Confession. I LOVE sweets. Especially chocolate. It's a daily battle how much I do or do not enjoy each and every day. Perhaps you are familiar with this battle.
I've never really been on a "diet" but realized how much sugar I actually ate when I went on "No Sweets Diet" for 21 days a few months ago.
I made up my own rules and eliminated all forms of refined sugar, candy, ice cream and baked sweets. My only sweet exceptions were real maple syrup and honey. I lost 3 pounds in 3 weeks which means I was eating waaay too much, too often.
It would be a bald face lie to imply that we shudder, run and hide when sugar is present.
Every Sunday we have dinner with my family. Guess what our family is in charge of bringing?
Surprised aren't you?
We LOVE our sweets and inhale faster than a Kirby vacuum slurping up the deeply hidden crud in carpet.
However, I do try to make things healthier with whole grain flours, less sugar and healthy fats and oils.
This recipe today is a blend of demonic white flour and whole grain. It even uses a jar of carmel. We love it and succumb to the 80/20 approach.
Make amazing choices 80% of the time, 20% of the time it's ok to enjoy something otherwise forbidden. It's keeping the 20% of the time under control that is challenging.
Today's treat is Gooey Oatmeal Carmelitas.
OATMEAL. CARMEL. CHOCOLATE and half the pan with NUTS for those of us that love them.
I've been madly in love with these treats since I received one at a Christmas Cookie Exchange years ago.
Sink your teeth into these babies you won't be disappointed.
Gooey Oatmeal Carmelitas
- 1 cup white flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 (12.5 or 14 oz jar) caramel ice cream topping
- 3 Tbsp flour (white or whole wheat)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. Combine all crust ingredients and mix until crumbly ( I use my stand mixer). Reserve 2 cups of crust mixture. Press remaining crust ingredients into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Combine caramel topping and flour in a small bowl, mix well. Remove crust from the oven, sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips and nuts. Drizzle with caramel (keep it at least 1/2 inch from the edge for easier pan cleanup). Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool one hour or until completely cooled. Cut bars when completely set.
Sink your teeth into awesome choices 80% of the time - fruits, veggies, whole grains and tons of water. The other 20%, enjoy the treats you eat. I'm old enough now to know what is worth the calories and not worth the calories. Enjoy what is worth the calories.