The winds of change are slowly sweeping the culinary world, and there is a paradigm shift to the use of ‘Alternative Flours’. Though you might not find much variety in India, some substitution is always possible. I have increasingly begun trying to substitute a part of the regular flour in recipes with flours like buckwheat flour (kuttu ka aata), whole wheat flour (aata), or then with rolled or powdered oats. (Fab India stocks buckwheat flour in season, and in North India it is available in almost every corner shop during the fasting season.)
“If you don’t quit, you will succeed by accident as long as you keep going.”
I’m always in the mood for fruit in baking, energy bars, snacks with healthy oats in them, healthy stuff, cutting back on butter etc. If I take care of a few good thngs on the snacky level, then dessert doesn’t seem so calorific after all. Doing the balancing act as a food blogger is never easy as there’s so much eye candy out there to tempt you!
But with every down side comes the upside, and that’s just what I found when I read Megan’s post @ Megan’s Cooking the other day, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Snack Bars. They grabbed my attention since I’m always on the lookout for healthy snack bars as the boy goes to train for soccer, and I think oats offer goodness in every bite! The bars reminded me of these Thick Chewy Granola Bars, and there was something about Megan’s recipe that got me to get up and make them immediately. I’m glad I did!
There was a time when most baking was done with all purpose flour. One of the easiest flours to use, it always gives consistently good results. The biggest drawback of using refined flour is as the name suggests, it is ‘refined’ so it lacks nutritional benefit. A diet based on white flour products tends to be deficient in a number of essential nutrients, primarily the ‘B-complex’ vitamins. It also is linked to weight gain and insulin problems.
I experimented with Megan’s recipe, and make this almost every week now. It makes for a great snack, and keeps well in the fridge in an airtight box. I have played around with the plain flour in the original recipe, and in case you don’t find buckwheat flour, you can always substitute it for whole wheat flour. I like the health benefits of the recipe a lot, as also the fact that it uses just ¼ cup of oil and no butter! Despite this, it’s a very delicious bar and does well in the kids snack boxes. If you’d like to cut out calories, then go ahead and skip the conserve and chocolate, which is how the original recipe is.
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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.