Thursday, October 13, 2011

Healthy Treats

Today I went on another baking spree of some of the recipes I've had saved up for a while. Unlike last time, though, this one was much less sinful (and still tasted really delicious!).

First on the list was this chocolate chip "cookie dough." Here's a disclaimer, before I begin: I love chocolate chip cookie dough, and if given the opportunity I will eat it until my stomach hurts. This, my friends, is a delicious alternative, but it can't fool me. Now I suggest you read further, nevertheless, but I wanted to make clear what we're talking about here.

This giant bowl of goodness is actually made from chickpeas, perfect for vegetarian me, always looking for delicious ways to get a little extra boost of protein. It has so few ingredients that the only thing you might not have lying around the house is the chickpeas. It was great with a spoon, my preferred method of eating regular cookie dough, but it was to die for spread across a honey graham cracker. I'd definitely make this again, and you'll hear no complaints from me that I went ahead and made a double batch which is now sitting happily in the fridge, waiting for my next sweet tooth to strike.

When my cousins came home from school today wanting a snack, I had them try this without disclosing my healthy secret ingredient. The result: ignorantly blissful children eating "cookie dough" on graham crackers.

This next recipe is incredible for its calorie count alone--50 calories a slice! (Another disclaimer here: that's a relatively small slice. But for 50 calories, you could eat four and still beat one slice of the Starbucks pumpkin loaf. Plus, their's doesn't have an amazing cream cheese filling.)

Any excuse to borrow my family's Kitchen Aid mixer, I whipped it out and set to work on this recipe. Part of the secret of this very low calorie loaf is a cup-for-cup artificial sweetener, which I don't usually bake with. Today, I decided to give it a shot, and substituted Ideal no calorie sweetener for every ounce of sugar in this recipe (including in the cream cheese portion). I was a little nervous, but I don't taste a noticeable difference.

I will definitely be making this bread again. It satisfies my craving for a fall food without making me feel like I'm gaining six hundred pounds, and it's sweet enough to be a nice dessert in the evening with a cup of coffee or tea. In fact, I might make a few more loaves tomorrow to throw in the freezer for the rest of the season.

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