Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I’m Naturally Sweet

  Yes, I would like to say I am naturally sweet at heart, but unfortunately that is not what this post is about. Instead it’s all about natural sweetners--things like molasses, syrups, cane juice, honey, fruit concentrate, and the newly popular stevia. A reader recently mentioned that a lot of recipes I use (specifically Hungry Girl recipes) use a lot of fake ingredients and light products. I was so glad for the feedback because I don’t think I’ve touched on this before—I am not a fan of artificial products and sweeteners, but I am not against them either. Of course there is the slew of bad raps that they cause health ailments as serious as cancer, but numerous studies have deemed them safe for the general population. I think they are great for people with diabetes, and I like to use them occasionally as well. As far as light products go, if there is no noticeable taste difference in the light and the real, I will go for the light for sure—but I will not sacrifice taste for a minimal calorie difference. What are your opinions about artificial sweeteners and light products?

 So I thought today was perfect to highlight a recipe that gets a good portion of it’s flavor and texture from maple syrup. This recipe is based off of this one that I had bookmarked awhile back! I made the obvious substitution of maple syrup for agave syrup and added another special addition—check it out!


Peanut Buttery Bars

Courtesy of Carrots 'N' Cake

Makes 12 bars


  • 1.5 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2 TBSP chocolate peanut butter, melted for glaze (I used chocolate PB2)


  • Preheat oven to 350*F degrees. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients until smooth.
  • Spread batter in prepared baking pan, and bake for approximately 15-18 minutes until the top of the bars begin to brown.
  • Let bars cool completely in pan before cutting.

Check back tomorrow for something especially “shroomy”!

Also, look for my Fruity French Toast with Warm Blueberry Glaze on Healthy Yum!


Erica said...

;) I have made this recipe and LOVED it!! I used honey and loved the consistency. You rock girl, keep the yummy baked goods coming

katecooks said...

i personally use splenda and drink diet soda. i guess i just dont stress too much over some sweetener in my morning coffee? i usually bake with butter and sugar but still enjoy all your hungry girl inspired creations!

Anonymous said...

I use splenda in my oats and coffee. I really don't think a few here and there will kill me. But when it comes to cooking and baking, I don't mind using real sugar, though I am now interested in trying natural sweeteners like agave nectar.

She-Fit said...

I drink way too many drinks with artificial sweeteners in them... like crystal light and diet coke. I really need to work on it.

Krista said...

I'm not against artifical sweeteners, but my system just can not tolerate them so I don't personally use them. I tend to use agave nectar instead.

The PB bars would be a big hit in my house!

janetha said...

those bars look good~i don't use artificial sweeteners based solely on the reason i don't like the taste of them or what they do to my body. but i will use a light or fat free version of things, like cottage cheese (NOT regular cheese though!) and greek yogurt.

Peanut Butter Swirl said...

I am totally against the artificial sweetners (except stevia) because they just cause me to break out like mad. Seriously, I look like a pizza face. its bad.

WOW those bars look fabulous!

Laura said...

yummmmy bars! as for the artificial sweeteners... i go back and forth... sometimes i will be obsessed with eating all natural and what not and sometimes i end up being a splenda whore... oh well lol