I don’t think I’ve ever had a “sweet-tooth”, but I have definitely have a chocolate tooth. I’ve loved chocolate for as long as I can remember. I usually pass on desserts unless they include chocolate. (In attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a dessert has to be “worth it” for me to indulge. Chocolate is worth it.)
I find that it’s rare for a day to pass without having a little chocolate. This is mainly because I have found innovative ways to get my chocolate fix without eating a piece of cake or a scoop of ice cream. I regularly enjoy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, but also have found Cooking Light’s Chocolate Crunch to be just what I need. It incorporates oats, dried fruit, and nuts with a little taste of chocolate for a reasonable amount of calories per serving size (168 calories for ½ cup). I’ll take this with me to work or when I’m traveling, and it’s perfect for breakfast or a snack.
(From Cooking Light, December, 2007)
3 cups regular oats
1 cup oven-toasted rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa), finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Cover a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper with cooking spray.
Combine oats, rice cereal, brown sugar, chopped pecans, salt, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl.
Combine honey and canola oil in a small saucepan over low heat; cook 2 minutes or until warm. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and chocolate; stir with a whisk until smooth. Pour chocolate mixture over oat mixture. Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Gently mix chocolate mixture and oat mixture until combined. Spread oat mixture onto prepared jelly-roll pan. Bake at 300° for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Cool completely on pan; stir in cranberries.