After living here in Spain for a few months I realized how much sugar is consumed on a daily basis. I didn't really realize it until I decided I should cut back on it. Every time you go have coffee in a cafe they give you free cookies, churros, muffins, or something sweet to go with it. Evey day at my school at break they have unlimited cookies for a snack with the coffee in the teacher's lounge. Not that there isn't a lot of sugar consumption is the U.S. too, but it seems like it's just given to you here for free! Everyone knows that sugar is bad for you, but, I guess I didn't realize how much it affects your body and mind until I read an article about it. After reading it, I decided to nearly stop eating sugar completely aside from the special occasion birthday here or there. For the past several months I've been avoiding sugar, especially after reading this article: http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/2108-zapping-sugar-cravings.html
I highly suggest reading it. It's very interesting! I was surprised to hear about a school that outlawed sugar in their school and found that the sick days for both the students and teachers went down a significant amount as well as the kids visits to the nurses office. Also, the test score percentage for the entire school went up!
So, just about all of my recipes for sweet things use natural sweeteners like dates, stevia and natural fruit juices. Sometimes I use a little honey, but I try to avoid using too much because your body responds to it a lot like sugar. I also like to use coconut sugar, but I haven't been able to find it here in Spain. Anyway, now for the oat bars!
Coconut Oat Bars (no sugar)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cups quick oats
1/2 cup spelt flour (or flour of your choosing)
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. stevia powder
1/8 tsp baking powder
10 pitted dates
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 large mashed banana
Juice of 1 small orange
4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder* (can be omitted)
* If you want a chocolate variation you can add the cocoa powder. I wanted a normal bar and a cocoa one, so after i mixed all the ingredients, I separated them in half and added 2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder to half of it.
Directions: Set oven to 350 F/ 175 C degrees. Mix together dry ingredients- coconut, oats, flour, salt, baking powder, stevia. In a separate bowl mix wet ingredients- eggs, coconut milk, honey, banana, OJ. Pour wet ingredients into dry mixture. Chop dates into small pieces. I chopped mine with a kitchen knife, but if you have a food processor to chop up the dates it would probably be easier. Then mix in the dates. Line a 11x15 pan with butter, then sprinkle a little flour over it, then some coconut flakes (when the bars are done and you take them out and turn them over, they'll have a nice little coconut flake top). You can use a smaller 9x9 pan if you want thicker chewier bars. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Enjoy with a cuppa tea!
I made a yogurt frosting and a chocolate frosting for each, but I forgot to write down the chocolate one (oops!). It was something along the lines of cocoa powder, butter, milk? Not sure, i made it for another recipe a few days ago and forgot. But, the yogurt one is:
1/2 170g. cup of full fat greek yogurt
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 tsp. stevia
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