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The holiday season is filled with sugary delights to tempt even the most steadfast health nuts I know. If they can’t make it through this unscathed what hope is there for the rest of us? Peanut brittle, cakes, pies, macaroons, or my mother’s famous southern pecan pralines. Dangerous treats waiting around every corner to ensare us in their web. Is this a hopeless battle? Nope… not at all.

Most of these items above are sugar, sugar, and more sugar with salt and butter….and maybe a few nuts or a little fruit thrown in to make it SOUND healthy. Delicious as they maybe in the short run …this is a recipe for a busted waistline and a blood sugar roller coaster from hell.

My solution and New Year’s resolution? Make simple changes and substitutions that increase the good healthy ingredients and reduce the less healthy ones. Today’s recipes is the epitome of this idea. Feed the sweet tooth without killing your diet, blood sugar, or feeling totally guilty. What is this treat pray tell? Well it’s a little thing I call Sesame Oatmeal Brittle.

This whole recipe happened totally by accident. I found a recipe for sesame cookies. I needed to use up the last of the tahini I had made. It sounded easy enough for a person like me that doesn’t bake a lot. But, I botched the whole thing and had the BEST happy accident ever. Now I am going to share it with you.

Sesame Oatmeal Brittle
2 tablespoons Tahini (ground sesame seeds)
2 cups Steel Cut Oats
1 cup Oat bran
4 tablespoons Flaxseed Meal (optional)
1/4 cup Raisins -I used the golden delicious. LOVE THEM!
1/4 cup Walnuts (ground or chopped)
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup Blackstrap Molasses
1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup – – grade B syrup
1/4 cup Honey
3 large Dates chopped (I used Medjool)
2 tablespoon Real Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Cinnamon

Tools needed:
Large mixing bowl
Wooden Spoon
Parchment paper
Cookie Sheet
Small sauce pan
Knife (for dates) or food prep

The recipe couldn’t be faster or easier.

First: Take all the dry ingredients and place into bowl.

Second: Remove pit from dates and chop into small pieces or use food prep/processor

Third: In sauce pan heat all the wet sugar ingredients. Bring to a slight bubble. Add Vanilla and Cinnamon.

Fourth: Pour syrup over the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
?Fifth: Spoon out mixture into one thin layer on parchment lined cookie sheet. Place into a preheated 350 Degree oven for 5-8 mins for chewy bars or 8-15 for crunchy bars.

Sixith: Let cool (sprinkle a little extra cinnamon on top!). Then break or cut into “brittle” and store in an air tight

Voila….couldn’t be easier. You can fulfill your sweet tooth without spiking your blood sugar too much. Plus all that fiber and protein means you will be full faster and longer… Not to mention all the vitamins, Amino Acids, and minerals in this dessert. So yes, something sweet can be good for your body. Who would have th’unk it! Bon Appetit!

Nutritional Tidbits

Almonds: Manganese, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Tryptophan, Copper, B2, Phosphorus, Biotin, Phosphorous, and 18 amino acids. If you are interested in lowering cholesterol, cardiovascular health, lowering your risk of diabetes, or more energy you should consider adding nuts like almonds to your diet. 1/4 cup gives you 45% of your daily value of the antioxidant vitamin E .

Pecans: thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin, B6, Folate, panthothenic acid, calcium, potassium, selenium, fiber and good heart healthy fat Omega 3s. One serving of pecans contains 64 percent of the % Daily Value of manganese. Manganese is important for building strong bones and may reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and also helps glucosamine work better in the body. Pecans can play a role in weight loss. Because of their mix of protein and healthy fat, pecans are slow to digest, easy on blood sugar, and provide sustained energy, important factors for those trying to lose weight.

Oats: manganese, selenium, tryptophan, phosphorous, B1, magnesium, dietary fiber, protein, magnesium, amino acids especially cystine, phenylalanine/tyrosine, and valine. Tyrosine is an amino acid that can help with depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the inability to stay awake (narcolepsy), and improving alertness following sleep deprivation. It is also used for stress, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), alcohol and cocaine withdrawal, heart disease and stroke, ED (erectile dysfunction), loss of interest in sex, schizophrenia, and as a suntan agent and appetite suppressant. (found on webmd.com)

Black Strap Molasses: Manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, B6, and selenium. Blackstrap molasses is a sweetener that is actually good for you. Unlike refined white sugar and corn syrup, which are stripped of virtually all nutrients except simple carbohydrates, or artificial sweeteners which not only provide no useful nutrients but have been shown to cause health problems in sensitive individuals, blackstrap molasses is a healthful sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of minerals that promote your health. Iron and Copper are integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.

Dates: Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Vitamin A, B6, B1,B2, B3, B5, vitamin C, selenium, dietary fiber and over 20 amino acids. Dates are rich in dietary fiber which prevents dietary LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut. It is also a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time and as well as binding to cancer causing chemicals in the colon. Dates contain many health benefitting phytonutrients flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties.
They are a good source of Vitamin-A (contains 149 IU per 100 g), which is known to have antioxidant properties and is essential for vision. Vitamin A also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

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