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Food for Life - 8/1/11

Fri, Jul 29th, 2011
Posted in Columnists

A Healthier Chocolate Fix

I love healthy fruits and vegetables like crazy, but I have a serious weakness for cookies. Any kind of cookie, I don't even care, I just adore them. I would rather have cookies than cake any day. My problem is, when I have cookies in the house, I eat one every time I walk through the kitchen. I don't know how to stop. That can add up to a lot of fat and extra calories, even if the cookies are healthier than most.

The days of summer have been hot, humid, and often miserable these last couple of weeks. But one day I came home from work and I wanted a cookie in the worst way. There was no way I was going to turn on the oven, so I decided to make some no-bake cookies. They turned out pretty good, and the kids loved them, but they were made with a lot of sugar and butter. I knew there had to be something that would make me feel less guilty, and not put me into a sugar coma.

I follow a lot of food blogs. I mean a lot. I don't read through every single post every single day, but I browse through their updates and when something catches my eye, I set it aside to look at when I am in need of a recipe. It didn't take me long to find these chocolate no-bake cookies, and last night I gave them a try. As always, I used the recipe as a guide and made adjustments as I went along. For example, these cookies did not call for any kind of nut butter, but I thought it would add a lot to the flavor. It also adds fat, but it's a good fat, and I am not afraid of it. Peanut butter would be great mixed with chocolate, but my daughter is allergic to peanuts, so I used almond butter.

If you haven't tried almond butter, you are missing out. I love peanut butter, and sometimes I crave it, but almond butter is awesome. I like to use only nut butters that do not have any added sugars or preservatives. The almond butter I used only has almonds in it. Why should there be anything else? Almonds are great for you, and delicious as well. I didn't use a lot in this recipe, but enough to add richness and flavor that was very satisfying. They were a lot like my first batch of no-bake cookies, but a lot better for me.

On a hot day when you don't want to turn your oven on, but are craving just a little something sweet, take one of these out of the freezer or refrigerator and savor it slowly, in little bites. It tastes decadent and sweet (it's not sugar free, after all), but is not full of empty calories like most desserts. You might get some chocolate on your fingers, though. Just be warned.

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