|Fruity Oatmeal Breakfast Bites|
9 out of 10 times, when I investigate a so-called "healthy" product at the grocery, I am disappointed. Usually, said "healthy" packaged foods are laden with sugar (natural sugar is still sugar, peeps), or they use inflammatory vegetable oils, or they contain a laundry list of preservatives.
So, when I casually grabbed a box of Alyssa's Healthy Vegan Bites at my local Publix, I didn't really entertain approving of them, let alone buying them. That is, until their wholesome ingredient knocked my havianas off! Oats, dried fruit, chia seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon...I knew those foods! I use those foods in my own kitchen! I snagged a box, consoling myself that if/when they tasted yucky, they were on sale at least.
Except, they didn't taste yucky. In fact, they taste whatever the opposite of yucky is—divine, delicious, scrum-diddlyumptious?! I couldn't stop at the recommending 2-cookie serving size, which rarely happens to me (I tend to be a moderator versus in abstainer). 48 hours later, the box was empty!
I had half a mind to hightail it back to Publix and greedily buy out their Alyssa's cookie stock, but I stopped myself for two reasons: 1) These cookies have one dubious ingredient, "natural flavors". Not sure what this refers to, but I know it's not something I can find at the supermarket or in my pantry. 2) I wanted to make my own, simpler and more cost-effective version for y'all!
Batter-hardened from four rigorous rounds of cookie testing, I've finally created an LL Balanced Bite that I crave as much as Alyssa's! These are soft, tender, perfectly spiced and lightly sweetened with pops of caramel-chew from dates and apricots. I purposefully kept them nut-free, so moms can pack them in school lunches for a quick snack or dessert. Two bites also makes for a light on-the-go breakfast, paired with a piece of fruit or yogurt.
I am seriously in love with these cookie-bites, and I am grateful to Alyssa for her delectable inspiration! I hope these become a staple in your home as well, making life just a little easier and tastier.
Notes: If you don't have oat bran, feel free to substitute oat flour | If you want the cookies even less-sweet, use 1/4 cup coconut sugar instead of 6 tablespoons | Feel free to throw in 1/3 cup chopped nuts, or substitute the dried fruit for whatever you prefer--raisins, cranberries, even dried blueberries