The Washington Times-Herald

August 27, 2012

Sweet, delicious and even a little healthy

By Joyce Bullington
Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — My efforts at eating healthier haven’t shown me the expected results yet. I expected after a couple of months of healthy eating not only would I be slim and trim but I would be at the peak of health. I even thought my brown age spots would fade.

Alas, another couple of trips to the doctor has added a dozen or so more foods to my forbidden list.

I was reminded the other day about a remark I heard several years ago regarding all the preservatives added to processed foods — if they preserve food for long periods of time, imagine how well they will preserve our bodies. I’m beginning to wonder if that fool wasn’t on to something. I felt fine until I started eating healthier!

Now, I know that years of putting the wrong foods or too much food in our bellies probably will wreak havoc at some point. And as the years add up some body parts get tired and worn out. Once the damage has been done it is a long road back to recovery, if it is even possible.

My sweet tooth still has its cravings however. My sweet tooth doesn’t care that the rest of my body is a mess. I’ve been trying to convince the tooth that fruits are sweet and therefore it should be satisfied. But to no avail.

So I’m going to trick it with the following recipe from a cookbook published by the American Heart Association. It is low-fat, zero cholesterol and contains those good-for-whatever-ails-you oats. Also it is low in calories as long as the whole pan is not consumed in one sitting. “Acceptable vegetable oil,” according to the Heart Assn., are oils that stay liquid at room temperature. They are high in unsaturated fats, or good fats. Examples are corn, safflower, sunflower, olive and canola oils. I used canola oil.

I trust my sweet tooth will be sufficiently satisfied and that my upcoming dental appointment doesn’t result in more foods being added to my forbidden list. Sweet tooth will not be happy!

Oatmeal Crisps

vegetable oil spray

1/2 cup acceptable vegetable oil

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pan with vegetable oil spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine oil, brown sugar, honey and vanilla. Add oats, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix until blended.

Press mixture evenly and firmly into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cut into 36 squares while hot. Allow to cool in pan. Store in a container with a loose-fitting lid.

A chewier version can be made using the same recipe and adding one 4 1/2 oz. jar of strained applesauce (baby food) and 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.