I am well-known among family and friends for my experimentation with recipes in the kitchen. For as long as I’ve been cooking, I’ve always sought ways to improve recipes and make them healthier and better tasting for myself and others.
For this recipe, I found my inspiration on the back of a package of Nestle’s morsels. Anyone who spends time in the kitchen knows that store-bought packaging often includes helpful culinary tips or recipes. My goal for the first round of this recipe makeover was increasing fiber and reducing added sugar.
My first round involved reducing the refined carbohydrate and added sugar content found in the original recipe. Wanting to know how the changes impacted the taste, I found a willing group of test subjects – also known as my coworkers. They were unaware of the changes I made and loved the taste. Healthy and tastes good? Check!
The second test round built upon the first – but this time I took aim at the fat content in the recipe. The goal of this round of recipe development was to build upon the first round by reducing the amount of fat, especial saturated fat, and replacing it with mono- and polyunsaturated fats – you know, the “good” fats. I accomplished this by using avocado.
The result was even more successful than the first recipe. The bars were more moist, tastier and more tender than the first attempt. I knew I’d earned a gold star when a friend who reportedly “can’t stand peanut butter” couldn’t tell there was any peanut butter in the recipe. The taster dubbed it “very good.”
These simple changes show that virtually any home baker can make some small changes to a standard recipe for a healthier outcome.
The results of the recipe makeover:
|Original Recipe||Julie’s Healthier Version||Difference|
|Carbohyrdrates||44||23||½ the carbs|
|Fiber||0||2||Twice as much|
|Sugar||30||14||Less than ½ the added sugar|
Recipie: Avocado Peanut Butter Bar
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup peanut butter powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ mashed avocado (can use products such as wholly guacamole)
- 2/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
- ¼ cup Truvia baking blend
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ½ of an 11-ounce package toll house peanut butter and milk chocolate morsels
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees f. Grease an 8-inch cake pan with your method of choice, such as cooking spray, canola oil, coconut oil. Set aside until ready to use.
- Combine flour, peanut butter powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, cream avocado, brown sugar and truvia until combined. Add in canola oil, vanilla, and eggs and beat until creamy. Fold in dry ingredients until combined. Stir in morsels.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Cut into 16 squares and serve.