'm currently on a quest to find something we can make, something easy hopefully (and this recipe is EASY!), that he won't trade away at snack time for some crunchy chocolate cookies with strawberry frosting and bits of concentrated sugar sprinkles.

I snagged this recipe from Katy at Sugarlaws. I was feeling a bit lazy tonight and the recipe was so easy to do. I liked the sound of it.

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 100g oats
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup / 50g raisins
  • 3 tablespoons / 20g pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


This one is so very easy. Just set your oven to 325F (163C).

Mix all the ingredients together well. They should all hold together, sort of, but there should be no excess liquid. If there's extra, add a little bit more oats and stir. Repeat until no liquid.

I poured my mixture into one of my silicone tart pans. These made perfect molds. The original recipe said it made eight small bars. I figured I'd just chop these in half to make reasonably sized servings. I am trying to make something healthy here. Excessive size is almost as bad as sugar death bomb cakes.

Into the oven for 35 minutes.

Done. Like I said, so easy!

Test Results

Primary Test Group: Only a partial group tonight. Various members are out and about. This is probably good because I cannot imagine the look of disdain on my son's face if I asked him to eat these.

Honestly, I like them. They remind me of Boy Scouts many, many years ago. It gives your mouth a workout much like raw celery does. You know you're eating something of substance and something that tastes good. There is something very satisfying about this.

The batch didn't make enough to have for other testers. Probably good, anyway. I'm not sure these would be to their liking, either.

Potential Improvements

Not sure were to go. I think a little sugar would go a long ways with these. The honey just didn't cut it. Brown sugar, of course.


I won't make these again. Since I'm the only one here who would eat them, not worth my time.

These are definitely for hard-core granola eaters. They're not sweet or gooey ... nor are there thick chunks of chocolate in them.

What they are is good, solid food that provides great nutrition.

Honestly, this kind of food is what we should be eating. Trouble is, it just doesn't taste good enough ...

And therein lies my problem. I need to find something nutritious that will also please the five year old palette. Unfortunately, this isn't it.

If it were just me, I'd play with these a little, but keep making them.


Nancy/n.o.e said...

James, that is a tough dilemma. A few thoughts:

Maybe the approach that would work is to take baby steps - train the tastebuds slowly away from over-refined and towards whole grain/low fat/healthy. Put some chocolate chips in, etc., and start by subbing whole wheat for half the flour, and brown for white sugar. I've not cooked with agave sweetener, but that might be something to try.

I saw a similar recipe on tartlette's blog, but it looks like it has a bit more liquid/binder and a bit less oats, so may not be so aggressively granola-head-y:

Also, the blog 101cookbooks has some beautiful things. I've only made a couple, but have bookmarked lots for future cooking

I find myself fighting the urge to "healthify" Dorie's recipes on a weekly basis. I certainly will do so when I make a recipe a second time. For now, I try to be true to TWD as I understand it, and bake the recipes as written (or close) and just take very small portions.

Anonymous said...

why does everyone think that brown sugar is healthier than white? it's just white sugar with molasses added to it for flavor and clor.