Eleanor found this recipe on the internet and printed it for us to try. She thought it sounded like a good swim practice snack. When I looked at the recipe I thought it was close to Elizabeth's use of Garrett Weber-Gale's granola put into bars as Elizabeth's creation. Even though it didn't seem too different from those, I thought I would give this recipe a try.
It was entertaining to do an online search of these bars and read the comments on these. For sure, these are not a low fat snack; however, my feeling is that anything made with more natural ingredients must be better for us than more "artificial" ingredients. That was part of my issue with the Summer Shape Up recipes sent to us through the YMCA this spring...those recipes seemed to have a lot of lower fat/lower sugar but more processed ingredients. I do have to say that when Eleanor took a bite of these she asked, "what's healthy about these?".
It just seems to me like ice cream made from cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla is a better choice for the body than a list of ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. I do enjoy an occasional Diet Coke, and I do know that is a big batch of chemicals...so it isn't like I am completely natural with my eating. And related to these bars, I do enjoy chocolate chip cookies instead of these more natural bars. I guess I think that there is a place for both in a healthy diet. I think most things made in my own kitchen are better for us than something made and packaged elsewhere.
I guess I eat a modified version of "Clean Eating" but am really loose about it. When I make the artisan bread referred to in this blog some people have commented that it isn't too healthy because it is made with white flour. There are healthier versions of the artisian bread which I do make; however, I think white bread made at home is probably a bit healthier (personal and earth health) than whole wheat bread made in a factory, placed in a plastic bag and shipped around the country. I get the fact that the white flour is more processed than whole wheat..but I'm comparing final products. And I'm not saying I wouldn't eat bread from a package that was shipped here. If I make a cake I pull out the flour and sugar and butter rather than a box. But, if you're making a cake for me for my birthday I will gladly eat what was made from a mix.
I'm a realist though and know that sugary and sweet and processed things are good at times too. I really do try to eat/live in moderation. We don't eat too many convenience type foods..but we do eat some. I try to eat yogurt without aspartame. We minimize our fast food consumption. But being a polite survivalist is important to me also. Sometimes there is nothing like an oreo or two...or three or ten. Oops...maybe that's the real problem!
My friend Kelly was talking about a parent from school bringing whole wheat cookies to an end of the year party. Guess what? The kids didn't eat any of them. Kelly made a comment which has made me smile for a couple days..."I'm all for healthy eating, but I prefer to do it in the privacy of my own home". I get what she's saying. That mom would have been better off making white flour, butter, and sugar cookies. That would have been a better choice than something with soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, coloring, and preservatives. And just for the record, there was watermelon and some other healthier options as well.
Back to the bars, this looked like a good option for a swimming snack, the sugar providing some nice and quick energy. We struggle with finding energy-type bars for Eleanor with her nut allergy...most do contain nuts. We have tried a couple packaged options for those days/weeks when we need a quick snack for her. Our most recent find was Bonk Breakers a packaged energy bar. We met the owners of the company at a bicycle show in Milwaukee and learned that they are careful about cross contamination. They do have a bar with almonds, but Eleanor is allergic to walnuts and pecans and really not to almonds (although we do try to avoid due to cross contamination), so she can have these....it seems unlikely that the nut free bars have touched an almond that touched a walnut.
Now back to this recipe:
We are not eating these at our house as a dessert even though I labeled the post as such...but more as a pre/post workout snack. They are sugary...and good.
And now you have my opinion on food:)