Almond Joy Oatmeal
I love dessert. Actually, if I weren't dedicated to being a reasonably good role model for my family, I'd eat a candy bar every day of the week. And it would always be between: Almond Joy and York Peppermint Patty. Always. No doubt about it. But, I do have self control and I am committed to eating right.
And you know what else I love? Bloggers. Bloggers who have taken the Paleo+Vegan lifestyle and promoted it everywhere. The recipes these days are darling and so super helpful. I can get a new recipe for just about anything. Although, I've always eaten "clean" and "whole", I do love the current propulsion toward getting a wider audience to subscribe to healthy eating.
(Yes, my rant is coming...hold on)
But, I just gotta say one thing: dessert is dessert no matter how you swing it. Plenty of these "clean eating" or paleo+vegan websites tout their recipes as healthy or good for you because they don't use table sugar, or perhaps they pour coconut oil/sugar/flour/flakes on everything. And the main proponent behind most of these "healthy" desserts is the use of agave or maple syrup or honey or dates in lieu of sugar.
Let's get one thing straight: all of these substances contain sugar...glucose is glucose no matter what product it comes from. I'm pretty sure all of these blogs are getting paid to say how much they despise sugar and love "healthier alternatives", but I can't prove it. I know they do it, and it annoys me, which is why I am dedicated to providing a website that doesn't sell out to the grand scheme of corporate marketing (see, rant...). Do I use affiliate marketing or ads? Sometimes...but I never ever ever ever flood my website with ads, and I would never link to something that I haven't used or doesn't fit my philosophy (or scientific education) on life. Anyways, sugar is sugar; we've established that.
I promise, there is a recipe attached to this rant, but my point must be made first. The latest recipe that is flooding the Paleo+Vegan blogosphere (521,000 in a Google search) is "Almond Joy Bars" and every blogger screams about how healthy they are for you. Yes, almonds are good for you. Coconut in moderation is also good for you. So is dark chocolate (scholarly article link). But taking those good-for-you foods and swirling them with cups of dates, honey, maple syrup, blah blah blah...adds unnecessary quantities of sugary substances to your diet*.
*Diet= Food you eat every day and not that thing where people try to lose weight.
I was reading through some of these oh so popular recipes, all of which seem to be adapted by each other in a sort of piggyback phenomenon, and analyzed them with my handy dandy calculator. On average, the bars contained 250 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 22 grams of sugar...some of these were more and some were less.
Like I said, I love dessert, but I would never call a dessert that uses a massive amount of sweetener and fat healthy. Hell, I have no problem digging into a delicious tiramisu or apple dumpling from time to time, but you don't see me touting it as healthy. Indulging every now and again is a delicious part of life. And yes, some desserts can be healthy, namely fruit...maybe dipped into some chocolate. But swapping out sugar for another sweetener doesn't make it better for you. Those bloggers know who they are...and like any other fad, this too shall pass.
Now, I promised you a recipe. After all of this scouring of Paleo-Vegan Almond Joy Bars, I decided that I can do one better. I can make almond joy oatmeal and eat it for breakfast. What!?! Yes, mother truckers, this is no joke. I combined gluten-free oats, 100% dark chocolate, unsweetened coconut flakes, and crushed almonds together. So f-ing good. Recipe below.
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