Monday, June 7, 2010

Yum yum...and good for you, too!

One of my favorite things about cooking is when you can pull off something that tastes like a treat, but it's actually good for you.
I've had a couple of requests for the recipes of oatmeal bars (good for you) and black bean brownies (not great, but way better for you than traditional brownies!).
Here they are:

Oatmeal Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the following in a large bowl:
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not the "quick" kind)
1 cup walnuts (roughly chopped, I like to leave big chunks!)
1/2 cup or more dried cranberries (or raisins)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Then, in another bowl, combine:
2 cups milk
1/3 cup honey (you can use more or less; I've made it with none and they're still good and wholesome-tasting!)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix the two bowls together and then pour into a greased or parchment lined 13x9 pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the corners are golden-brown. Allow to cool and cut into rectangles. These also freeze nicely. I like to wrap individually in plastic and then grab one (or a bunch for the kids) from the freezer in the morning. They're perfectly thawed by lunchtime!
Also, these are great with a plop of vanilla yogurt for breakfast! They're soft and filling!

Black bean brownies

This recipe is a little more informal. I am not sure where I first heard of it, but I definitely didn't make it up myself. I'm not that creative.
You take a boxed brownie mix (bonus if it's organic!), and a can of plain ol' black beans. Drain the beans, put them back into the can and then top off the can with water. Place them in a food processor and puree them until you can barely see bean skins. Mix them with the boxed brownie mix, replacing anything that the box says to add.
Then, follow the box directions for baking.
That's it! Extra fiber...never a bad thing. And from brownies.
PS: No one will ever know what's in these unless you tell them. Honest...

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