The problem I find when it comes to making healthy eating a lifestyle is the craving for sweet treats and sugar. Over the past few years I have cut out so much sugar; for example, just by using a small amount of honey instead of sugar in my herbal teas and using honey or coconut sugar in my baking recipes. Yes, of course, these substitutes still have sugar in them but they are a natural form of sugar like you find in riped fruits for example. I have discussed the difference between white granulated sugar and coconut sugar in my Cacao Chocolate Cake Recipe if you want to find out more.
“…everything in moderation I say!”
I have found that my weight doesn’t fluctuate anymore and my energy levels are relatively balanced and most importantly I have noticed a huge improvement with my IBS, as too much sugar irritates my digestive system. I am not saying I don’t occasionally indulge in a box of Lindt Lindor at Christmas or a Fruit & Nut Dairy Milk – they are my all time favourite! I know my body and have successfully managed for the past few years to find that balance of healthy eating and the odd treat or cheat meal, everything in moderation I say! I never feel bad for these little pleasures but I do try and create some homemade sweet treats using healthier ingredients I know 100% what I am putting in my body.
DRIED FRUITS ARE GREAT NATURAL SUGARS
My go-to snacks are always dried fruits and mixed nuts (unsalted) and 70% Dark Cocoa, again these foods have a high sugar content but they are natural sugars and if you remember that these groups of foods are to be consumed in moderation then you have no need to worry about indulging a couple of times a week. Some of my favourite dried fruits are sultanas, raisins, figs and apricots. This is what inspired me to create these small chunks of joy!
This recipe does include a more than average amount of natural sugars so these Fig & Dark Chocolate Oat Chunks are great stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days (if they last that long!) and enjoyed as a treat in between meals or when you crave a sweet treat with your mid-morning green tea.
These mouth-watering chunks of goodness are gluten free and dairy free – winning!!
Preparation Time – 10 Minutes
Cook Time – 12-15 minutes
(makes 16 square chunks)
75g Coconut Oil
50g Coconut Sugar
80g Rolled Oats/Porridge Oats
100g Ground Almond Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Large Egg, beaten
50g Dried Figs, roughly chopped
50g Dark Chocolate – 70% Dark Cocoa, broken into small chunks
(My go to coconut ingredients are the Lucy Bee Coconut Oil and Coconut Sugar– this is not sponsored I’m just recommending my favourites!)
Preheat fan oven to 180 degrees
Line a deep baking tray or a brownie tray with grease-proof parchment paper
Melt the coconut oil over the hob in a small saucepan
Remove from the heat and mix in the honey and then the sugar and set to one side
In a large bowl add the oats, almond powder and the salt and mix together
Pour over the coconut oil mix and combine well into the bowl of dry ingredients
Add the beaten egg and mix well
Add the figs, sultanas and the chocolate and combine well
Using a wooden spoon, spoon the mixture, starting from one side of the tray, smooth out the mixture and roughly flatten the surface of the mixture (this amount won’t cover the whole of a baking tray so use the wooden spoon to smooth out the edges as this will give you even chunks when you go to cut it up at the end)
Place in the oven and bake for around 13 minutes until the top of the mixture has set, to check if it is cooked through, use a toothpick and if it comes out clean it is done
Leave to cool in the tray
Once cooled, cut up square like, bite sized chunks and enjoy (in moderation!)
Let me know if you make these Fig & Dark Chocolate Oat Chunk by sending me a photo, I would love to know what you think! If you want some more healthy snack ideas, check out my recipe for Chocolate & Raisin Oat Cookies.