Today I’m sharing a recipe I wish I had known about years ago! I grew up with my mom making Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies that we all loved. I continued her tradition and pretty much became addicted to chocolate chip cookies. We started off making them with margarine, because that is what we were told is “healthier”, but I switched to butter as the truth emerged about the dangers of hydrogenated oils, which is exactly what margarine is. So it was back to butter like our grandmothers used. Switching out the margarine was a step in the right direction, but they were still essentially white flour, white and brown refined sugar, and butter. There was nothing healthy about them. They were just a plain and simple treat and were hard to eat just one, thanks to the sugar in them that we now know is more addicting than cocaine!
As I became educated in real, whole, healthy food, I stopped making those cookies. Many people missed them including my husband and his golf buddies, but I was just no longer cooking with those ingredients. I gave up gluten years ago and never buy refined sugar or flour. I know that all sounds boring, but it’s really not! There are so many delicious alternatives that are actually healthy in addition to tasting delicious. This recipe is one of those.
When you need a treat, you CAN make it healthy and most times people won’t even know the difference. I have fun with that when I have people over for dinner. After serving them I ask, “Do you want to know what is in it?”. They ooh and aah over the treat and many times can’t figure out what is in it and are always surprised to hear the ingredients. This goes for many other desserts or snacks that I make. So I encourage you to stretch out of your comfort zone and try cooking with ingredients that are health-promoting.
These Blondie Bars are a paleo treat, which means there are no grains. Made with with almond butter, almond flour and coconut oil, they provide plenty of healthy fats. The sweetness comes from honey, a nutritious sweetener. So not only are these sweet and satiating, but they are providing our bodies with the healthy fats that are vital for brain functioning and healthy fat metabolism. They are super simple to make. The ingredients can be a bit pricier but the nutrients you’ll receive and the foods you’ll avoid make them worth it.
1/4 cup coconut oil(melted)
1/3 cup honey(raw and local is best) 1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grease (with coconut oil) 8×8 inch pan or line with parchment paper.
3. Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with an electric mixer.
4. Combine dry ingredients and then stir into wet ingredients.
5. Mix in chocolate chips and spread batter into pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Better to undercook it slightly to avoid it being too dry.
7. Optional: you may also add 1/4 cup Raw Cacao (not cocoa, this has added sugar). Also you can add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts.
As you can see, they are very simple to make! I’d like to highlight nutritional benefits of the main ingredients so you can learn more about them! So read on if you choose!
**This refers to organic, virgin and unrefined coconut oil, not the coconut oil in refined foods that is hydrogenated. This is a good oil for baking because it has a high smoke point(temperature at which it hydrogenates and turns rancid). Coconuts contain a significant amount of fat but it is a health promoting fat made of medium chain saturated fats. These fats are antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-protozoal which means these fats actually destroy pathogens in the body. Coconut oil also protects against heart disease and promotes weight loss. And because coconut’s medium chain fats are easily absorbed and preferentially used as an energy source, their burning actually increases the body’s metabolic rate(Murray, 2005). Another interesting finding is that coconut oil helps reduce your chances of neurological disease, such as Alzheimers. Coconut oil is 66% medium chain triglycerides and this converts to ketoacids which actually feed your brain, prevent atrophy and possibly even restore and renew neuron function even after disease has set in (Mercola, 2012).
** A great alternative to wheat flour and with lots of nutrition to go with!
Almonds have a high fat content(up to 60 %) but they are packed full of nutrition! They are a great source of healthy fats, (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin E. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids which fight cancer. (Murray, 2005). Studies have shown them to have beneficial effects on lowering cholesterol and heart disease and fighting cancer. (Murray, 2005).
This natural sweetener is rich in minerals, antioxidants, probiotics and anti-bacterial enzymes. It affects your blood sugar similar to refined sugar so use sparingly but it’s an excellent alternative! Be sure to buy organic, raw and sustainably harvested
** Be sure to note the difference between CACAO and COCOA. Cocoa is Cacao that has been processed and sugar added. So it’s much better to use Cacao.
This is a superfood that contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world! It contains phytonutrients such as flavonoids, sulfur, magnesium, and antioxidants that help protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately heating and processing kills many of these nutrients so its’ best to eat raw cacao powder.
New Ways to Make Yourself Smarter.(2012). RetrievedOctober 21, 2016 from http:// www.articles.mercola.com.
Murray, M. & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.